Gary Monroe has a prolific history in the music business. Dating back to late 1973 and early 1974, Gary began a long established career in music management starting with the stars of the 1970’s number one hit show, “Happy Days”. Working with performers of the likes of Anson Williams, Henry Winkler, Donny Most and Ron Howard, Monroe quickly built a name for himself in the entertainment industry as the person to turn to if you wanted to get your foot in the door of the TV industry. His relation with Garry Marshall, Tom Bolsey and Burt Reynolds (producer) gave him all the tools required to understand what it took to make it big and going through the correct doors right from the get-go.
His first attempt at producing was Cyndi Grecco’s theme song of Laverne and Shirley, “We’re Going to Make It”. His one year stint with Cyndi and there travel to Nashville to promote her new album proved to be a mild success, nevertheless, it opened a new relationship with the producers in Nashville which later came in handy when he worked with the Allman Brothers Band and Willie Nelson’s crew in the early 80’s. He followed on with songwriter and performer Billy Courtright, whose’ songs ended up with Barbara Streisand, Stevie Nicks and a host of A list talent all hand delivered by Monroe and his personal relationships with the super star performers.
Monroe worked closely with Danny Federici, who started the E Street Band along with his friend Bruce Springsteen, and promoted part of their tour. Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers Band and Hoyt Axton got a big push because of Monroe and his connections with the country rock producers in Nashville.
His two plus years on Happy Days left Monroe looking for more and more in the area of music rather than TV actors and production. Starting American Music and Entertainment, which he later grew into a million dollar music giant (American Music Awards) Monroe reached out to a friend whose company was managing and acting as publicist for Fleetwood Mac. Monroe says that he got on the real fast track when it came to touring while working with John Courage, tour manager extraordinaire. It was a lesson that gave him legs and allowed him to be a hands-on manager and not just a great negotiator and leader for the kids in the bands. Monroe has said that his stint with Metal Blade, later Chrysalis Records Titled Band Armored Saint, who was young and not even performing then, but being set-up as the next huge heavy metal band, gave him a totally new vision on how to pre-promote some talented youth and sell them as a large marge band before they ever even took off their training wheels.
Being thrown into the Mac Tusk Pre-Production for over 18 months, Monroe got all the education he needed. By then being touted as the man to know and use in the heavy metal genre by his negotiating skills and strong management techniques as well as his connections with the friends he create in the secret service. (Monroe later started a security and transportation company for high visibility entertainers mostly rock bands call Cecret Cervice) Thus, all of the routes in and out of the stadiums were planned by ex-Service friends. This was the next level for Monroe, although he ended up walking away from that tour to seek out “new crazy hot bands”, as he called them.
The following years with American Music and Entertainment, from 1977 to 1990, Monroe produced dozens of Stadium sized concerts and managed marquee named bands, working with the likes of Guns N’ Roses, Steve Jones and Armed Forces. Monroe was involved in moving Johnny Bush from Armored Saint to Anthrax and in 1981. He helped Dave Mustaine join Metallica. He raised the banner for John Bon Jovi, LA Gunns, and Layne Staley, and Social Distortion. By 1990, Monroe sold AME (American Music and Entertainment) for a tall 7 figures to a division of Universal Music.
In 1991, Monroe disappeared and was said to go into rehab. He was later found on the board of the Grammys Music Cares with Mike Green and Sally Thompson along with the Musicians Assistance Program, MAP, with Buddy Arnold producing Sober Stadium sized events for them for the next 5 years.
The last time Monroe popped up was in the late 1990’s where he was seen on a VHI special and now working with the City of Los Angeles and Mayor Richard Reardon producing events for at risk youth in the city. In early 2000, Monroe left the industry completely. His longtime friend and Sony International record giant, Roger Hampton, told some friends that he was in contact with Monroe and that he had retired from the business and just had a little record label (with Sony Distribution, of course) Called MERG Music. MERG stood for Monroe Entertainment Records Group. Monroe kept Monroe Entertainment Group going through the early 2000’s working with some small bands and did have some success with the band he started, Guilt By Association, when they won second place in the Battle for OzzFest.
Rumor has it Monroe has retired and is living somewhere down in the Pacific Rim. All his friends said he always followed the Sun God Helios and would for sure end up on an island somewhere in the South Pacific.