Bob Aird lauded for contribution to music publishing & artist rights
Veteran music publisher Bob Aird has received an award from AMPAL (the Australasian Music Publishers Association) for his outstanding contribution to music publishing in Australia and New Zealand and to fighting for the rights of artists.
The honour was bestowed upon him as he steps down from the AMPAL board at its AGM in November after 33 years.
He announced his retirement as managing director of Universal Music Publishing in 2016.
In his time as heading Rondor Music and Universal Music Publishing, Aird signed up Don Walker, Joe Camilleri, Paul Kelly, Jet, Potbelleez, Wolfmother and Lee Kernaghan (with his co-writer Colin Buchanan).
He also struck one of the biggest publishing deals ever in Australia, with the multi-million dollar generating Qantas ad for Peter Allen’s ‘I Still Call Australia Home’.
The AMPAL board’s presentation was made by its chair Matthew Capper (Warner Chappell Music Australia), deputy chair, Clive Hodson (Perfect Pitch Publishing) and general manager, Matthew O’Sullivan.
Capper remarked, “It has been such a great privilege to work with Bob.
“He has always been a strong, vocal, supporter of the incredible music coming out of Australia and New Zealand, and our industry owes him a debt of gratitude.
“His acumen, and wit, will be sorely missed.”
Hodson added, “Bob has been an honour to have worked with Bob both as a colleague and board member over many years.
“Bob has been at the forefront of the enormous changes that we’ve seen in music publishing, and particularly in copyright protection for publishers and songwriters.
“His leadership in this area is undeniable.”
O’Sullivan stated at the ceremony, “AMPAL is grateful for Bob’s vast contribution to the AMPAL board, and dedication to Australian and New Zealand music publishers, and their songwriter and composer partners.
“Bob’s retirement will be a great loss to AMPAL and the industry more broadly”.
Aird, who’s spent his retirement primarily following his long love for sailing, said, “It has been a privilege to be part of the AMPAL board which has been so successful in promoting and protecting the rights of Australian and New Zealand music publishers, and the songwriters and composers they represent.
“We really have made a difference. Long may it continue”.
It is the third time the AMPAL board has presented the award.
The first was in 2016 to founding AMPAL member J. Albert & Son Pty Ltd (Alberts), and in 2018 to APRA AMCOS chief executive Brett Cottle AM.