Jeffrey Light ’83

Rockin’ Out

Winter 2009

By his own admission, Jeffrey Light ’83 is a “very mediocre guitarist,” a failed musician who turned his infatuation with rock ‘n’ roll into a 25-year career in entertainment law. So while he might not be able to jam with the Rolling Stones, the band does appear on his list of celebrity clients. That star-studded roster also includes Christina Aguilera, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the Eagles. Light is heavily involved in his clients’ work, and nearly all of them have visited his Santa Barbara ranch for dinner. “These people are family,” he says.

Light also dabbles in other aspects of the entertainment industry. He has served as the “music consigliere” to Electronic Arts, the world’s leading video game publisher, for the past 20 years and has been the outside attorney for 20th Century Fox for just as long. He also represents the inventors of Guitar Hero and Rock Band, two hugely successful video games that allow even the least talented musicians to feel like rock stars. 

Despite constant celebrity contact, Light can only recall being starstruck once, at a meeting with the Eagles. As Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh, and Timothy B. Schmit sat at a conference table in the exact order in which they always appear on stage, Light could not help but think to himself, “Wow, this is cool.” Joe Walsh was amazed for an entirely different reason. Apparently that was the first time the band had been in the same room together before noon since 1973.