I was born June 5th 1954 in Southern California. I was the youngest of 3 children. I have an older brother and older sister that have been living in Seattle since the 70’s. My mother was born and raised in Sicily and later moved to Rome where she met my American father. I lived a very happy childhood growing up in a middle class family. I remember first seeing The Beatles on Ed Sullivan and that is when I knew I wanted to be in the music industry. I started playing guitar at age 12 and worked very hard to learn anything I could . Learning guitar back then was harder than it is now as we didn’t have videos to watch and only had as few friends that was learning too.. I learned chords and played along with records.. I played every day for many years and got pretty good but unfortunately I realized that when I was in my late teens and my talent was limited. I didn’t sing or make any of my own music. I was just a good copycat. At around the age of 20 I decided to focus on the production side of entertainment. I had determination, motivation and the energy to pursue a career in entertainment.
Around 1977 I decided to move to Seattle where my sister and brother lived and still do. I visited Seattle before and really love the place. It was so different than Southern California. It was nice and green and water everywhere. I went to see a concert at The Aquarius Tavern, a venue that held 1200 people that featured both headliners and cover bands. I loved the place, it was a perfect roomy club with pool tables, foosball tables ,pin ball machines and live entertainment. I saw that they were hiring and got hired where I became a basic stage hand and worked my way up. What a great experience and I ended up working two years there and had an apartment overlooking the city of Seattle. I also had a part time job teaching guitar in one of the local music stores. Life was good.
The Canadian Years
At the two year mark of me working for The Aquarius I was approached by two brothers, one was a Jimi Hendrix tribute artist and the other was his brother. I knew who they were because they hung out at the club and there was strong rumors that Jimi Hendrix’s dad financially back their band. They asked me if I was interested in touring western Canada for a couple of years as their production manager. I really didn’t want to quit my job and wonderful life style I had built in Seattle but really wanted to meet Al Hendrix (Jimi Hendrix father) so I said yes. I got to meet Jimi’s father and off I went. Being in Canada was very different for me being from sunny Southern California and now being in another country with a whole different look. Setting up a cover/tribute band in the clubs in Canada was very difficult. Small stages with no sound and lights. We had to bring everything in a large truck and the band traveled in a motor home. The drives were long and the work was hard but yet I was getting a lot of experience setting up under pressure. I was also young, full of energy and in a great mood working in the entertainment business on the road..After a couple of years everyone got tired and wanted to head back home to Seattle. I decided to move back to California
The Huntington Beach Years
Moving to Huntington Beach was a major boost in my career and a lot of fun. I got an apartment one and a half blocks from the beach and my neighbors in my apartment complex were friends I had in high school and made new friends. I went to the beach everyday and had bar-b-ques. Life was a blast. I also was at the right place at the right time because there was a famous club across the Huntington Beach pier that was a small club that booked famous bands. Working at The Golden Bear (see The Golden Bear page to see how I got hired) was one of my biggest experiences working with famous artist directly and it was at that time it was the start of me booking bands as a promoter. The owner let me have the dark night to book local bands. The first band I ever booked and promoted was Poison. Poison didn’t have a record deal at the time and was playing as a local band. I paid the band $1,000 and sold 300-$10 tickets with a profit of $2,000. Not bad for 1985 for my first show I ever promoted. I ended up booking and promoted 10 more local shows over the next couple of months and all the shows were full and made money. The owner was amazed because he told me he had booked a lot of local bands and never did as well as I did. The legendary club ended up closing down as they lost their lease.The land owner wanted his valuable land back. He had big offers from commercial developers. More about my employment at The Golden Bear
In 1985 The Golden Bear in Huntington Beach closed down and now ended my new successful venture in promoting bands and concerts. I started booking more shows at The Roxy in West Hollywood. It was a great club at the few shows i did had good attendance but it was hard to make a profit with the high expense of 4 walling the venue. Mean time the owners and managers got to know me and liked my shows. They informed me after nearly 5 years of closure that the West Hollywood city cancel has granted them a licence to reopen The Whisky AGoGo. I never knew the same people owned The Whisky AGoGo. The building on the outside was completely stripped of it’s famous look and it was plain and grey. It looked like a former band building. When they let me inside it too was completely stripped, no stage, sound, lights, just an empty space.I couldn’t believe I was in one of the most famous clubs in the world and it was completely stripped out. The owners new that I had a big production experience and told me they would empty me to work there on the production staff and to help the install of the stage, sound and lights. In another words get the club back to operating so they can reopen. They also told me they were going to rent (4 wall) the nights out to individual promoters like they did The Roxy and they would give me first dibs on the nights I wanted to promote. Because i was still living an hour away they told me I can sleep on the top floor until I found an apartment. Living on the top floor was rough because there was no bedroom or furniture. I slept in a sleeping bag but what a view of the Sunset Strip. My living was uncomfortable but my motivation and this opportunity was huge and exciting. The next couple of years I ended booking bands that were on a club level that ended up with huge record deals and got famous.Little did I know that many of these shows turned out to be memorable shows. I have been given gold and platinum records for my participation for working with many of these bands at a ground level early in their careers.. Some of the bands that has achieved success is Gun N Roses, L.A. Guns, Faster Pussycat, Jane’s Addiction, Love Hate.…Because i was also on the production staff I also worked on other promoter shows and events. Film shoots, MTV videos, headline shows. During this period I promoted over 100 shows at The Roxy and The Whisky A Go Go.
Back to Huntington Beach
After spending a couple of years in West Hollywood, I was getting kind of popular as a music promoter. Although in reality I never made much money because after expenses there wasn’t much left. I was getting offers from club owners to come book their club. I got an offer from a club in Huntington Beach called Nightmoves. It was at my old stomping grounds in Huntington Beach and the owner said I will have major control of the entertainment. My wage was whatever the door made. Of course I still have to pay the bands and get to keep whats leftover. I thought it was a good deal at the time because I didn’t have all the expense I had as a 4 wall promoter. The club used to be a top 40 club but died out so that is why they contacted me because they knew I booked original bands. The Orange County punk movement was going strong and although I booked mainstream hard rock bands I decided to go with the flow. It was a small club that held 300 people and located in a shopping center. I ended up booking some great bands such as Social Distortion, Red Hot Chili Peppers, TSOL, Vandals, Lords of the New Church, Steve Jones (Sex Pistols) and many more. If you knew the punk scene you would recognize these names. Of course Red Hot Chili Peppers and Social Distortion when on to get big. It was a fun and memorial time but I ended up not making any money. I was there for about two years and for the next year I did various freelance promoting, one was back in Hollywood to manage a giant building with 4 floors of showrooms. It was then called Hollywood Live. The main show room was awesome and is now the home where they film Jimmy Kimmel. The building was sold and I moved on to San Pedro where I started booking The Waters Club. The club was giant and in an area that was hard to draw. The owner wanted me to book pay to play bands but never liked that method. I did a few headliners and struggled a bit. I worked a little with GoldenVoice Promotions now owned by AEG and that was ok but was random as there was a shift in ownership and direction.
In the summer in 1991 I moved to Las Vegas. I knew a few people working in the entertainment industry who I worked with in California. I started working as a freelance production tech. I also worked a few non entertainment casino jobs during the early 90’s. I was working hard and quickly started getting situated and stable.In 1999 I was hired by The Venetian as a technical engineer assigned to the entertainment department. I setup audio visual for events and mixed sound for the shows. During nearly my 9 year stay I had picked up several awards for customer services and team member awards. Soon after I started working at The Venetian I started my own entertainment agency. The Venetian legal department gave me the ok to moonlight with my own entertainment agency as long as it didn’t conflict with my career with The Venetian and din’t violate and terms of my employment. Now I had two big jobs and worked a lot of hours. The agency started out slow like most businesses do but with my hard work it started doing business. Now I had two incomes and was getting financial more stable. I was good at being a talent agent because my back ground experience. Working in all fields in live entertainment gave me the qualification and edge over other talent agents that didn’t have as much experience that I had. I also had a good eye and ear for top talent. 2007 a gentlemen approached me to buy my talent agency. I never posted for sell but met with him and made a deal. It was a good deal for both of us and I stayed on as a senior agent and general manager because I din’t want to stop my career in the entertainment booking business. The Venetian was great and paid well with good benefits but was working on the technical side. I resigned my position with The Venetian and started full time for the talent agency I originally founded and now general manager. The new owner spent money on taking the agency to the next level and we both work hard and we are very busy.I am proud to say that Las Vegas Talent Inc. is now a multi-million dollar a year business