For over 35 years, Bates has worked in the field of music. During this exciting period in his life, Rick Bates formed Rick Bates Management (1993) and successfully handled the careers of famous musicians including Blues greats John Lee Hooker, Ike Turner, and Joe Louis Walker.
Prior to forming his own company, Rick Bates attended San Jose University to obtain a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Marketing. While there, Bates founded the Metro Fountain Blues Festival, now in its 33rd year. He also headed the concert committee for the Associated Student Program Board promoting numerous concerts on campus.
After graduating, Bates briefly handled regional publicity for the Walt Disney Company in Northern California. Afterwards he started a fascinating career as a booking agent at the Rosebud Agency. During this period of his life, Rick Bates coordinated national tours for musicians such as The Neville Brothers, Willie Dixon, John Lee Hooker, Robert Cray, and Mose Allison. And these are just a few!
After the Rosebud Agency, Bates became a principal at Linda Clark & Associates. There he was a partner in the management of Los Lobos, Husker Due, Violent Femmes, and Bob Mould.
Today, Rick Bates and his wife, Nancy Meyer, are co-owners of Bates Meyer Inc. The Bates Meyer Inc. is a music management company that has become a multi-dimensional service related operation.
Not only does his company feature an impressive roster of artist management clients, it also represents the intellectual property rights of several estates including Ted Hawkins, Lonnie Johnson, Jimmy Witherspoon, and T-Bone Walker. Through the Bates Meyer Inc., Bates and his co-founder work hard to ensure that the heirs of these musicians still benefit from the creative works of their historic relatives.
At Bates Meyer Inc., Bates developed a keen understanding of licensing and music research and enjoys focusing on international touring, new recording projects and music publishing. The deep research involved in verifying and contacting legal heirs for producers, publishers, and labels, as well as song/artist identifications has allowed Rick Bates to access massive amounts of recorded material and lead the way for his company to expand into general consulting.
Both he and his wife confidently offer expert advice in the area of music publishing. Bates describes himself as an avid music fan. “We are music fans,” he explains speaking of himself and his wife, “We enjoy the challenge of uncovering the facts surrounding a particular song or recording, no matter when it was created. We have the blues, and that’s a good thing.”
Together they operate the Open Sky Music Festival and the Open Sky Music Foundation Inc. under which they bring grass roots music to the area, along with free educational events for area public schools.
Since Oct. 24, 2007, Rick Bates has served as the director of the Events Resource Office of Big Bear Valley. As the director, Bates is responsible for developing and overseeing all major events in Big Bear. This position also calls upon him to act as a liaison with event promoters for concerts, athletic competitions, fundraisers, and other events.
During his time here, Bates has already overseen events such as the AMGEN Tour of California, Blues for the Zoo, the Big Bear Gran Fondo, the Big Bear Summer Artwalk, Tour de Big Bear, and The Big Bear PaddleFest, and is one of the founders of the Open Air Big Bear outdoor sporting events coalition.
Bates was personally chosen by the AMGEN Tour this year on behalf of the Breakaway from Cancer initiative. No stranger to hardship, Bates was diagnosed with throat cancer 9 years ago. With the support of his wife, he made it through the grueling months of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.
His dreams and vision include bringing more music events to the area and involving the entire community. In particular, Bates loves events that showcase the outdoors, and the splendor of Big Bear lake. It is in his plans to combine events so that they can provide multiple opportunities for both visitors and residents of the area.
As the director, Bates is responsible for developing and overseeing all major events in Big Bear. Bates also serves as Music Director for Big Bear’s KBHR 93.3 FM radio station, and has been the DJ and host of Friday Night Blues on The Bear since 2008.