All about John Reid - the manager in 'Bohemian Rhapsody' and 'Rocketman'

music news

One of the historical figures depicted in the hit Queen biopic 'Bohemian Rhapsody' was John Reid, played by Aidan Gillen. He was not portrayed as a well liked man in the film. 

He will also appear in the upcoming Elton John biopic, Rocketman, played by 'Bodyguard''s Richard Madden. But who is John Reid? What was he famous for?

Well, he started his career in 1967 at the age of 18, as a promoter for EMI. He then became the Tamla Motown label manager for the UK at age 19. 

In 1971, John Reid set up his own company with a few hundred pounds in savings and a £5,000 loan. He went on to manage Elton John from the 1970s until 1998, and managed Queen from 1975 to 1978.

In 1994, he was also the manager for 'Riverdance' star Michael Flatley. After Flatley left 'Riverdance' and ended his relationship with Reid, Flatley paid Reid approximately £1 million to settle a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Reid then retired from management in 1999, and was a judge of 'Australian X Factor' in 2005. 

Reid had a romantic relationship with Elton John while he managed him - the pair originally met at a Motown Christmas party and later moved in with each other and became lovers. 

This personal relationship ended after five years, but Reid continued to manage Elton unwil 1998. Their professional relationship sadly ended over a leaked letter from Elton's accountants, which detailed Reid's spending, which was found by Benjamin Pell and published in the 'Daily Mirror'. This led to legal action in 2000 with Reid settling out of court by paying Elton £3.4 million.

Reid was a big part of both the Queen band and Elton John's lives, which you can get a glimpse of in both biopic films. 

Rocketman is due out in late May this year.