A true friend
March 21, 2002
In reference to Barney Wyckoff’s letter published March 19:
Everybody is entitled to their opinions and perspectives, and I would like to share mine regarding the relationship between John Denver and Hal Thau.
I met John in 1966. The day before John and I were married on June 9, 1967, I was introduced to Hal, John’s business manager, and Hal’s wife, Dorothy.
From the beginning until the end, John had two major business relationships: Milt Okun, his longtime music publisher, and Hal Thau. Hal was never John’s accountant; outside accounting firms handled accounting.
Hal was John’s business manager. From the moment John met Hal in the mid-’60s, Hal became a constant source of guidance and friendship, playing many roles over the course of John’s life. When we had no money, Hal was the source of financial loans and emotional support.
Hal always kept a steadfast and profound belief in John’s talent. It was Hal who introduced John to Jerry Weintraub, who was the catalyst for John’s rise to fame and great success in the ’70s.
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When that relationship dissolved, John went through a series of managers, agents and production personnel … but the constant in his life was always Hal. He was there at the beginning, the middle and, most importantly, the end.
Hal supported John not only in his success, but also in his darkest and most difficult times. Over the course of a 30-year relationship, I have known Hal to be a kind person, an astute businessman and a generous contributor to organizations in this community.
But, most of all, Hal Thau is my friend. Hal never lost faith in John, even when John was losing faith in himself; and, to me, that’s the truest definition of a friend.