Is Robert Stigwood A Real Person? 'The Get Down' Pays Tribute To An Influential Force In Music & Movies
In Part 2 of The Get Down, Mylene is in the running to be the lead of the disco movie musical, Gone With The Solar Wind. Producer Robert Stigwood (Jamie Jackson) is considering her for the role, in part because record executive Roy Asheton is so angry with his ex, superstar Misty Holloway. Stigwood is definitely a power player in the music and movie business on the show. And while many of the characters that populate the world of the The Get Down were invented for the series, mega-producer Robert Stigwood was a real person, and chances are good that he produced one of your favorite movies or musicals.
According to Rolling Stone, the real Robert Stigwood passed away at the age of 81 in 2016 — the same year that The Get Down premiered. The music mogul managed rock and pop legends like Cream and the Bee Gees and was the booking agent for The Who. From music, he moved into film and theater, championing projects that are still widely seen and performed today.
The Get Down's version of Stigwood isn't fleshed out much personally, though he does appear to recognize and support Mylene's specific talent. The real producer was mourned publicly by collaborators like Barry Gibb, who tweeted after his death that Stigwood had been "a member of our family." What the fictional version of the producer seems to share with his namesake is an impact on popular culture. These projects are proof that the real Robert Stigwood was a very big deal in entertainment.
You've heard of Grease. Your neighbor has heard of it. Your parents probably loved it. Everyone knows Grease, the musical that introduced the world to the concept of "The Hand Jive" and propelled John Travolta to movie stardom. A later Stigwood production would further elevate Travolta's rising star. If he could do the same thing for Mylene on The Get Down, she'd be set for life.
Jesus Christ Superstar
When Stigwood wasn't working in films, he was producing some of the most influential pieces of musical theater to ever hit the Broadway stage. Jesus Christ Superstar was a defining cultural touchstone of the '70s and one of the earliest successes for composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. (He also produced the film adaptation.) Stigwood's knack for choosing shows with a long shelf life prove that he had a keen eye for what will appeal to a broad audience.
Saturday Night Fever
The Get Down is about the early days of hip hop and the dying days of disco. The Stigwood-produced Saturday Night Fever is a standing testament to the power that disco had at its peak. It not only earned Travolta an Oscar nomination, but introduces a huge movie audience to the glamorous and gritty New York City disco scene.
Robert Stigwood may not be a household name, but The Get Down pays tribute to a legacy that reaches far and wide