MMF Honour Roll Recipient


On May 5th, 2015, Rob Lanni and Eric Lawrence received the Honour Roll Award from the Canada’s Music Managers Forum during Canadian Music Week. Below are congratulatory letters from their artists and industry professionals.

“Eric and Rob have been incredible managers over the years for us. From the days at Weston and Finch where we had to literally crawl around their desks just to get to our rehearsal and recording space, to the newest Coalition Music building that supports the arts in a powerful and vital manner, we are proud to know you both. You have been an important part of our careers as managers, and an even more important part of our lives as friends. Congratulations to you both.” Our Lady Peace

“Rob and Eric have given confidence and guidance in some of Finger Eleven’s most desperate situations. Whether it’s in the form of Rob’s over the top cheerleading speeches, or Eric’s penchant for putting business aside and having a heart to heart over a box of chocolates. Coalition Music is there for us and we would not be the band we are today without them. I can think of one actually serious situation that the band couldn’t have survived without Rob and Eric. There had been a dispute between the label and band that seemed more dire than usual. The label was upset at Coalition’s unwillingness to force the band to the label’s will. Rob and Eric maintained that it wasn’t their job as managers to do that. It was, in fact, to work with their artists and support their decisions, even if that happens to upset the powers that be. And that’s exactly what they did. Many years and countless boxes of chocolates later, we still have a strong relationship. They still support us and they still believe in us. Well, “believe” is a strong word, but you get the idea..” Finger Eleven

“We would like to congratulate Eric and Rob on receiving this great honor. It is well-deserved! We have had the privilege of working with Rob and Eric since we started our career, more than 16 years ago now. Right away, at our first meeting with them, we could tell they were devoted managers that truly cared about their clients. Eric knew all our names and what instruments we played even if we had never met him before. We were really impressed! A few minutes later, our opinion changed a little when we realized he had scribbled all of our names in the palm of his hand and kept looking at it every time he addressed one of us. Busted! Together, we went through a lot and dealt with the ups and downs of a band’s career, while still remaining loyal and respectful to each other. I can count on one hand the number of times we got into a serious disagreement or a fight. But I’ll never forget the first time it happened. Coalition Music had generously agreed to bring us to Toronto for a showcase at NXNE and to pay for one hotel room for the 5 of us. After we checked out of the hotel, I remember getting a call from Eric: He was livid, screaming: “What’s wrong with you guys?!” “Who the hell do you think you are?!”. He was going on and on and he was furious. I had no idea what we had done to make him so angry. Turns out he had just gotten a fax with the hotel bill and saw that we had rented a $9.99 pay-per-view movie and he was PISSED! I think we’re square now, right Eric? All joking aside, because of Eric, Rob, and their relentless hard work and efforts, we have been able to achieve so many of our childhood dreams. They are our team, they are our friends, they are family to us. It’s been a true pleasure working with them and their staff at Coalition Music for all these years. Eric, Rob – thank you for everything you have done for Simple Plan and congratulations on receiving this award. We couldn’t be happier for you.” Simple Plan

“Dear Rob and Eric, Congratulations on this achievement! It feels like just last week I first came to meet you two at your old offices in Richmond Hill. It’s hard to believe that was 9 years ago! I remember you two came out to a show I was doing at Holy Joe’s. At the end of the set you gave me a card and said something like, “We’re just two guys from Jane and Finch…Please come by our office, we’d love to chat”. It was at that time I was looking for a manager. I was meeting with a few different guys, and I think we sat down together two or three times and there was just something that felt right. A few things I appreciated and appreciate to this day: You believe it is important that the office has an open concept so everyone can see and feel each other-your work space has always felt warm and comfortable. You’ve established relationships and success on the international level, you guys never blow any smoke, and you respect an artists’ vision. You guys make a beautiful team. It’s been a true pleasure to work with you and your team. Thank you for all your help and passionate work. Congratulations!” Justin Nozuka

“I want to congratulate the both of you on your MMF Canada Honor Roll Award. It is a privilege to work with the both of you and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your love and support. You make a great team and I wish you another successful 20 years of partnership.” Andee

“When our conversations turn to Eric and Rob, the first and most immediate feeling is family. We have become warmly familiar with these two incredibly humbling gentlemen and their wives, and sons, and daughters, as well as many of the artists, teachers, and staff in the community they have fostered for the past 30 years. Like the great parents that they both are, Eric and Rob have a paternal understanding of artists that teach us the long forgotten virtues of patience and expectations while providing a shelter for our collective creativity. Whether it’s from Singapore to single four, “Perfect” to “Paralyzer” or the red carpet to Red Lobster, Eric and Rob have always made it feel like home. Congratulations and thank you for always being there for all of us in your family.” USS

“I had the pleasure of meeting Eric and Rob after my band INCURA won the platinum award in Vancouver’s Fox Seeds program. Most award winners receive a “consultation” with the two management guru’s, but knowing the amazing things these 2 have done for the music industry, I was determined to become a full time client. I heard Eric had an unhealthy obsession with the band Genesis, so I immediately sent my key board player’s entirely re-recorded version of the Genesis album “Lamb Lies Down on Broadway”. It was either the CD, or the incredible open door policy that these two hard working men have adopted, that got me in the office. With a track record of so much success, the fact that they’re still willing to help out any artist at any level, still to this day blows me away. The friendly smiles, love for good music and calm demeanor of Eric and Rob really made me comfortable with them as people and think everyone here would agree. In getting to know them better it was the drive, the focus on career, the willingness to give it their all and not be out worked that really set these two apart in the industry. That, and the fact I’m pretty sure they see each other more often then they see their wives. I’ll fast forward to these guys getting me signed to Century Media in Europe. Rob had arrived early in Germany to set up meetings with the label and get some boots on the ground. In a true band fashion, INCURA missed our flights from Amsterdam to Hamburg and were FORCED to spend a few nights in Amsterdam. When I called Rob to tell him the news he seemed pretty calm about it, even lending the advice to not spend any of our advance on “Amsterdam fun”. Now that I know Rob, I know he was thinking “What the hell have I gotten myself into”. Our guitar player had caught a different flight, and in true budgeting form, Rob decided to share a room with him for the first night. I get message while I’m “stuck” and completely sober in Amsterdam regarding the smell of my guitar player’s shoes. Rob explains he can’t breathe and has made the guitar player leave his shoes on the window sill. That was the last night Rob has ever shared a room with anyone. Funny enough that guitar player isn’t in the band anymore…coincidence? I’ll let you decide. All joking aside, Rob and Eric have brought me and many other artists projects to places around the world we never thought we’d see. They’ve elevated me to a place in music industry I’d only dreamt of. I’m glad I’ve put my career in there hands, though they’ve always taught me that my career is always in my OWN hands, and I’ll only get as far as how hard I’m willing to work. As long as I keep smelling my best, I think they’ll keep me around for a while. For all they’ve shown me and thousands of others, we honour them tonight. Rob and Eric, Thank you.” Kyle, of Incura

“Rob & Eric and Coalition Music were on my radar as a highly respected and coveted management team long before I had the honour of joining their roster. When I started doing more business in Toronto, I would hear talk about Rob and his partner Eric. Eric and his partner Rob. A dynamic duo who had been together since the 90’s. When I met them and got the tour of the beautiful Coalition Music building, I was charmed to see their desks so close together. I thought, wow, these guys have been partners for over 20 years and on top of that, they work together so closely. How romantic! I may have misunderstood the use of the word partner. I was a little surprised when I met their lovely wives! I really feel like a lucky guy to work with such a great pair of managers. Congratulations Rob and Eric! Here’s to another 20 years of your wonderful partnership!” Ben Caplan

“When we first started working with Rob and Eric (almost three years ago now), I remember walking into their office for the first time and noticing the impeccable decor. It looked like a scene from a 1930’s gangster movie. Right then, I knew these gentlemen had great taste and clearly meant business! And we knew needed to be a part of it. Rob and Eric have built a powerful team around them and an impressive roster of musicians – we are honoured to be a part of their growing family. Their dedication to music and nurturing young artists is empowering and inspiring. They’ve created a sanctuary for artists to discover, create, and grow; a place where they have tools readily available to build a solid foundation for their blossoming careers. They have been generous with their time, resources, and experience and we are forever grateful to have them in our lives – as friends and colleagues. Rob and Eric, we admire your hard work and all that you have accomplished to date. Thank you for always believing in us and for pushing us to be the best we can be. Congratulations on this great achievement!” The Balconies

“I would first off like to congratulate my two other fathers on their award! I don’t know any other managers that can handle the amount of calls, loud and abrasive comments, and emails that I personally throw out on a daily basis…in all honesty, they are two people that truly believe in the artist, and in turn make you believe in yourself more than you thought you could. I remember before I had started working with them, they had asked my bandmate if I was a “good person.” This is a testament to the fact that it’s not all about a quick money grab for them, but a lifelong career and relationship. That is what separates these men from the boys. Thank you for everything you’ve done and helped me with and congratulations!” Trophy Kid Diz

“Rob n’ Eric …it’s funny how in the music business it’s spoken like single name! Just Like Rock n’ Roll, Fish n’ Chips or Bagel n’ Lox …Rob n’ Eric it works. Two guys who share a passion for music, a unshakable belief in the artists they work with, and desire to give back to the business they’ve spent their so called “adult” working in…Just a few of the things that come to mind when I think of Rob n’ Eric. So I’ll just say a hearty, well deserved congratulations to my friends and partners Rob And Eric thanks for your guidance, and your inspiration…you personify what this award honours.” Steve Kane, President of Warner Music Canada

“Congratulations Rob and Eric on being inducted into MMF Honour Roll. Myself and all of your friends at the Feldman Agency are proud to be part of the Coalition Music family. I have worked with Rob and Eric for almost 30 years. We started our relationship with Arnold Lanni and Sherriff, leading to Frozen Ghost, where Eric was their tour manager. Then, things took off for my friends at Coalition, with Our Lady Peace, Finger Eleven, Simple Plan, and now with Andee and USS. An amazing roster, for two amazing people. Rob Lanni and Eric Lawrence do things the right way. Always doing what is right for their artists, never compromising, and making the hard decisions that are always in the best interest for their artists. I am honoured to have been part of your lives, from OLP selling out Maple Leaf Gardens, to Edgefest, touring and selling out stadiums across Canada, Simple Plan breaking worldwide, Finger Eleven having the number one track in the land with “Paralyzer”, to Andee, playing in front of 75,000 people with Bryan Adams at Festival D’Ete, and so many other fantastic accomplishments. I am sorry that I cannot be here tonight to share this special evening with you and your families, but I want to tell you both how proud I am of you both, and wish you continued success, health, and happiness. We look forward to many more fantastic years together.” Vinny Cinquemani and all at The Feldman Agency