Brian’s theatre career began when he took the role of assistant stage manager at Perth Repertory Theatre in 1959: this led him to take on several other roles in theatre, before joining, in 1965, the National Youth Theatre. In 1968 he was invited by Michael Kustow to join the Institute of Contemporary Arts as technical director and helped launch its new London premises on The Mall.
Whilst at the ICA, he took three months off to join Chip Monk’s lighting crew on the Rolling Stones tour of Europe. In 1970, the Stones were keen to source a lighting desk and dimmers, so Brian approached Electrosonic: it was an enquiry that led to the prototype of the Rockboard. Several switches between his theatre and touring hats later, he formed ESP Lighting, together with John Brown. In the years that followed, the company provided lighting services to a host of emerging artists, including The Who, David Bowie, Elton John, Queen, Deep Purple, the Moody Blues, Abba and Joni Mitchell. In 1977, Brian sold ESP to Rikki Farr’s Electrosound, which had also acquired Tom Fields Associates of Boston, creating an international group – TFA Electrosound – of which Brian became MD. The client roster expanded to include Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Chicago, The Beach Boys, Rod Stewart, Ian Dury, The Pretenders and Madness.
In 1982, the TFA group broke up and the London operation was acquired by Theatre Projects, with Brian subsequently becoming administration director of the newly-formed Theatre Projects Services. In 1984 TPS was acquired by Samuelsons and Brian was appointed head of Samuelson Concert Productions. Bruce Springsteen, Bob Marley and Tina Turner all joined the client roster, and in 1985 Brian was one of four stage managers working on Live Aid at Wembley.
In 1989, all the lighting entities within Samuelsons were combined together at Greenford with Brian overseeing operations as general manager. When Vari-Lite Inc bought the lighting divisions of the company in 1994, he became managing director of Vari-Lite Europe. In 1999, having successfully survived a heart operation and cancer, he moved to the role of chairman of the company we now know as VLPS.
Retired in 2003