Dan Steinberg | Emporium Presents
Luke Pierce | Works Entertainment
Scott Perry | Author “Snapchat 101”
Wayne Forte | Entourage Talent Associates
Charlie Levy | Stateside Presents
Emporium Presents’ Dan Steinberg and Works Entertainment’s Luke Pierce brought their bleary-eyed best to their #Promoter101 live podcast bright and early Jan. 30, hours after shutting down Steinberg’s “Let’s Drink 5” bash at the Exchange in downtown Los Angeles.
The pair was no worse for the wear, though, powering through the concert industry news of the day before bringing out guests Scott Perry, author of “Snapchat 101: Everything You Need To Know To Get Started On Snapchat;” Wayne Forte, owner/founder of Entourage Talent Associates; and Charlie Levy, founder of Stateside Presents.
Steinberg broke down the genesis of his popular podcast to its roots on Facebook and inspiration from the hilarious Tumblr blog “Agent vs. Promoter” before introducing Perry, who discussed Snapchat’s potential IPO and Facebook emulating its best, or at least newest, features like the Snapchat video glasses he was wearing.
“Facebook and Instagram are taking everything that is cool about Snapchat. And Snapchat is going public,” Perry said, two days before the company announced its filing.
He added that while Snapchat has an estimated $25 billion valuation, it’s not growing its user base. His stock recommendation? “Avoid the hype, and let the dust settle” before buying.
Perry was provocative, with comments about Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg running for public office (“Why would anyone set themselves up like that?”) and what’s going on with Pandora and Ticketfly (“You tell me!”).
Forte regaled the room with tales of his early career and founding of Entourage after starting his career fresh out of college with Creative Management Associates, its merger with International Famous Artists into International Creative Management and his eventual move to William Morris.
He was crossing the Atlantic Ocean to check out UK artists, running three offices and making plenty of money but losing sight
of things that matter.
“I woke up one day and, this is how it affects your life, I got divorced,” Forte said. “Running three offices, chasing investment and clients, going back and forth to London; I decided to resign and just be an agent. About eight weeks later, I was able to negotiate my way out and took six clients: The Cure, Satriani, Tragically Hip and a few others. And I had more time for my personal life.” And Entourage was born.
Forte told about pursuing The Clash. “The only time I feared for my life was The Clash in London.
In those days, agents couldn’t figure out what I saw in them. I chased them for two years. There were fistfights everywhere.”
Steinberg reminded him he represents “the best live band on the road,” Tedeschi Trucks Band.
“I’ve represented Derek Trucks for years,” Forte said of winning over the South. “Nobody would book our acts in the Carolinas. We’d go to (University of North Carolina) Chapel Hill and get the small theatre. I’d book Joe Jackson. ‘I think he’ll sell.’ So they put the building on hold, I had them tell me what the costs are and said I’ll bankroll it. He sold out. I gave them Psychedelic Furs. Sold out. Then everybody moved into the Carolinas. One of the attorneys from that time became Derek Trucks’ attorney. Derek turned 18, and I’ve had him ever since.”
Forte explained how he was able to maintain an identity for Derek Trucks separate from the Allman Brothers Band, given his uncle was the late ABB drummer Butch Trucks.
“We had a clause that in advertising there was to be no reference to the Allman Brothers or how Derek was related. He had to be his own person.
“Then he got married [to Susan Tedeschi]. I saw Susan show up at a show and sit in. I saw magic on stage. I thought, ‘something’s happening.’ I knew we had to put them together. They had different agents and different record labels. Eventually, we put Derek Trucks Band and Susan Tedeschi Band together and pushed it.
“It was good, not great. But we decided to try and gave it three to seven years to get off the ground. We built it from the ground up; flying musicians in, doing sessions, until they chose a band. It was built up around [Joe Cocker’s] Mad Dogs and Englishmen and Delaney & Bonnie and Friends. There were 12 people on stage, 22 people traveling and people sitting in all the time.”
Charlie Levy of Stateside Presents worked for Danny Zelisko and Evening Star Productions and was a talent buyer for three years before deciding to go it alone.
“My first show was as a runner for Paul McCartney,” Levy said. “I thought I was the hottest shit.”
He says his philosophy differs from bigger kids on the concert promotion block.
“I’ve always been a fan of these little Italian restaurants that are small and perfect,” Levy said. “The bigger the show is, they are going to have everything on the catering rider.”
The live podcast ended with a contest in which the panelists could either answer a question or take a shot of Patron tequila,
with tour manager extraordinaire Jim Runge serving as bartender. With questions to the group about poaching, being poached or dealing with managers, a little hair of the dog was probably a welcome start to the day.
– Deborah Speer