How well did you know Ed Leffler?
That’s a question I’ve been asked a lot the past few days. The answer? Not well enough. That answer could b given by all who knew him.
Ed was one of those special people who always gave more than they took. Spending time with him was always fun…always exciting…but there was more. I always felt I learned something. Ed was so knowledgeable…so talented…so wise and kind…and most important, so willing to share all of his wisdom with those around him.
Ed Leffler was one of the good guys. In an entertainment world where the standard line is, “He’ll get back to you,” Ed always did…whether you were a record company president or the music director at a small radio station. Ed was always easy to reach. Not because he thought it was good business (it was), but because he truly cared.
If I had but one word to use to describe Ed Leffler, it would be passion. One only had to be backstage at a Van Halen concert when something went wrong to see this passion burst forth in a glorious harangue that would put Vince Lombardi’s best to shame. A consummate professional, Ed expected nothing less from those around him. And when expectations were not met, Ed was quick to remind those responsible…in truly poetic fashion…that they should get it right the next time. And they always did.
His passion for life and business made him one of the most ethical managers in history. If Ed said an ant could pull a bail of hay, you would hitch him up. His yes always meant yes…not maybe…not if it’s convenient…not if there was time…it was just, yes.
And Ed was one of the few who would tell you no. Many in his line of work try to appease…to put off…to keep you in limbo. If Ed didn’t think it was right or it wouldn’t work, he would tell you no, quickly. In a world where most try to curry favors, Ed gained more respect by saying no than the many others who would always say yes.
Special? Oh, Ed was special. You didn’t have to be one of his friends to know that. You only need to look at his roster of clients. Who else could have managed such diversified talents as the Osmonds and Van Halen? And represented each with dedicated fervor? Only Ed Leffler.
Ed Leffler’s epitaph reads: “I didn’t miss much.” It is the perfect description of his life and times. But his friends will miss him dearly.
How long did we know Ed Leffler? For all of us, the answer is the same.
Not long enough.