From the Commons to the mosh pit: Tory MP weds Metallica's manager
Saturday 04 June 2011
It is a romance as unlikely as the plot of a Louise Bagshawe novel.
The "chick lit" author-turned-Conservative MP has tied the knot with Peter Mensch, a hard-rocking, heavy metal impresario who has guided the careers of Metallica and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Ms Bagshawe, 39, confirmed that she and Mr Mensch, 58, had married at a private ceremony in his native Manhattan, during the parliamentary recess. The nuptials came as little surprise to the MP's colleagues, who are used to seeing her wear T-shirts emblazoned with the Metallica logo in the Commons.
Ms Bagshawe, who has sold two million books with titles including Career Girls, Glitz and Passion, first met Mr Mensch in Oxford when she worked in the music industry and became friendly with Joe Elliott, the Def Leppard singer. Mr Mensch is co-founder of the Q Prime artist management company, which formed an alliance with Metallica in 1984 and turned the thrash-metal band into one of the world's biggest-grossing live groups.
Q Prime's roster includes the British rockers Muse, Snow Patrol and Foals, while Mr Mensch, named in a list of music's 100 most influential figures, also looks after Jimmy Page, the former Led Zeppelin guitarist.
Mr Bagshawe, who joined the Tories aged 14 and became president of Oxford University's rock society, was elected MP for Corby & East Northants last May. Weeks after her election, she tweeted a picture of her privileged view from the mixing desk at the Camden Roundhouse, where she was watching cult US band The Black Keys with Mr Mensch. She was also spotted in a Soho basement bar with her future husband and Snow Patrol singer Gary Lightbody at the screening of an England World Cup game.
Ms Bagshawe is seen as a rising star of the 2010 Conservative intake. A member of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, she has recently called for Fifa to clean up its act and launched an attack on male celebrities who use super-injunctions to cover up their affairs. The BBC had to censor a joke she made about super-injunctions on Have I Got News For You.
Although Mr Mensch is not from the intimidatory school of rock managers, he can raise his voice, according to Courtney Love, one of his former clients.
The singer wrote Mr Mensch a letter apologising for her erratic behaviour and asked him to listen to her new songs, and later recalled: "Peter immediately called me up and screamed at me for two hours. He blamed me for the downfall of Def Leppard, the downfall of Tesla [the US heavy rock band] and for not winning an Oscar. It was a valuable lesson."
Ms Bagshawe was previously married to a property speculator and is said to have kept the New York ceremony "secret" from her three children, aged three, six and seven. Mr Mensch, who has teenage children, recently sold a 4,750 sq ft house in Greenwich Village for $7.25m (£4.4m).
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