LONDON — Jake Riviera, controlling co-director of Stiff Records and influential in boosting the indie to prominence here this year, has resigned.
Though details of the split are sketchy, it appears that he will take over sole management of label artists Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe.
It also seems that Stiff partner Dave Robinson will take over full control of the record company, plus personal management or Clover, the Damned and Graham Parker, this move to be followed by a staff re-shuffle.
Stiff general manager Paul Conroy says: "This was essentially Jake Riviera's decision and the whole change-round has been amicable."
And Riviera says: "Ever since hearing 'Anarchy In the U.K.' by Johnny Rotten and his Sex Pistols, I have come to realize that the only validity in life is to build to destroy."
Riviera was originally a tour and personal manager, using his "real" name, Andrew Jakeman. He formed Stiff in partnership with former Brinsley Schwarz manager Robinson last August with the financial help of Lee Brilleaux, of Dr. Feelgood, and Keith Morris, a top rock photographer. The label's first single was "So It Goes," by Nick Lowe.
Then came "New Rose by the Damned, which made the top 50 and was the first new wave single by an independent label to gain chart status.