HOB Concerts exec stepping down

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NASHVILLE -- Alex Hodges said that he is leaving House of Blues Concerts, where he was executive vp, effective Friday. The company, which includes several amphitheaters, HOB Clubs and a thriving concert-promotion business, was acquired last year by rival promoter Live Nation.

Hodges joined the company in fall 1994 when it was MCA Concerts, booking Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City and working in a supervisory role with talent buyers nationally and in Canada.

The company later was renamed Universal Concerts and was owned by Seagram's. In 1999, it was sold to House of Blues Entertainment for $190 million.

"The team here, though not without its challenges, did a great job fulfilling the goals of House of Blues investors and board, and we did a great job for artists and managers," Hodges said in an interview.

"We sustained and grew our business annually in a competitive world and ultimately achieved a valuation and sale of over $350 million. I'm very gratified of the successes we had over those years and to attain that sort of result. It has been a real pleasure leading such a fantastic team of people; I enjoyed every minute of it."

Hodges said that once the Justice Department cleared the sale of HOB to Live Nation, "there was a transition period, now that period is over, and my mission is basically complete," he said "I'm just looking forward to the next challenge or chapter. Exactly what that is is either a secret or unknown, and I'm not divulging which. Right now, I'm looking forward to taking a deep breath and then moving forward to the next stage."

Hodges' options would seem to be many considering his diverse background as an agent, manager, venue operator and promoter. He helped found the pioneering Paragon agency in the 1970s in Macon, Ga., with Phil Walden of Capricorn Records.

Hodges also was a successful manager, overseeing the career of Stevie Ray Vaughan until Vaughan's death in a helicopter crash in 1990. A stint with the Nederlander Organization followed, where Hodges was involved in operating Nederlander venues and concert promotion, which continued when he joined MCA/Universal/HOB.
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