Friday, November 30, 2012

The Booking Agent Who Changed the Business

Frank Barsalona was probably the first "rock" booking agent.  He founded Premier Talent in the 1960's.  He believed in the longevity of touring rock bands.  Many of the band he booked are still working today.  The first acts he signed to Premier were the Who, Herman's Hermits and Mitch Ryder. 

Billboard's look back at his life is a testament to how influential he was.  Agents, managers and promoters can't say enough good things about him. He is the only agent in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

Last paragraph of the article:

Barsalona's kind probably won't come along again, (Danny) Zelisko and several others who worked with Barsalona believe, though Zelisko says he wouldn't completely rule it out. "They said there wouldn't be anything like Elvis either, and along came the Beatles," he says. "And you know who booked them."

Frank passed away on Thanksgiving.   He changed the music business.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Love The Dickey

Congratulations to R. A. Dickey who won the Cy Young award.
He was such a bright spot this season for Mets fans.
Here are his performance stats:
  • 20-6 
  • 2.73 earned run average
Lead the league in
  • Innings pitched 233 2/3
  • Strikeouts 230
  • Complete games 5
  • Shutouts 3

To complete 5 games in a season is a feat for current pitchers.  Of all the records, I think complete games will stand with the record holder, Cy Young himself at 749 games.  The list barely includes any recent players and by recent I mean those that pitched 30 or 40 years ago. The Mets won 74 games this year, so for Dickey to be responsible for 20 of those wins, is a big deal.  Dickey is 38 and his pitch is the knuckleball.  He is the first knuckleballer to win the award.

The humble R.A. said to MLB, "But for me, this is an honor to be shared. It's a great honor, and I am not a self-made man by any stretch of the imagination. There have been countless people who have poured into me in a way that has changed my life -- not only on the field, but off."

Note:  R.A. stands for Robert Allen. I'd like to think it stands for Really Amazin'

Friday, November 09, 2012

Great Memories of a Gas Shortage

We're back to gas rationing in NYC and Long Island today.  This leads to my second post this week involving Ian Hunter.   In the summer of 1979 before I went to college, there was odd/even gas rationing.  My friend Annemarie and I would take her parents car, the boom box (which ran on batteries) and wait in line at the gas station in East Rockaway to fill up their tank. 

That spring Ian Hunter released You're Never Alone With A Schizophrenic.  We loved that record! Still do. We'd wait in line for an hour or so to get gas, boom box blasting (I don't believe there was a cassette player in her parents car) and sing along to Just Another Night, Cleveland Rocks and Wild East.  It's nice to look back on a time of crisis with such fond memories.  Just proves what's been said a million times, good music can get you through any situation. 

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Civil Wars Lead To Internal Discord

The duo The Civil Wars have either called it quits or are regrouping.  Just as their career is taking off they cancel their upcoming tour, citing on their facebook page:

However, due to internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition we are unable to continue as a touring entity at this time.

There are a few tidbits which make this interesting.

1.  They cite irreconcilable differences of ambition, not musical differences which is usually the response when someone in the band wants a solo career.

2.  They are both married, but not to each other.  According to the Huffington Post, Joy Williams is married to the band's manager Nate Yetton and they have a baby. 

3.  If I was their booking agent (it makes sense that it's Frank Riley), I'd be pulling my hair out.  It's so hard to find acts that can have a long career these days.  The Civil Wars looked like they were on the long road.

4. They realize fans might be taking a hit on ticket fees, travel costs, etc so they offer this not-exactly-a-guarantee, but a hopefully we can get you that money back offering:
Please email us at if there are costs incurred that you would like to be reimbursed for... and we will do our best to reimburse you for non-refundable charges.

5.  The cryptic ending to the post:
Our sincere hope is to have new music for you in 2013. 
 Does this mean they have music lying around that no one has heard, therefore it could come out as new music or are they ok in the studio just not on the road or do they think like the North and the South they will fight it out and whoever is victorious will see their ambition realized for the band?  I guess we'll have to wait till next year.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Fight For Your Right To Party

I just voted, which is sort of like fighting for the right to party.  The electoral college seems like an archaic way to elect a president, but those of us in NY are spared the constant onslaught of political ads that my friends in Florida are not.  I admire those who are voting in the makeshift tent booths that are set up in no mans land areas hardest hit by the storm.  A lot of the tents are without heat and they have to wait online in the cold. I was lucky, I waited inside a school.

I'll leave you with some inspiring music from Ian Hunter and the Rant Band: When I'm President.
Although Ian has lived in NY for years, he was born across the ocean, making him ineligible to hold the title.  

Cross my heart
Hope to die
When I'm President
Pigs are gonna fly

With a statement like that, don't you wish you could vote for him?