Ed Bicknell was on the Hull University entertainments committee, arranging bands for the students, when he first got a taste for the music industry. Moving to London, he worked as a drummer for Jess Conrad and then as a booker for John Sherry Artists, finding work for a number of prog-rock/college bands - including Wishbone Ash - and frequenting showcase venues such as The Speakeasy Club.
Towards the end of 1977 Ed was working at the NEMS agency when he got a call from Phonogram A&R man John Stainze who had just signed a new band, Dire Straits, to the Vertigo label. Ed got the job as their manager, and continued to manage Mark Knopfler as a solo performer for several years after the dissolution of Dire Straits in 1995.
Bicknell left the London office of William Morris Agency as "Head of International Music" in February 2008, after working there for a year. In recent years, he has often appeared on radio and television to discuss music industry issues and to discuss his beachfront home in Barbados.
He played drums in The Notting Hillbillies formed 1990 by Mark Knopfler. They recorded one album, Missing...Presumed Having a Good Time. He started life as a musician playing drums in a Tadcaster band called 'Odin's Veld'.