Jake Berry walking with dinosaurs
Ian Jeffrey tells how British-born Berry got his break as Production Manager for AC/DC:
“Jake got his start with AC/DC because of the telling of a fib,” laughs Jeffrey. After working with Yes, Jeffrey was working with AC/DC as tour manager/FOH mixer. The band was opening for Black Sabbath when they started to explode in popularity. Suddenly they needed a production manager/stage manager, and he immediately thought Berry would be perfect, despite the fact that Berry’s experience in live concert touring was limited at the time.
So in 1979, in a plot that could only be hatched in a pub after an evening of draining pints, it was decided that the band would be told that Berry had stage managed for Yes. Jeffrey’s faith, however, was unwavering and was willing to put his own reputation on the line for Berry. They just had to convince manager Peter Mensch.
“When I got my start as AC/DC’s manager, I was told to hire Jake Berry as our production manager,” legendary rock manager Mensch recalls. “I count that as among the smartest decisions I have ever made. Culminating with a couple of Metallica tours, Jake did an amazing job. Clearly, now he is at the top of his game with U2.”
The promotion was a whirlwind experience for Berry. “The next thing you know I’m landing in Oakland, Calif., as production manager for the 1979 Highway to Hell tour,” Berry says. “We had two trucks, and I knew nothing. I was terrified, but there were a lot of great people on that tour who really helped me out.” The band grew to trust Jake, and his success landed him on AC/DC’s payroll permanently.
Jake Berry is currently working on "Walking With Dinosaurs" where he once quipped: “There were less egos but more luggage.”
Recently AC/DC were knocked into #2 position as top entertainment earners in Australia by the company who make the dinosaurs: Global Creatures, who earned $140m AUD in the year 2009-2010.
In addition, Pollstar revealed that the show was #3 in worldwide ticket sales as at the end of the third quarter in 2010 - AC/DC were ranked #1.
Jake Berry was also 2009 Parnelli Lifetime Achievement Award Winner.