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April 4, 2024 128 mins

Charlie Brusco discovered the Outlaws, got them signed to Arista and steered their successful career. After resuming an earlier stint as a concert promoter, Charlie then worked with Gary Rossington and ultimately reformed Lynyrd Skynyrd and then Charlie did the same with Tommy Shaw and Styx. Today Charlie continues to manage Styx and Dave Mason and more!

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:08):
Welcome, Welcome, Welcome back to the Bob Leftsnets podcast. My
guest today is manager Charlie Brusco. Charlie, tell me what
acts you presently manage.

Speaker 2 (00:20):
I managed Styx, I managed Collective Soul. I managed the
Outlaws in Blackhawk. I managed the Marshall Tucker Band. I
managed Don Felder, I managed Tim Montana. I managed Edwin McCain.
I now manage Dave Mason. I managed Nancy Wilson from
Heart and and her and her Heart situation, her heart

band and I manage UH Poison and and UH and
Brett Michaels I managed, I managed Heart or not Heart
but but Nancy and UH and Poison. I managed with
Bruce Floor from our red Light LA office.

Speaker 1 (00:58):
Okay, how does one person manage all those people?

Speaker 2 (01:03):
I have a great staff I have. I have people
that have been with me from anywhere from probably six
to ten years or twelve years or longer. And Cindy
that you've met my wife, she's uh, she's involved in
I have all the because I'm at red Light, I

have all the the red light support stuff too. Even
though we have multiple offices all over the place, we
red light red light moves pretty well together. We we
we we share some different things that whenever we need them.

Speaker 1 (01:42):
Okay, let's there's a lot of stuff there. How did
you end up managing Dave Mason?

Speaker 2 (01:49):
Just started managing Dave? I got a call from Dave's
agent at Uta and and Dave had worked a couple
of years ago with maybe a year ago with Marshall
Tucker Band, and the shows were great, and you know,
Dave's a I'm listen, I'm also a fanboy a bit.
So I'm a huge Traffic fan and I'm a huge

Dave Mason fan. So when I get the chance of
the opportunity to work with somebody that I also like,
you know, go back in their to their history. And
interesting enough, with the first meeting that I had with
Dave and his wife, I mean Dave predates, which is
hard to do, predates me in the early days, and

it was fascinating for me to just sit and talk
to him about how because I'd heard all of this
over the years and everything like that. But but how
when I was a kid sixteen years old listening to
to Traffic and you know, alone together and all of
that era, Dave was in England and from my time

with with with Bad Company and Paul Rodgers and Simon
Kirk and all those guys. I had always heard about
this thing of how they all listened to blues records
and that's how like where they developed from. And at
the time that he was starting to have hits and
things going on, I was a young kid in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
and I was listening to stacks and you know, I

wasn't listening to blues stuff, but I was listening to
my first, my first musical kind of stuff, except for
my listening to my sister's Elvis records, which I wasn't
really that that that into. But the Temptations and the
four Tops and the you know, and and Sam Moore

and Sam and Dave and I mean all of that stuff.
That that's the stuff that I heard because there was
a radio station in Pittsburgh called Whammo and that all
they played was R and B stuff, and it was
it was a little bit before AM radio turned to
FM radio and we started getting all the FM radio
music stuff and everything like that. I was listening to

stuff when I was, you know, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, and
I had a band, and you know, I grew up
on that kind of stuff. Well, A funny thing was
is the other night when when when Dave was in
town in Atlanta. The keyboard player for Dave is Mark
Stein from the Vanilla Fudge And really I went and

as one of the encores, they do you Keep Me
Hanging On? And I went up to mark Stein afterwards
and I said, I had a band when I was
in high school and the toughest thing that we had
to do was learn you Keep Me Hanging On because
we had a ham and Bee three organ But but
you know, nobody could play like you and nobody could
sing like you. But we had to do it because
it was one of the biggest hits, you know, of
all time. It was. It's interesting, I mean, it's really interesting.

Speaker 1 (04:53):
So Dave makes contact with you, how do you make
it agreement to manage Dave? And what can you do
for Dave that hasn't been done previously.

Speaker 2 (05:06):
I I don't know what exactly I can do, but
I can. I can try and get him better quality
of shows. I can try and get him on tours.
I can. He's got a book coming out. We're gonna
interface with him on on getting the book release he's got.

I'm I'm not a manager that that throws out all
kinds of promises of things that I know are are
kind of out of reach. I mean heritage artists having
having great music, which a lot of them still make
great music, but getting that music out it doesn't have

the path that it had when we were growing up,
where it was on the radio. There isn't for sticks
and for for you know, uh, for Dave Mason, for
a lot of artists like that, there's they get tremendous
amount of radio play, but they but the radio that
plays them won't play their new music. They they'll they'll
play all their hits. But that you know, it's a

problem that we've all had. But the opposite of that
problem is is that if they're great live, the live business,
as you know, and you've said in all of your stuff,
I mean, the live business is probably as healthy as
it's ever been. You know, uh that that you know
that that any of us remember.

Speaker 1 (06:33):
Just because you recently signed him, did Dave have a
manager before you or is he self managed?

Speaker 2 (06:39):
He's had a couple of like he's had a couple
of managers before me, and it's it's and he did
some of the stuff himself. But I mean just about
everybody that I deal with has had a number of
managers before, and I try, I try not to get
into who managed them or what they do or anything

like that, you know. I mean Styx has had three managers.
They had Derek Sutton, who was the first manager they had,
They had Irving for a short time, pe'er Irving and
Howard for a short time period, and then they had me.
So that's probably the artist that I have that's had
the least amount of managers, if you want to know
the truth.

Speaker 1 (07:21):
Okay, So let's say when someone comes to you to
potentially manage them, is it usually a competition between you
and other managers or do they know they want you?

Speaker 2 (07:36):
Most of the time. Looking down my list of artists
that I manage, most of them approached me. It's some
in some way, shape or form. Okay.

Speaker 1 (07:50):
So with these heritage acts, is the focus primarily on
getting better live gigs or what else can you do
with these acts? As you say, the odds of new
music being played on the radio is very low.

Speaker 2 (08:04):
Well, I'm I'm you know. Sticks A few years ago
Tommy came to me and was like, you know we're
gonna I got some with the hand made a record
in fourteen years. And he came to me and he said,
I've got these ideas and songs in my head and
everything like that. And I said, that's great, but you know,

it's very limited what we can do with anything out there.
But the one the only thing that I would say
is is that if you're going to make new music
the I'm not an A and R person, but i'm
your manager. If you want some guidance, try and make
it sound like Sticks. Don't try and be cool, because

nobody gives a shit if you're cool. They they want that.
They they want to hear more Sticks. And and you know,
you know, make sure that it's great. You're you're a
great live band. Make sure it's songs that you'll be
able to play live. I mean that that you know,
And we're not going out on the road and when

we're going out and we're playing the amphitheaters or the
arenas or wherever we're playing, we're not going out and
playing six new songs in a set, because that's not
what the people and you you know this, and I
know this, that's not what the people that are coming
to see the shows are paying for, and when you
don't give them what they're paying for, they'll stop coming.

Speaker 1 (09:28):
Okay, So how did you get sticks? And what was
the status of sticks when you got them?

Speaker 2 (09:35):
Uh? Uh? I I was managing Tommy Shaw.

Speaker 1 (09:45):
Wait wait wait wait, how were you managing Tommy Shaw?

Speaker 2 (09:48):
Tommy Shaw had just come out of Damn Yankees, and
I was actually at the time, I was. I was.
I was involved with with Irving and and uh and
Pace and all that in my promotion company. I was
doing shows. I was involved in developing Lakewood in Atlanta,

and I was the I was the buyer for Lakewood
at the time, and Damn Yankees had played Lakewood on
a Damn Yankees Bad Company package the Amphitheater. There twelve
thousand people. And I wasn't I wasn't a great Damn
Yankees fan, but I was obviously a huge Bad Company fan.
And I happened to be out catching the end of

the Bad Company set and they all of a sudden
they played Renegade and I was like, wow, man, and
the reaction was off the charts. So a couple of
years later, Damn Yankees is in a perious position with
with Warner Brothers that have made a record Warners doesn't

really give a shit about the record that they're They're
arguing back and forth, and Tommy and Jack Blades decided
that they wanted to try and do some other stuff,
and Tommy threw some people that we knew and everything
like that got introduced to me and I started managing Tommy,
and then in turn we started doing something that was

called Shaw Blades, which was Tommy, Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades.
So when we were doing the beginning of the of
the Tommy stuff and we weren't talking, there was never
any mention of anything with me and Tommy in the
in the opening stuff about Styx.

Speaker 1 (11:30):

Speaker 2 (11:32):
Actually was not really a Sticks fan. I uh, you know.
I came up with the Outlaws and Leonard skinnerd and
the Allman Brothers band and all that kind of stuff.
And Sti's was that big band from Chicago that had
all those kind of songs, but they weren't and they
weren't what I would say in my wheelhouse at the time,
So we uh, Tommy was Universal Records had all of

the Stick all of this catalog except for Lady. They
didn't own Lady because Lady was recorded on Wooden Nickel
Records in the in the beginning. All right, So they
were putting out a second Greatest Hits record, which they
could do with or without the band's okay, all right,
But they came to the band, and they came and

they wanted to have Lady on the on the thing,
but they didn't want to license this song from from
Wooden Nickel. Hence the the the thing that most bands
fans know this, and I'm sure you know this to Bob.
Bands do re records after their re record contracts or
they're clear of re record problems with the record company.

Everybody you know has their own versions that they do
of the songs later. So they're gonna do Lady. So
Tommy comes to me and he says, hey, I got
a call from Jay and he wants me to he
wants me to come to uh to Chicago, and we're
gonna they're gonna re record Lady. And I said, okay,
the Universal is going to put this thing out. I said, Okay,

that all makes sense. I said, but but you know,
I didn't think you guys got along. And he goes, oh,
he goes, you know it was really weird. He goes.
He called me and he goes, you know, we hadn't
talked in ten years or fifteen, twelve, whatever amount of
years it was. We hadn't talked in all this time.
And he said, but he goes, it was like, none
of this shit that went on in the past was there.

He goes, it was just like two old friends talking.
And I was like, well, there's there's going to be
three more friends when you go up there, because there
was there was five guys in the band, right, And
he goes yeah. I go, well, hopefully that'll all work out.
And I go, so okay, and he said yeah, and
they said, you know, I can bring Genie, which is
now Tommy's wife, which was Tommy's girlfriend at the time,

because we're going to all go to dinner afterwards. And
I was like, well, okay, Son's great. And he went
off to Chicago and the next morning he called me
on the phone and he said, he said, listen. He goes,
you have no idea. He goes, I know that you
have this this thing because of different stuff that I've

said about you know, who gets I don't care about sticks,
and I'm you know, he goes, but he goes, when
we started playing that, we started playing Lady, he said,
it just all sounded so great. And he goes, and
everybody was in a great mood. He goes, we all
got along, and the wives got along, and the girlfriend whatever,
everybody got along. And he said. We went to dinner,

and he said, and at dinner, somebody said, wouldn't it
be great if we if we did a tour? And
I said okay, and he said, well, perbade him. Would
anybody give a shit if Sticks came back out and toured?

And my wife was in the room, and I said,
Stick's doing a tour and Cindy said, and I was like,
I got I'm gonna have to do some check and
I really, you don't know what it would mean. And
my wife said everybody in my high school would go
to that show. And I was like, really, okay. So

I called some promoter friends of mine, and at the time,
Jack Boyle was alive, and I think I called I
think I called Don Law. I mean, it's kind of
similar to when I made all the calls originally about
Leonard Skinner. When putting Skinner together in eighty seven, I
reached out the people that I trusted there were ill

probably called Arnie and Jerry in Chicago, and everybody was like, yeah,
that sounds really good. So I also thought, okay, there
has to be a great package that goes with this.
So we started talking about the one the tour, and
one of the things that Tommy said that he went
back to the guys and said, all right, I'm going

to be in. But if I'm in, my manager, Charlie
Bresco manages us and he runs the show. And uh
so he said, Tommy said, I talked to them about it.
They agreed, they want to have a meeting in Chicago.
Can you come to Chicago next week? So I flew

to Chicago. And you know, I mean, honest to God's
truth in my in my promoter days in when I
was managing Skinnered in the early nineties, Jay Why had
called me to go see his solo band, and I
think I told him I was going to show up
at the show. And I never showed up, but but
we we sat in a room. We we we we

went to dinner at the at the at a at
an Italian restaurant in downtown Chicago. We went across the
street to the to the uh. To the Whitehall Hotel
where I was staying. We had I had a sweet upstairs.
We went upstairs. We all sat down and we started talking,
and they said, what can we do? And I said,
from what I've been able to ascertain, you know, we'll

We'll get we'll get an agent. Well, we'll uh and
we'll you know, we we'll do We'll do amphitheaters, we'll
do you know, I think we can do forty or
fifty shows next year if everybody will commit to it.
And everybody kind of like said, yeah, okay. And the
first tour was done with absolutely no interference from from

anybody at all. And the first tour, everywhere we went
basically sold out. I mean, we did twenty three thousand
people in Saint Louis and you know, twenty thousand people.
You know. We did two nights in Chicago at the
at the endoor, at the Arena, I mean, and it
was great, it was it was wonderful. And then, of course,

you know, as as things go, the next tour, some
ghosts came out and things started to go back to
the to the you know, a little bit out of
the way, and and at one point Tommy and j why.
Came to me and said, we got a new album
coming out, Dennis does, Dennis can't tour. We want to
go out there without them. And I said, all right,

if we do this, you know, it could work. It
might not work, but you know, if you guys, if
you guys, I'm not going to go backwards. We're not
going to go do this for six months and then
and then turn around and go back because Dennis will
just be you know, Dennis will have more power than
he wants. And and uh, and we you know, the
three of us decided we were going to do it,

and off we went. And it's uh, twenty twenty five years.
You know, we've been touring. We've done probably twenty five
hundred shows, and and we love we love what we do.
We have a great we have a great time. Okay,
how did you tell Dennis he was out? Oh? I

called him on the phone and told him and and
the reaction was not good. And he said to me,
you know that no one will come to see them
without me, and I go, we'll see, we'll find out.
And then there was a loss suit and then the
lawsuit got settled, and you know, and and and it's
from I'm pretty sure of this. I don't think me,

Tommy or Jay, why have ever spoken to Dennis since
I since I let him go. I don't think the
three of us have ever had a word with Dennis
and a good word or a bad word. Nothing, Okay.

Speaker 1 (19:22):
Conventional wisdom was that Dennis was acting out and the
other members didn't like it.

Speaker 2 (19:29):
Is that true, Dennis, Dennis just had a You know, Dennis,
Dennis likes to be in control of everything, and he
I guess during the years of the early days, he
he got more and more power. He wrote, he wrote
big songs. I mean, he was you know, there's there's there,
there's there's those kind of struggles and ship like that
that goes on with bands and just about every band.

I mean, let me tell you something. You know, Keith
and Mick ain't kissing and hugging on on every night
about everything, and and they've stayed together all those years.
I mean, you know it's it. You gotta you gotta know,
you gotta know, you know where you're, how you can
how you can do this together, because uh, you know

it otherwise you go. You know, it's like the Fleetwood song,
you go your own way. I mean, that's you know,
that's that's it, that's it, and you know sometimes people
try and it doesn't work. We found an incredible talent
and we we actually knew it. We auditioned uh for

Dennis's position. We auditioned a number of a number of people,
and the least like Dennis, the least sounding like Dennis,
the least Dennis because we we actually had people come
in that people suggested to us. And we did the
the auditions up at Tommy's house when he lived up

in the top of the Hollywood Hills. And when when
we did those, there were guys that were like they
were in cover bands. They were they were doing Dennis
and cover bands and they were pretty convincing how they
did their stuff. But when after Lawrence Gowan did his thing,
we went we went into Tommy's house and the three

of us looked at each other and they said, what
do you think? And I said, if you want to
if all the guys that we had here before, if
you want somebody to be Dennis, we get one of
those guys. If you want to chart a new course
and you want to you want to have a guy
that that's that's alltra talented and has had his own
career in Canada and all that stuff, and you know,

and is not Dennis. That that's my vote, you know,
I got, I got one vote out of three. You
two Stoll, you know, call the shots and and you know,
but that's that's my opinion. And it's been my opinion
from day one. And let me tell you something the
first tour that we did with Dennis in nineteen ninety six,

that those shows were those shows were great. I mean
they were they were really great. It was a it
really what brought what took it apart was the same
thing that took it apart the first time. It was
personality conflicts. And they they just didn't they didn't want
to be on the same bus together, they didn't want
to be in the same cars together. They didn't want
to be and you can't you can't fix that. I mean,

you can't fix personalities.

Speaker 1 (22:25):
Okay, so you had a new member, you go on
the first tour. Is it all smooth or do some
people react to, hey, Dennis isn't in the band?

Speaker 2 (22:35):
Oh? Yeah, well there was, there was, there was. That
was the one thing that we were least worried about
was we knew there was a crowd out there that
would be that would want to listen to the to
the Stick stuff, and if we did it, great, it
would it would be great. But all the chirpin and
all the fan stuff that you know there, Yeah, there

were battle lines, there were two sides, there were all that,
but we we knew all together that that we had
we the fans, the people that were coming would react.
And then my sense of everything was was we got
to get out and we can't play fairs and festivals
that we're playing and we can't play you know, smaller

theaters and everything like that. We got to get out
on a show that'll that'll put a lot of people
out there, so that so that we can get in
front of a lot of people, so so the bunch
of fans can come and even if we only convince
half of them, instead of convincing you know, a thousand
out of two thousand people, we're convincing five out of
ten thousand people. And there had there had always been

a U challenge that had never really on a tour
situation had never happened like Rio and Sticks were always
kind of in competition. And I went after Rio to
do a tour at Sticks, and I got House of

Blues to put up the money for a whole tour
and an amphitheater tour and everything like that. And I
approached Tomkin Solo that manages Rio and and we both
felt that it was going to be great. And we've
probably done four hundred, four hundred and fifty shows together

or something like that. And and we the two the
two bands. Everybody, everybody gets along. That's the other thing
about Stix, I mean Sticks, Probably of all the bands
that I've ever been involved with, they probably the bus
is probably the most fun bus to be on because
they're they're they're all they all get along. They get

along great.

Speaker 1 (24:52):
So when you did the first tour with Styx with
House to Blues Concerts, which was an independent operation.

Speaker 2 (24:58):
At that point, Amarciano, Alex Odges, Larry Vallen, it was
a great time. Right, So how do you decide on
paying billing with Gonsolo. It's been across the board fifty
to fifty. We're partners and we then and let me
tell you something else that's interesting that we do. Okay,

when we toured together, you know how you got somebody
that's got a referee shirt on the production manager that
works for the tour doesn't work for either of us.
He works for the tour because because if it was
our production manager, he would be jockeying for everything for us.
If it was our production manager, he would be jockeying,

jockeying for everything for them. That's it's it's neutral. We
had to have a neutral person in the middle. So
how do you decide who closes? Tom and I work
that out, and then we go back to the band
and they go, what the hell are they too me?
You know, and then we go like, just well, listen,
we're going to do this again two years or three
or four years from now, and you can close that

city that time. Chicago we always close. Saint Louis they
always close, Atlanta we always. I mean, there's some that
that that are basically you know that that we we
naturally do it. And then we just go like and actually,
you know, in the in the first few years, the
first couple of times that we did it and there
wasn't that was a little bit tougher. Now it's like,

I don't we don't care, you know, play you know,
who who closes is the most inconsequential thing. Man my opinion,
and my band knows this, and some of my band
members have come to the same conclusion. If it's a
three act show, which our shows always are in the
summer in the amphitheaters, the middle slot's the best slot
on the show.

Speaker 1 (26:46):
Because it's an aged audience.

Speaker 2 (26:48):
Closing is an egos situation and is the middle of
the best because people are still awake and aren't leaving. Bob,
everybody's there. Nobody's leaving. Everybody the people. Everybody's not there
when the first act goes on, and no matter who closes,
there are people leaving.

Speaker 1 (27:10):
So are there any young Sticks fans or is it
all people from the original era?

Speaker 2 (27:16):
Oh? No, no, no, there's there's there's a that we
We wouldn't be where we are and we wouldn't be
doing the stuff that we're doing if it wasn't for
parents bringing their kids to shows, and then kids coming
to the shows without their parents as they growled. We've
got we've got fans that have been coming now for
the last twenty years that came to the shows when

they were twelve or fifteen with their parents and now
they're thirty five and they're they're like, they're you know,
they're bringing their kids.

Speaker 1 (27:44):
So it appears that Sticks goes out every summer, is
that true?

Speaker 2 (27:50):
We we work, We work regularly, but we don't do
the amphitheaters every year. We do the amphitheaters every few years.
We have way more places to play and things that
we like to do. Like I'll give you an example.
There's a there's a twenty six hundred seat theater in

Phoenix that most bands hate playing because it's circular, it's
in the room, it's not the celebrity. Celebrity. Yeah. Yeah,
so so most people, you know, most people do everything
that they can to not play the celebrity. Stix loves
playing the celebrity We you know, we've done as many
as three nights there because the fan reaction and the

fan kind of like that. You know, you know a
lot of our fans we see them at multiple shows
all the time, so you know, it's it's a you know,
it's a it's a it's a you know, all bands
have that. But you know, we we like certain things
that we do and we like it's pretty obvious from

from what our touring history is. There's there's there's a
lot of artists that we like to tour with. We're
out with Foreigner this summer. We love them. We brought
John Waite back, who has done stuff with us before. Rio,
we work with a lot. We worked with Joan Jet.
Joan was great. Tesla has always been a favorite of ours,

and it's really kind of like a chemistry of how
it works with the crowd and then how it works
backstage also how everybody kind of gets along, because if
you can't get along with sticks, there's a problem.

Speaker 1 (29:27):
So there's no issue of overexposure.

Speaker 2 (29:31):
I haven't seen it yet, Okay, So Stix is on
the road. They have this fan base. There was a
new record. Is there anything you can do beyond the
live shows to grow the image or impact or ticket sales?
As Sticks, we keep an active social media stuff out there.

The record, I mean, listen the first record when we
did it, and I think it was twenty sixteen, and
they they hadn't done anything. I mean, I know, it
sounds pale in comparison to three triple platinum records in
a row and everything like that, But in today's market,
that record sounds sound scanned like one hundred and forty

thousand records or something like that that you know, and
our last record that we did sound scanned like sixty
or seventy thousand records. So it's it's it's and we
play some of the songs. We play a few of
the songs live, and if we do an evening with
Stick show where we do two sets, then we'll play

a little bit more of the of the new stuff.
And the fans love it because, quite frankly, the album sound,
the material sounds like vintage sticks. They use a lot
of the same kind of recording techniques and all that
stuff that they used in the early days to keep
that authentic kind of sound. What about sponsorship, Uh, if

it's out, you know, it's not something that we seek
and and and they you know, we we have our
own beer. We have we have a we have a
beer called Omama that's brewed by by a company in Pittsburgh,
and it's a little bit of a playoff of the
I mean, one of the biggest sports tie ins that

there is is Styx's song Renegade and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
I mean, you know, if you go to if you
go to a Pittsburgh Steelers game, that's a that's at
their home field. Sometime during that game when they need
a defensive stop, they're there. You're you're gonna you're gonna
hear Renegade and the crowd is going to just be
having tiles waven and all that stuff. And we've got

a really special relationship with them. So we do have
a beer that that that's done significantly well as a
as a as a craft beer and everything like that.
But but we don't we don't really we don't look
for sponsors and you know, we don't we we we
if if the right one came in, would we would
we look at it. Yeah, but it's it's not something

that we're you know, we're we're we're we we know
what we know what we we know how our mercher,
we know how to do our merch. We know how
to do our our live our live shows, and we
know how to we know how to do it in
the in the fashion that we like to do it.
That that's probably why we keep doing it. What about privates,
Oh we yeah, we that we that was an early

that first time we did that, it was shell shock.
Now you know we we we do privates when when uh,
when they make sense and usually it has to do
with it it routes well or something like that, and
some of them are some of them are surprising, and
some of them are privates. Okay, how'd you put Leonard
skinnerd back together? Uh? Nineteen eighty seven April, well, probably

January of nineteen eighty seven. I got a call from
Amat Urdigan and Ahmat said, Charlie, uh, aren't you aren't
you friends with Gary Rossington? And I said, yeah, I've
been friends with Gary Rossington since, you know, since nineteen
seventy four. And he said, he said, him and his

wife Dale have this have this album, and atlantic's putting
it out and he he needs some he needs somebody,
and he goes I was talking to him about it
the other day and he said, he said, you know, uh,
I brought your name up. And he said, I don't
know if you Charlie and I are friends. I don't know,
you know, I don't know, and he said so, so

he gave me Gary's number, which Gary with at the time,
was living in and h up in Jackson, how Wyoming.
And I called Gary up and I said, hey, Gary,
what's going on? And he said, uh, you know, you know,
I got to get a manager. I got this record
coming out and Dale and I are really excited about it.
Send me the record. I listened to the record. I
was I was promoting at the time, I UH with

Alex Cooley and Peter Conlin in Atlanta, and we were
we were doing shows together, and I wasn't really doing
any real management stuff. But just like I mean, the
history with me and Gary goes back to you know,
the before Sweet Home Alabama was out. So uh, I said, uh,

all right, Uh. I listened to the record. Dale sounded great.
It sounded like a cross between Rossington Collins and and
Uh and skinnern and Uh. And so Gary, Gary came,
Gary and Dale came to Atlanta and we met and
I said, Okay, we're gonna We're gonna do this. And
I got them. I had Alex and Peter and I

had had a show at the Fox in Atlanta with Kansas.
And the Kansas show was a about two thirds made.
It was already on sale, it was about two thirds
sold out. So I said the I said to I
said to Alex and Peter, I said, you know, just
the name Rossington on the because that's what the name
of Gary's band, just the name of that on on

ninety six Rock will sell out the rest of the
Kansas State. Let's put his band on as the opening act. Okay, great,
So so we put them on the show. So it's
you know, the show. So as soon as we announced Rossington,
like in the next couple of days, the show at
the Fox ended up completely selling out, sold out in advance.
So we went to uh, uh, we're at the Fox

and more upstairs in one of the dressing rooms up
and the upstairs, and somebody comes in and I'm in
with Gary and Dale and they're nerves they're they're actually
nervous because they're back to play in the Fox where
the three nights were recorded for the for the Skinnered
record and Rossington Collins had sold the building out and
everything like that. And here they are coming back and
they're and they're they're playing special guests to Kansas and
I and and somebody comes up and said, uh, there's

there's there's two guys at the back door and they
say that they they're good friends at Gary's and and
uh and they they heard that you're back here. They
said for you again because they want to say hi
to Gary. I got okay, so I got downstairs I
go to the back door of the Fox and I
open the door and it's Billy Powell and Leon Wilkerson
from all Right standing there. Hey man, we want to

see Gary. And I was like, Uh, okay, they're upstairs.
They're nervous as hell. Let us go up. Let us
go up and say him. So they go up and
they all go into a room and they start talking
and everything like that. And and Gary had said to
me early on, you know, I don't want to revisit
all the skinner and stuff, and you know, I want

the focus to be on on on the Rossington band
and everything like that. So I go up to the
dressing room and they're getting ready to go to the
stage and everything like that. And Gary pulls me aside
and he goes, we're gonna we're gonna go when we
do the end, we're going to go back up and
I'm going to bring Billy and Leon up for Sweet
Home Alabama. And I was like, you haven't rehearsed, right,

He goes, we all know it. He goes, he goes,
it'll go, it'll go over, It'll be great. And they
did that, and the place basically went to a different level.
It totally exploded. So we all we were all on this,
you know, high and from the show and all that,
and we went to a club, the bar, kind of

place that we used to hang out at when the
Skinner days and all that stuff. And we went back
there and it's one thirty in the morning and I'm
going to go home and Billy Powell comes over to
me and he goes, hey, Charlie, you know what the
October twentieth is this year. I go, yeah, Billy, it's

plane crash. No, no, no, no, tenth year. We need
to do something on October twentieth. And I was like,
if you talk to Gary about this, goes, Gary won't
talk to us about this. You need to talk to
him and Dale, and you need to get them to
do something. We just need to do one show. So
I was like, okay. So I went back to Gary

and Dale and I brought it up and Dale we
when we walked out of the room, she goes, I
wouldn't bring that up to him again. He doesn't want
anything to do with it. So I go okay. So
different things started to percolate and everything like that, and
all of a sudden Gary called me and he said
if we did if we did one show, could could

we could we make some money? And could we also
put Rossington on the show and I'll play both sets?
And I said yeah, and he goes, where does it
make sense to do it? I go, there's only one
place to do it. He goes where I go to
the Omni in Atlanta. I go, we'll announce it. It'll
do fifteen sixteen thousand people. It'll be you know all that,

but we'll have to rehearse, you know, we'll we'll have
to get all together and you have to figure out
who's going to play it and everything at that. So
we we we we. The next day, I went to
Alex and Peter and I was like, Hey, we want
to do a Skinnered reunion thing one day. You know,
Omni in Atlanta. What do you think? Alex says, couldn't

we do it October twenty first? And I go, doesn't
really make a lot of sense. Why He goes, the
cars are playing, They're they're confirmed. And I was like,
we can't like move that around or no, there couldsendent
or tour. They're not going to give up that date.
So I was like, okay, all right, then let's go

to Birmingham. We'll go to you know, we'll go to
We'll go to the arena in Birmingham. I don't like
it as much as I like Atlanta, but well, we'll
go to Birmingham for one show. Went back and we
started talking about what we were going to that we
were going to put it together, and we had that.
And back then in those days, there were the tip sheets,

and there was a there was a tip sheet that
came out of Philadelphia that was Bill Hard. And I
used to talk to Bill Hard or one of his guys.

Speaker 1 (40:03):
Let me ask you just about when was the last
time you spoke with Bill Hard?

Speaker 2 (40:07):
Oh? Probably probably probably back around this time. I haven't
talked to Bill Hard, I think in this century. But
keep right, good, right, right, all right? So so so
so that that we were talking about something and they
they said to me, you know, oh, I was pitching
him on the Rossington record to get you know, and
and Ahmitt was going to do ads in the tip

sheet and all that stuff. And he said, so I
heard that the ohm it's excited. And he said something
about you're going to try and do some kind of
a skinner thing. And I said, yeah, we're gonna We're
gonna do one show on on the twentieth of uh of,
you know, And I said, told I'm calling, I'm calling
around to some promoters and I'm trying. So I started

calling around the promoters and all the promoters were like, hey,
don't just do Birmingham do this, DIY do this. So
I went back to Gary and I said, you know, hey, listen,
we probably can do ten or twelve or whatever. Why
don't Why don't we make it make more sense? And he's,
you know, he said, uh, well, you know you need
to you need to find certain people. I go, what's that?

He goes the first one. He goes, I'm not doing
this unless Ed King is involved. And I go, do
you have any idea where Ed King is? I I
heard he's in New Jersey. All right, Ed King had
Ed King wasn't even playing. I mean Ed King was
in the software business or early tech, you know, tech
kind of stuff. So I rounded up Ed, I rounded

up Billy Pile, Leon Artemis. We we got we started
getting that all together, and then that was all in motion.
And that was when Bill Hard called me, and I
had promoters that were gonna, we're all interested in doing it.
And I had a conversation before I talked to Bill Hard.
I had a conversation with Bill Graham, and I called

Bill Graham up on the phone. And Bill Bill was
always like like, you know, he was always telling me,
you don't know what. He took me under his wing
and helped me in all kinds of ways. R at that,
but he was always you know, giving me the giving
me a hard time. So I called him up, and
I said, and he was a massive, massive Leonard Skinnerard

guy in the day. Ronnie, Ronnie and him were great
friends Gary everybody they were the Bill Bill was was one,
you know, was one of their favorite promoters, if not
their favorite promoter. So I called Bill was one of
the first guys I called. And Bill said to me,
are you out of your goddamn mind, don't you know
there was a plane crash. He said, you can't bring

back he goes. You can't bring back Leonard Skinnard without
without Ronnie van Zandt. And I said, Johnny's gonna sing
he goes. Nobody will care. And I said, so Bill,
if I I said, Larry Maggot's gonna do. All these
people were doing cities, you don't want to do San Francisco. No,
I won't do it. And I said, okay, well, then

I'll tell you what we won't do San Francisco. If
we're not going to come in there and have Don
Fox or somebody else come in and do San Francisco,
the band respects you too much. And if you feel
that way, okay. So Bill Graham was kind of written
out of the tour at that moment. Bill Hard calls
me up on the phone and we're talking about this thing,

and this is like, this is after we had the
lineup that set and he's and I tell Bill Hard, yeah, well,
actually we're gonna do We're gonna do a bunch of dates.
We're gonna probably do fifteen twenty. I don't know. We're
still putting it together. We still talking about the Rossington record.

Bill Hard on Thursday or Friday of whatever that week was,
whenever he wrote his Hard report in the notes. Thing
that he wrote, interesting thing going on in Atlanta. Sounds
like Charlie Brusco has Gary Rossington all these together, and
it sounds like around the October we'll see the first

time we'll see some dates honoring Leonard Skinner all right
the tip sheet comes out. The tip sheets out. The
next day or two days after the tip sheet comes out,
I get a call from Bill Graham and Bill says,
this skinner thing you're you're really going to do it?
I go yeah, And he goes, is it routed yet?

I go, barbar Skuydell and Frank Barcelona Premiere routing it.
But we're not. We didn't put San Francisco in Bill,
and he said, we're going to change that. And I go,
where do you think we should play in San Francisco?
And he says, he goes, I want to do Shoreline.
I want to do Concord. I want to do Sacramento.

I go, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa whoa. Bill, you went
from this is the stupidest idea that you've ever heard.
To now you want to do five cities and you
want to open the tour in San Francisco. What is
going on? And he said, well, he goes that Bill
Hard report. He goes, somebody at the radio station here
in San Francisco started talking about it on the radio

yesterday morning, and our phone lines have been jammed, people
calling to wanting to know when they're going to play
San Francisco. He goes, we'll sell every one of these
shows out. I said, Shoreline's twenty thousand seats. He said,
you'll sell every show out. I'll stake my name on it.
And so we started in San Francisco. We did, we did,

We did twenty one thousand people at Shoreline sold out,
sold that, Concord sold out Sacramento. I mean, you know,
and Bill, you know, Bill was was a was a
great part of that, putting the band together and getting
everything and the initial start, and then we did eighty seven,

and then we did eighty eight, and then the band
kind of like all the ghosts came out and I
got I got crazy with it, and they got crazy
with it, and you know, they they called me up
one day Gary, I think it was Gary, maybe it
was Now Probably Gary wasn't called. He had somebody called
me and he was like, we're we're we're we're we're

not gonna We're not going to go forward next year
with you. And I was like, okay. And then the
next thing I knew they were going to Bill Graham Management.
So they went to Bill grand Management for two years,
did one tour and then right right when when when
when Bill had the when Bill was was killed in

the helicopter accident, they came, they they came back to
me and and I had him for the next I
had him until ninety nine. And put them on the
put together them and ZZ together, and then we got
sideways again. And Gary called me up and was like,
you know, we're gonna We're gonna move on. I I

was like, Gary, we're great friends. Do me one favor.
I got everything in I put this tour together. I
want paid on this tour. He said, You'll get paid
on this tour and we'll remain friends. And Gary, Dale, Cindy, myself,
the you know, the rest of the Skinner guys. I
mean I was. I was at Gary's funeral, and get

that Dale and Gary lived. They moved ten minutes from
my house, and we saw each other all the time,
and you know, there was there wasn't really hard feelings.
And quite frankly, ros Shilling and Ken Levitan and them
have done a great job for for Skinner. They the
and and I know some people don't think this, but

but I know Gary sat with me and and when
he had all the health issues before he passed, he
said to me he said, the one thing that I
don't want to happen. And I know he said this
to Dale too. I don't want this band and this
music and everything that we've been doing to stop because
I'm not here, and he said, he said, he told

that to a number of people. And that's why I
feel like the skinnered music, it doesn't doesn't matter who's playing.
Johnny's there, Ricky's there. I mean, they're they're doing they're
doing the the they're doing the legacy well. And they

they you know, the fans that the fans turn out,
nobody's making people go to the shows and advertising it
that it's some you know that that it's you know,
everybody knows what they're getting and and you know it's
up to them and the fans to keep on keeping
the music alive. And that's what Ronnie would have won it,
That's what you know. That's what Steve Gaines would have wanted.

That's what you know. That's what they all would have
won it. And then you know, I knew every one
of them extremely well, for for as long as every
one of them lived, because I'm still here and and
Artemis is still here out of out of everybody, and
Artemis really wasn't in the band when I first met

the band. Bob Burns was a drummer when I first
met the band, and the music that music will live
on way past me. How did Johnny end up being
the lead singer? I wanted Donnie Gary wanted Johnny, simple

as that, and and Garrett Gary Gary was right, I mean,
Johnny was the exact right choice for what we were doing,
and and Donnie Vans and it's still one of my
good friends and one of my favorite guys. But but
Donnie was Donnie wasn't the right He wasn't the right
thing for for for the band. Johnny was. Johnny wasn't established,

and we wouldn't be taking Johnny out of thirty eight
Special to be and Leonard skinnerd and it probably would
have worked for one tour, but we never would have
kept the everything going the way it's been going. Okay,
you put.

Speaker 1 (50:09):
Leonard Skinnyard back together and they move on to Bill Brahm,
they move on ultimately the vector again. After what's it
like being a manager? When you get that call?

Speaker 2 (50:24):
It's uh, it's heartbreaking, you know you and and really
after you get the call, you kind of you the
reality sets in of all right, yeah, and I mean
my wife said to me, you know, this could be

the best and when when it happened in ninety nine,
she said, this could be the best thing that ever
happened you because because they're they're you were gonna you
were gonna die. You know, you were just you were
too in it, you were too involved. You were just
too It was too much. It was too it was
taking up your your entire everything. And you know, when
things would get sideways, it would get worse, and when

things were good, it would get better.

Speaker 1 (51:08):
You know.

Speaker 2 (51:08):
It was it was too much. And at first I
didn't I didn't get it, but but afterwards, and you know,
time heals all wounds. I mean that that's the that's
the truth. I mean, I listened the Outlaws. I started
with the Outlaws. Uh, the Outlaws. I swear I've been

fired and rehired by the Outlaws like maybe four or
five times. And and I'm and Henry Paul and I
have been There was a short time period when I
had to tell Henry that he wasn't in the band anymore.
And Henry went on to do Blackhawk and to do
his Henry Paul band stuff and everything like that. During
that time, I was still managing Skinner art stuff. I

was still managing the Outlaws, and and Henry and I
couldn't really be friends. But I mean, Henry's writing a book.
I'm I'm kind of and on win also, but Henry's
writing a book. And he said, he said to me,
you'll be happy with what I say about you. And
I said, just tell the truth, and he I'll be happy. Okay.

Speaker 1 (52:13):
But you know, I was hanging with the manager the
other day and he was saying, you know, it's just
a matter of when you get fired. Oh yeah, well
that's I think we all kind of think that way.

Speaker 2 (52:25):
And uh uh could I could I get fired from Sticks?
I didn't think. I didn't think I would get fired
from skinnerd I didn't think I would get fired from
the Outlaws when I when I did, I the you know,
there there's some will with with Doug Gray, let me go.

I don't think so. I just think that we're all
kind of you know, we're we're a little bit past that.
And then and and I also know what my relationships
are with with you know, with my artist. I don't
you know, uh uh, I'm not. I'm not, in my opinion,
I'm not on tenuous ground with anybody that that that

I would care about losing. And I'll just leave it
at that.

Speaker 1 (53:14):
Now, is your experience been that when they do fire you,
they have somebody else call in the band sort of
separates themselves from you.

Speaker 2 (53:25):
Oh yeah, yeah. Most of the time. Most of them
aren't big boys and call themselves. I mean, I will
say this. The once or twice that Henry and I
got he went, he went and did some different stuff
for different reasons, something like that. Henry actually Henry actually
called you know, when I think back on it, Gary

didn't call me. The business manager called me. You know,
there's you know, there's there's you know that's not it's
not really an artist thing to unless you unless they're
pissed off at you. Then I'm sure that you know
that some of we'll call and go like, you know,
I've been waiting to do this. I mean, it's you know,
but most of them, most of them don't. Most of
them have somebody and usually there's somebody else that's been

squacking in their ears and telling them that they can
they can do this for them and that for them,
and you know, I don't play that game. And and
really you know, uh, I mean, you know, cork corn
corn doesn't red light gets enough calls from people saying
where'd you be interested in? Then we get calls where

where where we're getting you know, listen, we've got a
we've got a big roster where you know, we're a
great management company. But you know it still is a
you know, personal manager kind of things, and you know,
personalities again, can you know, can can outweigh business? What's

what's going on business wise? I mean I've you know,
I've had I've not when Bill ham got married or
got when Bill hamm got fired by zz Top after
managing those guys for thirty years, and I had a
meeting with what's easy about managing them? When Bill ham
got got got fired. That was the most shocking thing
to me in the world because he went in the

studio with him he you know, and and Bill basically
he was he was a z easy guy. That's what
that's what his that's that that's what his whole focus was.
But you know, sometimes you're too close to it, and
you know, you're too close to the flame and you
get burned.

Speaker 1 (55:33):
So you were an independent for a long time. How
did you decide to make a deal with Red Light?

Speaker 2 (55:42):
Uh? I I had. I when Irving started rolling up
the management companies Irving and I I consider Irving a friend.
Irving Irving one of the greatest managers ever, you know.
I I had a meeting with Irving, and I probably
could have when when Barrick and Consolo and all those

people started going to Irving, I probably could have made
a deal with Irving. But in my estimation, if I
made a deal with Irving, I was going to need
to move to Los Angeles to be in the middle
of what was going on with him, so that when
he was talking with somebody about you know, management, uh,
and he was going to have somebody handle somebody, I

would be right there because I you know, that's how
that's how goes. So I had, I had a meeting.
I didn't. I didn't go into the whole Irving roll up.
And I was doing fine. I had Alliance Artist. I
was out of the promoting business. I had done my
my national tours promoting wise, and I'd done my my

local and I was out of that whole thing. And
I was a manager and I had had uh uh
Skinner I had had left. I had I had sticks
and we were rolling, and I had other artists I
bat I had bad company for a little while. I
had different artists that I was doing doing stuff with.
And I got a call from from somebody and they

said that, uh, that zz top was was looking for
for management, and that I was on the list of
people that they wanted to meet with. So as it happened,
zz Top's attorney was John bon Jovi's attorney. John bon

Jovi is one of my closest friends and my my
relationship with him was as a promoter, and he's he's
you know, we we confide in each other on all
kinds of stuff and and actually my my wife is
extremely friendly with John. Also, when John wants real advice,

he'll call Cindy instead of calling me. So so I
called John and I said, listen, I'm gonna meet It's easy,
and your guys is one of the attorneys on this thing.
Can you just put a good word in for me?
And John said, there, there's there's never been anything that
I thought made more sense than you and z Z
after SKINNERD and all that stuff. OK, I appreciate that.

So John h John reached out, Uh, this meeting was
set up. I flew into l A, went into a
meeting with Billy Gibbons and and and another person was
in the in the meeting, not not anybody in the band.
And we had we had them. We had the meeting.
And the next like after the meeting, a couple of

hours later, I got a call from the attorney and
he was like, Bill, Billy was blown away. You're you're gonna, You're,
You're gonna, you're gonna get it. You're gonna get You're
you're gonna get this. And then whatever happened over the
next forty eight hours, Billy had a meeting with Carl
Stubner and the next thing, you know, Carl Stubner became
the manager of Eazy and has been the manager of

z Z ever since. So I guess they made, you know,
a good decision, because it's worked. But I got I
got like, uh and and and one of the things
that came back to me was, well, you know, you're
just you know, Bill Hamm was just a manager that
was in Houston and just had that office, and you know,

you know, you were you just have the office in
Atlanta and and Stubner has a you know, bigger kind
of uh footprint out there and everything like that, and
I was, I was really kind of bothered by it.
And Rod Essek, that's a really good friend of mine,
that's one of the guys at c AA. He and
I were at a show and we were we were talking,
and I was like, you know, man, you know, I

know this independent thing is is great, and you know,
and I know it's you know, but nobody's there's not
that many independents left anymore. And when I have a
meeting now, I'm like the little guy, and and everybody
else has all these bells and whistles and all this
other kind of shit because they're associated with somebody. And
Rod said to me, well, you had that chance to

do that thing with Irving, right, And I said, well,
you know, I really thought that to make it work
with Irving, I needed to move to l A. And
I'm not I don't want to live in l A.
I love Atlanta. I'm not moving. You know, I'll get
out of the business before i'll move. And he said, well,
what about corn Capshaw? And I said, I said, do

you know two people that are more different than each
other than me and Corn and Rod. Rod was like, well,
I think McGraw. Corn was handling McGraw at the time,
and him and Rod were talking all the time. And
he said, he goes, you don't you don't get it.
He goes, he goes, Corn Corn is a great guy,

and he goes, but you know, people, people, people are
afraid of him, or people don't you know people or
whatever it is, they don't you know that Corn. Corn
is very private about everything. And he goes, But I
think you and Corn would get along. So I was like, Rod,
let me tell you something, just to make it clear
to you. If Corn Capshaw called me on the phone,

I of course would talk to him. I would pick
up the phone. I go, but I'm not you know,
I'm not looking. I'm an independent guy. All right. This
is on a Friday in Nashville. All right, Monday, I'm
back in the office. I'm sitting in the office and
somebody says in the office, they go, there's a Corn
Capshaw on the phone for you. And I was like, no,

that's Rod. I was, that's Rod screwing with me. So
I picked up the phone and I go, yeah, and
Corn said, Charlie, it's Corn Capshaw. Do you have a moment?
And I was like, it is, hey, Corn, how you doing?
And we started talking and he said I was talking
with Rod Essek and Rod Rod thinks that that that

you and I should get together and sit down and
have a meeting. And he said, he said, would you
would you be interested? He goes, He goes, I really
would like to have an office in Atlanta, and I'd
like to have a presence, and he goes and he goes,
I think we should sit down and talk. And because
way back in the way back years, I managed a

Freddie Jones band and the Freddie Jones band was on
an entire tour with with with the Dave Matthews band,
and we were the band was was fairly infamous besides
their music, with their party and and everybody knew each
other and that that was really kind of and so
I said that, I said, yeah, okay. So for the

next like four or six weeks, Corn and I kept
on trying to figure out someplace that we could get
together to have a meeting where it wasn't changing his
top schedule in my schedule, and so finally we had him.
We had a meeting at the Red Light office, the
last red light office, not the new not the building
that we that that Corns has in Nashville, but the

one that Paradigm and a couple of other agencies were
in that office or in that in that building. We
had a meeting. There was nobody else, everybody we we
had the meeting after the office was closed so that
nobody would bother us or anything like that. And we
sat in a room for forty five minutes or something
like that, and he said, you do I think we

should make a deal. And I was like, okay, I go,
you know, just you know, one of the things that
i want to make sure of is is that I'm
staying in Atlanta. I don't I'm not gonna And he said,
I'm not going to work. I'm not going to deal
with any of that stuff with you. He said, you're
I know that you're friends with Bruce Eskowitz, that that

that's now that's now running our l A stuff and
aver that that. I go, yeah, I go, yeah, Bruce
and I know each other from when Bruce started with
Pace with with with Louie. And he said, he said,
get on the phone with with Bruce Eskowitz. Make yourself
the best deal that you want, and we'll and and
we'll get in business together. And that was in like

maybe August of twenty let me see, I got a note,
let me see twenty twenty eleven and January one, twenty twelve.
The building that I had that was Alliance Artist, which
I owned the building. We went outside and we took

the Alliance Artist thing down and we put up a
thing that said red Light and I've been I signed.
I signed it. Corn and I made a deal for
three years and I planned to retire at red Light
if I retire.

Speaker 1 (01:04:39):
So when you're independent, you get all the money. If
you're working with red Light, red Light's got to get
some of the money. So how does it work out.

Speaker 2 (01:04:50):
It's a fair and equitable deal that we worked out,
and it's worked out great for both of us because
there are artists that have come to us because of
because of the because I'm in red Light. I mean,
just you know, just like I didn't get zz Top,
I got Poison. You know, Poison was was was a

collaboration between meeting with the band, with me meeting with
him and Corn meeting with him, and you know, and
and you know that you know that the red light.
The red light brings attention and and and uh and
you know I I I don't. I don't particularly take

meetings with and and go with every band that that's
out there, that that you know, somebody from Red Lighter.
Corn will say to me, Hey, so and so is available,
and I'll go like, that's not, that's not that's not
for me, that's not, that's not. I I'm listen, I'm
I'm seventy two years old now. I I have the
power to say no. I have the power to be choosy.

I don't give a I don't care really a whole
lot about the money, you know it. You know, it's
not about It's like Bill Graham, it's not about the money.
It's about the money. But I mean, that's not what
drives me. And that's just it's just not what drives me.
And you know, I I do this stuff because I'm

because I'm passionate about it. And and one of the
more passionate other managers that I know is Corn. I
mean Corn is you know, I actually don't. I don't
know how somebody's brain operates the way Corn's brain operates
with everything that he does. I mean, he's he and

he knows what's going on on, everything that's that's going on.
That's that's way too much for me. That's like when
when we were at that that that dinner the other
night and you and I and Corn were standing there talking.
I mean, the most fascinating thing to me about our
little exchange during everything at that is you guys started
talking about books that you're reading, and like, you know,

if I read a book, I'm reading a biography about
somebody that's been in the business or an artist or
something like that. And you guys were talking about stuff
that was completely and and and I was like and
and I was thinking to myself, you the two of
you have time to read books about ship that doesn't

have anything to do with what's going on with us
all the time. And and you weren't. You were you
guys were talking, so you didn't get it like I did.
But I was watching how passionate you guys got about
what books you were reading. And I was thinking, I
was thinking, to myself, that's that's you know, you get
a surprise every now and then. But that's really surprising

to me that that's that's something because I would think
that most of what you're interested in or he's interested in,
revolves around that. You know, this world and and and
and I don't have time for anything out of this
world unless it's you know, going back and you know
the Keith Richards book or the Bill Graham book or

the Peter Grant book or you know any of you know,
that stuff in the new Dave Mason book. I mean
just was eye opening to me because it's a it's
a snapshot in time of what was going on for
you know, when this business was, you know, in its infancy.
I mean, you know when I started going to shows,
I mean bands, bands barely had what was called production.

You used whatever the promoter provided for you. I mean,
you know, there wasn't you know, you know, Frank Barcelona
was controlling everything that was going on, you know, at
the beginning of and A. David Krab, David Krebs, you know,
Libra Crebs. I mean, there was there were those power people.
I just got lucky when I was in college that

that I went to all these shows with the Balkans
were promoting in Cleveland, and I saw kind of from
from Mike Belkan kind of being nice to me. I
kind of saw this world where and it's kind of
been my path where a manager could be a promoter

and a promoter could be a manager, because that's what
they did. Mike managed the you know, the James Gang
and and and Wild Cherry and and and bands and
they but they still had the biggest promoter company in
in the world for a while. In the business it
got very defined. You you weren't on both sides of
the fence. But I I jump, I jumped back and forth.

Let's go back to the beginning. So you're from Pittsburgh.
I'm from Pittsburgh, Yes, like the actual city or a suburb,
a suburb, a sub suburb of Pittsburgh. And what did
your parents do for a living? My father, my father
owned a a small hang out restaurant that the client

tele was mainly mobsters or music people like Frank Sinatra
and people like that. And the bar club only held
probably sixty people, but it was always open after hours
because all the cops in the neighborhood were on the
take and when everybody else had to close at two

o'clock in the morning, my dad, my dad was able
to you know, have the door and people would knock
on the door and they'd let him in at two
thirty in the morning and the place would close at
five in the morning, and h and and he he
he did that while I was a kid, and and
my mother was my mother was just a housewife until

my dad decided that he wanted to get out of
the business. So therefore there was gonna have to be
more money come in. And my mother became a very
very big time real estate agent both in uh In
in Pittsburgh, and then when they retired, she's she kept
working and doing real estate in uh In, Florida because
she enjoyed doing it. And it's you know, it was

uh so. So I I grew up kind of with
a lot of street smarts. And and when I when
I when I had this thing. I had a band
when I was in in high school and the band
came to me. We had we were kind of like
three dog Night. We had three singers, and they had
a meeting that I wasn't in, and they came to
me and they said, listen, there's bad news here. You
can't sing. But the good news is is you get

all of our bookings for us. So we want you
to like book us and manage us. So so I
I did that with with with the band until I
it became time to graduate from high school and I
was working for a summer for my dad and he
had this big, huge broiler for cooking steaks, and in

front of the broiler was where you cleaned the dishes,
and I would clean the dishes in front of this
like broiler that was like give giving me a son
tan on my back. And one night I came home
and I was bitching about working in the restaurant and
everything like that, and my mother said to me, you
need to go to college. And I said, mother, who

are you kidding? I have like a one point nine
grade point average. I'm not getting in any college. He said,
I'm going to get you into college, and you're going
to go to college because if you don't go to college,
you're going to be working in that restaurant for your
father for for long, you know. And she goes, I
don't want to put up with it. So there was

this remedial kind of work your way into college situation
at this small college in Ashland, Ohio that my mother
somehow the I guess somebody at the at our high
school told her about it, and she searched somebody out
there and they got us a meeting and we went
on and there was the first time that they were

trying this, and they were letting like misfits that didn't
have the grades to get into the school. They were
letting us come for summer school. And if we were
able to operate in summer school, then that we could
we could come back in the in the fall. So
we all went to there's probably forty or fifty of

us or something like that, and there was a crowd
of maybe fifteen or twenty of us that all became
buddies from the school, and we all faked our way
through four years of college, you know, just you know,
when it came time to take tests, I you know,
I'd get white crosses and read everything for three days

in a row and take the test and pass the test.
But I wouldn't show up for classes. I wouldn't do that.
I got on the student Senate and I started booking
shows entertainment wise, and they had been having you know,
like The Fifth Dimension and shit like that, and then
all of a sudden, I'm bringing and I started doing

it with Belkan College concerts. I started bringing the James
Gang and like lou Reid and Poco and all these
bands that I was into. I started getting them because
I had the school's money. So you know, it was
the student fund to put on, you know, concerts, So
it didn't matter if we made money or not. We

just had the We just had the you know, we
just had the you know, bring talent in. So you know,
I did that and ran back and forth to Cleveland,
saw every act that, you know, all the packages, all
the stuff that was going on from nineteen sixty nine
until nineteen seventy three and I graduated and I left college,

went home. They had a graduation party for me and
a friend of my father's that had some business that
that had a lot of cash, and a friend of
mine that I went to college as father put up
I think they each each one put up like one
hundred or one hundred and fifty thousand dollars each. And

we moved to Florida to start promoting concerts in Florida,
which we had no idea how we were going to
get any concerts or anything like that. And because when
I was in college there was the college booking division
of Belkan. I went to the University of South Florida.
There was a guy named Rick Alter that was the

head of the student stuff. He wasn't a student, but
he was the one that made decisions about music and
every like that. And we were talking to him about
we wanted to buy the talent for them, and we
were finishing up the meeting and he said, if you're
not doing anything tomorrow night, you should come up to
the We have a grassy hill here and we have

groups play outside. And he goes, there's a band that's
local here. They've been in Colorado for a little while,
but they're coming back and this is the first time
they're back in Tampa in like a few months or
something like that, and they're called the Outlaws, and you
should come see this band. So I went sat on
the hill watched watched this band just blaze with the

guitars and everything like that. When they were done, I
knew how to just walk and get backstage. I walked around,
walked up, saw Henry Paul. Walked up to Henry Paul
and said, hey, you guys are pretty good. Do you
have a manager? And he was like no, And I
said I'd like to manage you. And he goes, really,
what do you doing. We had cards made up for

this production company we had and gave him a caartner.
We had that, and I said, let's why don't you
guys come by. We're Ken Ken, this guy Ken Kraus
was my partner. Why don't you come by and and
uh tomorrow and we'll sit down and we'll talk. Band
came by and we just started talking and started managing them,
and next thing you know, I was in a con
Aline van going all around the country and and we

you know, we we we played a bunch of dates
with Skinnard, who was we became fast friends with and uh,
Peter Rudge was was was just getting this the skinnered
thing he was. He was becoming Skynyrd's manager. Alan Walden
that was the former manager of Skinnerd was my partner

at that point on on on management Outlaws management, and
we uh uh the band opened up a couple of shows.
Skinnered guys started talking about how good the Outlaws guys were.
Somebody said something to an A and R guy that
was at a new label that that was being started

up by a guy named Clive Davis and was called
Arista Records, And I got a call from this A
and R guy, and he was like, I'd like to
come see the band. I want to come on Clive
Davis's behalf to see the band in Orlando. I see
you're playing with Leonard Skinner. He came and saw. We
went to a payphone and called Clive and fight and

told Clive how great the band was. Clive, we heard
all the stuff. Clive came to flew into Atlanta, changed planes,
which he didn't really like that whole idea, but we
I met him at the airport. We flew together to
uh Columbus, Georgia, where where the Outlaws were opening for

Leonard Skinner and Clive saw Skinner. I saw the Outlaws.
We were walking to go to the hotel to sit
down to talk about it. He was blown away. And
as we were walking, Ronnie van Zandt and Leonard Skinner
were headed to the stage and we got stopped and

Ronnie came over to Clive Davis and said, you're hey,
I'm Ronnie van Zant. You're Clive Davis, right, And he
goes yeah, and he goes he goes, uh, I'll tell
you what I hear you you're here to sign the Outlaws.
If you don't sign that band. You're you're the dumbest
person that I know. And and Clive said, we were
on our way to discuss that before you stopped us.

And we went and we worked out a record deal
for the Outlaws, and you know, we put we we
went to l A recorded the first record, and all
of a sudden we were on the radio all over
the place in FM radio. We had a couple of
songs on the radio. There Goes another love song, green
Grass was on all the FM stations. And then I

got a call from a guy named Dan Winer, and
Dan said, or at Michael Kleffner that was at Arista,
had me called Dan Winer. And Dan Winer said, I've
got this tour this summer that that uh that you
guys could be Outlaws could be the opening act. It's
it's all arenas and it's the Doobie Brothers. And we did.

We did all the arenas with the Doobie Brothers, and
when we got off on the other side, we were
selling thousands that you know, whatever amount of tickets everywhere
and you know, let's see, that's that's seventy five, seventy
that's seventy five and seventy nine, we headlined Madison Square Garden. Okay, wait, well,

let's go back a few chapters. Do you have any siblings? Sister?
She my sister Phyllis. My introduction to her was when
I was christened. I was upstairs in a basinet and
everybody was bringing me presents downstairs, and she was like
six years old, and she came up and slapped me
in the face because she was pissed off because because

I was getting all the presents and she wasn't getting
the attention that she had had for six years. And
she worked for me for I don't know, she worked
for me for probably twenty twenty five years or something
like that. She went through good times, bad times, all
that kind of stuff, and then maybe maybe four or

four years ago or something like that, she retired. She's
she's she's six years old to the max. She's she's
seventy eight. She'll beat She'll be seventy nine this year.

Speaker 1 (01:21:04):
Why did you move to Florida to start a promotion company?
They're fifty states, you're from the Midwest.

Speaker 2 (01:21:11):
The weather, the weather it was. I'd love to say
that there was some kind of a real, kind of
thoughtful process in it. We like, you know, me and
the guy that that I started with, we we liked Florida,
and we were like, hey, hey, where do we want
to go in Florida. Well, we don't want to be
in South Florida, so let's go to Tampa. So we
went to Tampa and and quite frankly, if we don't
make that decision, probably nothing happens because I don't end

up on that hill at the University of South Florida
that night. Okay, since you mentioned how'd you meet your wife?
How did I meet my wife? Where? Oh? Oh, yeah,
that's right. How did I miss that? Okay? A friend
of mine, George Capellini, was the the head of some

some division of national promotion for Geffen Records, and he
was having a listening party at at at the Rich
Carlton for Robbie Robertson, and I was in between wives
at the time. I was I was I was newly
newly divorced again. Wait wait, wait, how many times you've

been married? I've been I've been married four times to
three women. Okay, which one of the one? There's one,
there's two, and then there's three and four and three
and four Cindya is both okay, continue the story, all right.
So so, so I I was. I was dating Uh,

a newscaster that was on CNN and was a kind
of like a local celebrity. But things weren't that great
between us, and she was she was always like if
we were going, if we were meeting somewhere, she was
always late or anything whatever. And she's going to meet
me and a friend of mine. They're going to meet

us at this listening party. So so we're She's late
as always, and we're waiting. We're standing there and I
look across the room and I see this beautiful redhead
standing over by where the wine stuff isn't She's dressed
all in black, and she's not dressed like the rock

people that are there from radio stations and all that.
For so, I thought she worked for the rich carl
So I went over and I said, hey, can I
thought she was poor and wine for people or whatever.
And I said, you know, can I have a glass wine?
She said, yeah, we have anything you want, but you know,
you know, I don't work here. And I was like,

oh oh. And so I started talking to her, and
I'm keeping an eye on the door to see if
the newscast are showing up and there's nowhere to be
sid So I said to her, I said, listen, I'll
tell you the truth. I have I have, I have
somebody coming here to meet me. But i'd i'd like
to I'd like to call you. Can Can I get
your telephone number? And she said yeah, okay, So she

gave me her phone number. So I went, I went,
dropped the the newscaster off, and it's like now, like
one o'clock in the morning or something like that, and
and I'm headed to my house and you had those phones,
big huge phones that were so I was like, oh,
I got her phone number, I'll call her. So I
called and I said, hey, you know, I just met
and the person on the other end of the phone said,

do you know that it's one o'clock in the morning.
And I don't know? And it was it was her
mother because she was she was she was in between
relationships also, and she was living at home for a
little while. So the next morning, at seven o'clock in
the morning, she call me and was like, do you
know that you woke my mother. I was like, oh,

my god. And and so I said, I said, let
me let me, let me make this, let me make
this right for Let's let's go out and have dinner.
And she said, she said, well, we could do that,
but I can't do it on this kind of short
notice because I have I have a son and he's
he's young. And I said, well, I'll tell you what.
I have a friend that's that's staying at my house

and he has a young son. Also, how about if
the kids stay with him and we'll just go to dinner.
That's it. We'll just go to dinner. And that started.
That started, U you know, a thirty some year relationship.
We've been married twice. Wait, tell me about the divorce.

In the remarriage, we.

Speaker 1 (01:25:48):
Just we got.

Speaker 2 (01:25:49):
We got we're both kind of and we were younger,
and we were both kind of like overreacting to a
bunch of stuff that was going on, and we decided
we we we really got ugly, and we got all
the way to the point where we had a divorce
agreement to sign, and we decided to go to have

dinner to sign the divorce agreement. So we went to
dinner and we decided at the dinner we didn't want
we wanted to give it another shot. I called my
attorney and I said, listen, we're going to rip up
the agreement. And she said I had a female attorney
and she said, no, you're not. She said, because you

have an agreement there. And she said you both should
sign the agreement because then you'll be divorced and you'll
start new. And she said, and you can always get remarried.
She goes, but you've spent all this money for these
divorce papers. If this doesn't work out in six months,

you can't use that same divorce agreement. You'll have gotten
back together and everything will have to be changed again.
And I was like, I went back to Cindy, and
Cindy was like, whatever, whatever, we'll we'll, you know, let
let's let's let's let's get back together. And then we
had the because it was pretty ugly all the stuff
that was going on between us, we had to we

had to go break it to everybody that we were
that we were getting back together, which which took a
little while, but you know it it was a it
was a four month period of time that that we
would we just you know, it did help. I mean
it we did cut. We did cut that and put

that behind and we went forward, and I'll tell you
a really interesting thing. The first we got married. The
first time, we got married at the Rich Carlton in
the same room that we met in Okay. And then
we had a small amount of people at the actual
wedding itself, maybe twenty or twenty five family members, and
Gary Rossington was in the in the wedding and or

in the ceremony and all that stuff. And and then
we had the reception at the Fox Theater for three
hundred people. That was the first wedding. The second wedding
was after Stix. We did these big nine to eleven
uh nine to eleven benefits in in uh Uh, Atlanta

and Dallas with Sticks and Bad Company in Kansas and
Leonard Skinner and all that, and we raised a bunch
of money for the Port Authority Police Department. We did.
We did two nights back to back, and we were
going on vacation. Right after that, we went to Nevas
and we were we were because of everything that was
going on and everything like that. When we got to
Nevas uh Uh, she said to me, you said, whenever

we felt like we could get we we we we.
All I had to say was I was ready to
get remarried and you'd be good with it. And I
said yeah, and she said, let's get married. And I
said when she said Saturday? And I said, I said
really and she said yeah. And I said, well, you know,
let's find out what we got to do. Well, you
gotta you gotta have of you know, the blessing or

the You got to go to the magistrate. That's the
that's basically the mayor of Nevs or the governor of
Neivas or whatever it is. You got to meet with
them and they get So we went in and we
gave them our passports. Well, she hadn't changed her passport
from Cindy Bruscoe because during that time period there was
no reason to change your passport. We were only split

up for you know, for four months or whatever it was.
So the woman looks at the passports and she looks
at Charlie Bruscowe and she goes, she looks at Cindy
Bruscoe and she looks back at us, and she goes,
what's your two relationship? Because if you're related, we can't
marry you done. And I was like what and she

was like, you both have the same last name. And
I goes, oh, no, no, no, we've we've been the divorced,
and she said, okay, I need to see your divorce papers.
So we had to hit the attorneys and and this
is all happening in one week. We had to get
all are we had to get whatever the amount of
pages that this divorce agreep was. We had to get

that faxed down to the Rich Car No, the Four
Seasons Hotel in Navas. We had to get it faxed there.
Then we had to go back downtown show her the paperwork.
And the second wedding was held on the between the
eighteenth hole of the golf course at Navas and the
and the ocean and the and the and the beach

and the two of us and three people that we
didn't know that. We had to have the person that
did the ceremony, and then we had to have someone
that was a witness, and then there was somebody else there.
So we went from having a wedding with you know,
an afterthing of three hundred people to just the two
of us and that and that's the one that worked.

How many kids do you have and what are they too?
We both have a child. Mine is my daughter. Her
name is Rhiannon. She's she has a we have a
granddaughter with her, Lucia, who's just turned eleven. And grandchildren

are the best thing that happens to you. Children are
much more of a problem than grandchildren because because children
stay with you, grand your grandchildren go home. And then
Cindy's son, which is not my son, but he calls
me dad, and he's been with me for thirty thirty

some years or whatever and works for me and has
worked in my office for thirteen fourteen years. He has
a nine year old son, Landon. That just is there
those two kids or you know, that's that's that's the

the except for that, they're the most enjoyable part of
everything that we do. You know, I have Cindy was,
Cindy was, I think you're in Colorado. But Cindy was
in Colorado for her birthday with her girlfriend last week.
She does that every year. Last last year I went
because I had stick, explained at the Valars Center on
her birthday. But uh, she was in Colorado and she

was coming back on Saturday. But Friday night, Justin and
his and his and his uh his girlfriend that they
wanted to go out somewhere, so they were like, hey,
would you would you watch Landing? And can he stay
overnight at the house. So everybody was like, oh my god,
we're leaving Landing with with Pap. Pap. This is never

gonna work. You know, the house is you know, the
house is going to burn down or whatever. And and
Landing came over and you know, we you know, he
and I, he and I get along. Just unbelievable. I mean,
it was funny. He was he's gotten really into like
the the He wasn't a football fan, but he's now
become a football fan and he's a he's a Mahones

fan and all that. And he we were we were
getting ready to go to bed, and uh and we
were in bed and he had his iPad out and
I had my phone out and I was looking at
some stuff and he was googling stuff. And I said,
he Landing, what's Patrick Mahones? What's how big is his contract?
So he googles and he's telling me with Patrick Mahones
And I said, so he must be the highest paid

quarterback in the NFL. And he said, without googling anything,
he said, no, no, no, that's Joe Burrow. And I go,
how do you know that. He goes, well, I know
a lot of stuff, and I go, yeah, well, let's
see how much you know. And so I googled myself
and the stuff that pulls up on me pulled up
on me and he and I said, I said, land

and look there there there there, I can google myself
and look. And he looked at it and he was like,
you're in thee You're in the Hall of Fame. And
I go, yeah, I'm in the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.
You didn't know that, And he goes, no, he goes,
but there's pictures of you at the you know, being
inducted into the in and look at Mimi's that he

calls Cindy Memi. Mimi's there too, is me me in
the Hall of Fame? And I go, yeah, that she's
in the Hall of Fame too, I go, I go,
I go. And he was just he was fascinated by that,
because everything that he does, he does you know, he's
like I would this is this is how it looks

to me. When I was growing up and I started
getting albums, I used to like, look at all the
liner notes and I used to take everything out and
read everything and who was the who is the producer,
who was the manager, who was the band? Who was
I got everything from all of that kind of stuff.
He does all of that stuff, you know online. I

mean he googles everything. And my my granddaughter is the
same way. It's you know, it's it's it we're not,
you know, we're not what. How we grew up is
so different from how they're growing up now. But it's
wonderful to watch them. I mean, it's they're they're you know,
the the and and I I don't want to downplay

the kids. We got great kids. They've both had their
there they're different issues here and there and all that,
but they're great. My daughter was a was went to
law school. She was an attorney at Greenberg Trialing. Then
she became a judge in Cobb County. And then she
got diagnosed with MS, so she had to go on

disability and and but she's a stay at home mom
and she's she's extremely happy to be a stay at
home mom. And then Justin has Justin does I mean,
he not only works for me, he's got his own,
he's got other stuff that he does on his own.
He's got his own like he's got a DJ company
that him and a bunch of guys dj different kind

of stuff. And they own all their you know, their
own equipment and all that stuff. I mean, it's you
know it, you know, it's it's great. It's it's great.
Having We've always been a fairly tight family. I mean,
all the way around, it's been it's been like that.

Speaker 1 (01:36:24):
Okay, let's go back to the guys who gave you
the money in Pittsburgh. Whatever happened to that money, lost
it Alice Cooper at Tampa Stadium. The show got canceled,
lost lost one hundred and seventy five thousand dollars in
nineteen seventy three or four money, so you can imagine,

you know, I was paying Alice and the show didn't sell,
and then then a cold front came into Tampa, so
we had to cancel the show, and they kept the money,
and I had to pay all the bills and pay
all that stuff, and was basically tapped out. And and
the only the only chance that I had, you know,

doing anything, was.

Speaker 2 (01:37:08):
The fact that I managed the Outlaws, and that was
I picked it up from there and and just you know,
ran with it, got got lucky. A bunch what did
the people say about you losing their money? It was
it was both both of them, you know, it was
it was somewhat not play money, but you know it
was you know that they they the the one guy,

his father had had some businesses that spit off a
ton of cash, so they were looking for things to
do with cash. And and the other my my partner's
father was you know, it was it was a millionaire
back then when it was a big deal to be
a millionaire.

Speaker 1 (01:37:49):
Okay, you got the thing with the Outlaws, but you
continue to ultimately promote concerts.

Speaker 2 (01:37:55):
How does that happen? Actually? When when the Outlaw? When
the Outlaws and I parted ways in nineteen eighty two
or eighty three. Around that time period, I had money,
and I had relationships with a lot of agents, and

I made some offers on first first dates that I
got was kiss and I started promoting shows, and you know,
I did what I did for a while, changed partnership
kind of things a couple of different times. And then

and Alex Cooley and I were kind of always like
we were making offers on shows, and you know, he'd
offer twenty five thousand out offer thirty five thousand hit
offer forty five thousand out off for fifty the band
was still only worth twenty five if they were worth that.
So were we were running it up on each other.
And one day we ran into each other and there

was this this thing. Alex and I knew each other
from the Outlaws days and he promoted shows for me
and all that, and and we ran into each other
and we kind of just I was like, and it
was over like a Motley Crew date and he had
made an offer on Motley that was ridiculous for like
a Monday night. And I was like, you know you're
paying Motley. You know they're getting the bands are making

all the money, you know. And Alex said, well, why
don't you you know, why don't you come with us?
Why don't you come joined Concerts Southern and and we'll
join forces together. So I did that in UH in
eighty seven eighty six, and that's when this the during

that time period, that's when the skinnered thing came up,
and that's when I started getting the management thing.

Speaker 1 (01:39:50):
So I I I.

Speaker 2 (01:39:53):
Got a call from UH from or Ving, and Irving
told me that that he wanted me to go look
at something. But he wanted me to look at it
on my own because because there was going to be
He said, you know what STARplex is in in uh Dallas,

There's going to be a STARplex in Atlanta, and it's
going to be He was Irving was at m c
A at the time, so he was the head of
m c A, which also had the concert division with Jay,
and he said, he said, uh, m c A and

Pace are going to build this place, and we want
you to come with us. And and so I I
flew out to to to Jackson Hole to meet with
Gary and to let Gary know that I was that
that it looked like I was going to do this,

and that that that you know, Uh that that that's
how how I was going to leave. Uh Cooley and
Conlin and Wallace Barr was a guy that worked in
the office with me, and he did all the closed
circuit boxing stuff with Bob Aram, so he had kind
of like a little bit of a business also. So

we made it. We just made a deal with m
c A and and Pace to back us and a
company that we called Brusco Bar Presents, and we we
left Cooley Conlin not on great terms, and we had
this Amphitheater and and I had relationships with Doc McGhee

and bon Jovi and Motley and all you know and
different different other agents and all that stuff. And we
just started doing shows and from until ninety one, we
were we were killing it. And then the all the
business started shifting for how much you could lose on

a show, Like you know, you used to be if
you lost twenty grand on a show, you know, you
were like completely miserable. People were losing, you know, one
hundred thousand dollars on a show. Guarantees were out of
control and all that stuff. And I was getting skinnered,
was back in ninety one, and I was getting offers
for skinnered and everything like that, and I was like,

why do I want to be, you know, making these
stupid offers and dealing with all this stuff, and you know,
going back and forth and trading money on winners and
losers and all that. And I just was like, I'm
going I'm staying in the I'm getting out of the
promoting business. I did a deal with with with with

Pace and MCA Concerts for a couple of years. I
consulted on Lakewood after it had already been built, and
we that was up and run and everything like that.
And I stayed out of the promotion business until we
were doing the Skinner and Sticks tours that were set

for ninety six and Jack Boyle was going to promote
both of those tours and he was going to put
them through the amphitheaters and all this other stuff. And
there was a guy in his office that I was
dealing with on the tours that we were getting we
were setting up, and his name was Bruce Cap And

Jack Boyle called me on the phone and he said,
I'm just going to tell you this. I'm getting ready
to go down the hall and he goes, I can't
put up with Bruce. Bruce and I don't get along.
I'm letting Bruce go. And he's going to call you
and he said, if you want to us to do

the skinnerd and the the uh the Sticks tours, then
we'll we'll do them. But if you don't, you know,
and you want to do something with Bruce, you guys
can you guys can take that over. We'll we'll we'll
sign it all over to you. So we we we

had Bruce called me. We had a mutual friend that
Dennis D. Young had that did theater stuff that had
bugged Dennis about about doing U Stick States and I
His name was wash Lee Marshall. He was he was
really in the play business. And we called Lee Marshall

and a guy named Joe marsh and like the following Monday,
we had a meeting with them and they said, we'll
back both of those tours. We'll put all the money up,
We'll back both of those tours. And we started doing
not individual cities, but we started doing national tours and
we did this this the Skinner Tour and the Sticks

Tour and then and then then when it came then
Irving did they had they did the Big Eagles Tour.
Hell Freeze is over and Joe or Lee called me
on the phone one day with Louis and they were like, hey,
we want to make an offer to Fleetwood Mac. And

it's a lot of money. Back then, it was four
hundred thousand dollars a show. And they said, you know,
we're going to make an offer on the whole tour.
So we're gonna are you are you are you in? Yeah? Okay, yeah,
we're doing it. We got the we we got the
Fleetwood Mac tour. We did we did the Flate Fleetwood
Mac First Reunion Tour. We sold some shows to some promoters,

but we promoted most of the shows all the way
across across the board. Then Bruce started talking with s
f X and he got an offer from SFX and
didn't tell us anything about it. Left like in the
middle of the night, went to SFX, started SFX touring
with with with Division with with with Sullivan Sullivan and

and basically started telling everybody that that we weren't doing
tours anymore. And somebody called me up, a friend of mine,
uh called me up on the phone and said, Hey,
you guys are doing tours. I got a tour that's
going out. I don't know if you'd be interested in it,
but it's Janet Jackson. And it was the Janet Jackson

Velvet Rope Tour. And Bruce had just left, and we
made a deal to do the Janet Jackson Velvet Rope
Tour fifty six states across the United States, and you know,
you know, two days at the Garden with HBO special
and did it with Roger Davies and and then after that,

I basically I didn't want to keep on promoting against
and and that I felt like that was the big time.
And and s FX came courting Magic to buy Magic productions,
and I was like, get me paid and and and
let's move on. And I'm going, I'm gonna, I'm I'm

just doing I was doing Skinnered and sticks at the
same time, and I was like, I'm I'm I'm not
promoting anymore, and I haven't. I haven't promoted since then.
I had. The last real big thing that that I
did as a promoter was the Janet Jackson Velvet Rope
Tour and it was phenomenal, and you know, and that
was that was a good way for me to end

at that end of my career. But you got to
check from sf X, the Magic got a check and
I got paid from them, right, Okay, so today the
landscape is different. You've been on both sides of the fence.
What are the keys to negotiating a deal and what
are the keys to make sure that you get all

the money? I'm I'm I'm not an all the money
kind of promote A manager. I like, I like for
everybody to try and unless the artist, just the artist
wants all the money. But if the artist is is
fair in the negotiations and stuff like that. I I

don't squeeze everything out of out of everybody. I get
the best deals that that the artists should get. And
and I don't beat everybody up.

Speaker 1 (01:48:26):
I you know, I I.

Speaker 2 (01:48:29):
That's that's and I actually I don't know that that's
corn style either. I mean, there are artists that you
represent that they you know, they want you to get
everything out of everybody. I mean that that's it's it's
artists driven. I mean, you know it. That's that's kind
that's kind of what sets the tone for for for
how you're going to handle it. And quite frankly, the

promoters or the buyers or anything like that, they all
know what the deal is. They know who they got
to overpay and who they who they can make fair
deals with and and listen, a fair deal maybe that
you know, the promoters, you know, the promoters still making
very little profit. But but if they're if they're good
with it, then it's then it's good. You know, Okay,

but if you squeeze every penny out, what's the downside
of them? The downside of it is is that that
you do that enough times and nobody makes any money.
You know, you have, you have very little options left
of who you work for.

Speaker 1 (01:49:33):
So speaking of who you work for, you know Live
Nation is the behemoth, then there's a g there are
still some independence. Who do you like to work with?
It doesn't make any difference.

Speaker 2 (01:49:45):
I work with I work with all of them. I've
got to I've got tours out this summer that we're
involved with that are Live Nation, Hearts a an aeg
toor I do individual dates all the time with Out
and Pepper and Mammoth, we I we, I work with.

I work with just about everybody. It's really a situation
kind of thing. Well, let's ask, you know, before the
roll up ninety six and now, what's the difference in
making deals for shows there? There's there's more money. I mean,
there's there's definitely more money. And it's I think, I

think in our eyes from our side, it's more transparent,
whether it's been transparent to us or we found out
how it's I mean, listen, I was I was a
I I was a consultant on an amphitheater that opened
in Atlanta. You know, I've been on the promoter side,

so I know I know where the money's at. You know,
you know and you know, so it's you know, you
make that you make the deals based on what you know,
you know and and and what the risk is. I
mean that's you know that that that's.

Speaker 1 (01:51:05):
What it is. Okay, So the money's bigger. Now any
other differences.

Speaker 2 (01:51:12):
I think that I I think that the larger promoters,
the the Live Nations and the aeg s have have
more the their their marketing reach is bigger because they're
doing more shows and they're more involved in you know,

major market kind of stuff. That's where they live. So
so I think that you know, they they there, they
can roll things out on a national level way bigger
that I think that the independent guys are probably better

at rolling up their sleeves and doing the theater stuff
or the arena stuff and secondaries and all that kind
of stuff, because that's that's where a lot of their
business is because they're they're not getting major shows in
Atlanta because either AEG or Live Nations getting it from
a tour or from just from you know, the offers

that they make. So do you have a take on
ticket fees? Do I have a take on it? I
I think just like everybody else does. I think that
ticket fees are they're they're not that last article that

you had. Ticket fees are not really set by the promoter.
I mean the ticket fees are are a part of
I would I would not have any problem whatsoever if
it was one price ticket and everybody everybody saw one
price ticket, because quite frankly, when I buy, when I buy,
if I buy a ticket and I buy tickets, I

would rather see the tickets be. You know, you're paying
seventy five dollars and you know that when you're pushing
the button it doesn't go okay. Now here's your checkout stuff,
and you got to pay for all this other shit
on top of it. So you would have your acts
good all in pricing, I would I I would, Yeah,
it would be, it would be, it would be easier,

it would be, it would be it would be transparent
to everybody what the what they're paying for. I don't
think that for what it is, I don't think that
the ticket master and all those kind of things are exorbitant.
Nobody gives Nobody gives them credit for the business that
and what it costs them to be in business, you know,

separate from Live Nation. So what's the best show you
ever saw. What's the best show I ever saw? Wow?
I mean, you know, I've I've seen this. The Stones

are probably my favorite band the I saw, but I
see I saw everybody and kind of like the Heyday.
So I saw Zeppelin a bunch. I probably saw Zeppelin
fifteen times. I saw The Who at least ten fifteen times.

I mean I saw bands when they were really, really
in their prime. I mean the original Skinnered lineup. There
were nights that I saw them and the Outlaws play
together that that I would go like, these guys are
all on another planet. I mean it, you know, like Skinnered,
Skinnered in the Outlaws at the at Winterland was was

just like, you know, total magic, the whole show. So
I don't know that I have, you know, one one
show that I look at and go like wow, you know,
and and you know, my you know, the one thing
about the lineup that I've got that's my artist. I mean,
they're they're they they are all pretty great at their craft.

I mean they're you know, they're they're they all do
really really good shows. That's part of what attracts me
to an artist, because that's what I've always went by.
How good somebody is on stage, Would I pay to
see that show? Okay?

Speaker 1 (01:55:26):
One or two personal highlights in your business career? What
are you most proud of?

Speaker 2 (01:55:32):
Well, I'm I'm I'm proud of the I'm proud of
everything that I did with the Outlaws. I'm proud of
the putting skinner back together. I'm proud of putting sticks
back together and continuing on as long as that we've
continued on, and those those benefits that I told you

about that we did for nine to eleven, the two
nights we put those shows together in like the shows
were nine to eleven to October like eighteen, nineteen twenty.
Somewhere in that time period, we came up with the
Tommy Shaw and Kevin Cronin came up with the idea.

We came up with the idea. We got all these
bands to come in and play. Nobody made any money.
We gave all the money to the Port Authority Police
who basically we were the ones that were guarding the
World Trade Center. But when the money started getting coming
in and money was going everywhere, it was going to

the New York Police Department or the New York Fire
Department all that and the Port Authority police was only
like a total of like eight hundred people that worked
for you know, there were forty thousand firemen, and yeah
they lost you know, thou whatever the number was, these guys.

Out of eight hundred people, they lost thirty nine people.
They knew everybody that died in that building.

Speaker 1 (01:57:04):
You know.

Speaker 2 (01:57:04):
It wasn't like, oh that guy's from another precinct or
any of that ship. These guys all knew each other.
And there was a certain bond that went on with
us doing those shows. And they sent a couple of
guys down from the Poort Authority that came to both shows,
and that those shows were we were were just unbelievable.
I mean, you know, I did a Alex and Peter

and I did an Amnesty International show with Bill Graham
the one year on my birthday at the Omni in Atlanta,
and the show was like staying you two all these
people and and it ended up being the police instead
of instead of instead of stinging, and it was that
that that was that was magic. And I mean, I've

got so many magic moments in my career that that
I that I you know, I don't that whether I
deserved it or didn't deserve it. I I've gotten way
way more than my share. I've gotten way more than
my share. Explain it lamp to in Georgia. To me,

Atlanta's just a it's a it's a it's a great
place to live. Uh uh. I'm not going to get
into the politics and everything like that, but I'm where
I live, in the neighborhood that I live in. I'm
not putting any signs up for for who I favor
in any election, but I live in a great I

live in a great place. I'm I'm ten minutes from
my office. I I can pretty much call and I
mostly insist on buying tickets to shows, even if I
have relationships with people and stuff like that, because I

don't like comps. I don't. I don't like them from
my end, and I don't like to be a guy
that's calling and going CA, can you give me tickets
to the show? And sometimes people go like, no, I'm
not you know, I'm not You're not getting I'm not
selling you a ticket. I'm giving you a ticket. But
I can go to any show that I want to
go to, and I've had I've had options over my

career early options to like go to New York for
something and go to l a couple of times. I've
never It's never been in my head that I'm going
to get out of Atlanta. You know. I'm I'm from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
and I'm in the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. I'm
in the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. But my band

has the biggest song for the team that I supported
since I was a young kid, which is Renegade in
the Pittsburgh Steelers. I mean, you can't make this ship up.
I mean, it's you know, it's it's you know, it's
it's a it's it's not bad. And a lot of
people would probably change, you know, trade places with me.

And I like where I am and and pretty much
I like who I am? And where's your money? Where's
my money? It's in What do you do with it?
You obviously made a good check of change. Is it
in stocks? Is in real estate? Do you invest them?
It's it's it's in all of you. It's in all
of the above. Yeah. Yeah, I got a good I

have a good stock guy that's done very well for me.
I we own real estate, and I got money in
the bank, and.

Speaker 1 (02:00:33):
Do you pay attention to that or you more leave
it to the advisors and you're being a management guy
all day.

Speaker 2 (02:00:41):
That's the last thing I think about. And and quite frankly,
quite frankly, red Lights made it that that you know everything.
Everything for me as far as business is concerned, flows
with you know, with with with with with how we
do it. And Corn and Corn and I since we

since since I signed on, we've never had a discussion
about what I make or how I make, or what
he makes with me or anything like that. Well, we
we have a we have a financial guy, and I
talked to him maybe four times a year. That's not that,
that's not that's not what drives me. It's really not

what drives me.

Speaker 1 (02:01:26):
Okay, you make a living dealing with artists. Give us
some insight into the mentality of artists.

Speaker 2 (02:01:36):
Artists are or exactly that they're artists, and they are
concerned usually about themselves and their careers. And you know,
to to the the more that they're focused on reality,
the better that it is. But some of them, especially

artists that that that have been around for as long
as I know, some of my artists or other artists
that red Light has I mean, you know, they've seen
it all, they've done it all. They've had good times,
they've had bad times, they've had they've had all of it.
And I like to let the artists. I don't like

to to get too much into what they're doing when
they're creative. I like to help them in anything that
they need help with. But I don't. I don't A
and R stuff. I don't, you know, I don't. I
don't do all of that. I give suggestions, but I
usually don't give suggestions on anything that has to do

with music or if they're going to do a video,
if they're going to do you know, what the set
design is, and stuff like that. I'll go like, hey,
you know, we're spending too much money. But but that's
That's about the only thing that I'll say. And that's
not my money that I'm worried about, it's their money.
I'm much more protective of my artist money than I
am of mine. And do you have paper with your artists? Never?

And do you charge every artist the same percentage? Never?

Speaker 1 (02:03:07):
What would vary the percentage you would.

Speaker 2 (02:03:09):
Charge my deal with the artist? I mean, but why
would the deal be?

Speaker 1 (02:03:14):
You don't have to mention any names. Why would the
deal be different with one artist and another artist.

Speaker 2 (02:03:19):
Because the circumstances are always are always different. I mean, listen,
I don't go below a certain threshold. But but I
don't think in anything everybody's created, everybody's treated equally. I mean,
I don't think there's there's any business that everybody's treated,
you know, treated equally. You know, it's it's all individual stuff,

you know, And I I don't think. I don't think myself,
nor do I know of red light where where commission
structure is a driving kind of thing. That is the
difference between whether you've got a relationship with an artists
or not. I mean, you know, it'll all it will
be reflected in what their bottom line is. If they're

not making money, then you know, you know most of
them won't be happy. There are some artists that are
that that you know that that also you know, are
not driven by money.

Speaker 1 (02:04:20):
And since you've been negotiating your whole life, what's the
key to negotiation?

Speaker 2 (02:04:27):
My key is that it's fair to both sides. That's
not always everybody else's everybody else's notion. But I like
I like for deals in anything, I like for deals.
I like for deals, you know, in my in my
in my in my private life. I like for deals
to be fair, you know between everybody. You know, my wife,

my wife is you know, we we have to we
have to be on equal ground or you know, where
there's there's there's problems.

Speaker 1 (02:04:59):
Okay, you've been married twice. To what degree did this
business contribute to the death of those marriages? And how
hard is it to have a relationship and be in
this business.

Speaker 2 (02:05:15):
Probably I had a period of time was like a
lot of people with drugs and alcohol and all that
stuff which were driven by the business. So my first
marriage probably was due to that. My second marriage wasn't.
My third marriage was probably Our first marriage to Cindy

was probably partially the drug and alcohol thing and partially
my ego. And the fourth marriage is my last.

Speaker 1 (02:05:53):
So if you had your drugs and alcohol period, how
did you get past that.

Speaker 2 (02:06:02):
I didn't go to rehab. I just I just stopped.
I knew I realized that it was I realized that
it was was ruining things for me. And even though
I thought to myself, I didn't know that I could
stop doing cocaine, when I did, I just stopped. I

just That's what I did. I went like, I'm not
doing this anymore, and I haven't and drinking. I stopped
drinking and then I slowly started drinking again. But I've
never drank like I did, you know. I mean, there
was a rider that the Outlaws had, that that had

you know, there was only six guys in the band
and me and the tour manager. You know, besides the crew.
Forget the crew, they weren't they weren't touching her alcohol.
There were like four bottles of vodka, two bottles of
are three bottles of Jack Daniels. I mean, it was
like how to is how did these guys can? And
there was one o'clock in the morning. Somebody was always

looking for a drink.

Speaker 1 (02:07:07):
Rock and roll lifestyle. Anyway, Charlie, you lived it, You survived.
You've been very open and honest. You told us some
of the inside stories. I want to thank you so
much for taking this time with my audience. Oh it's
a it's a pleasure.

Speaker 2 (02:07:21):
You know, I'm a you know I'm a fan, and
you know that you know that that you and I,
you and I trade uh emails back and forth about
things when when when things are going on so I was.
I was actually very very honored to be asked to
do the to do the podcast. And now now you
gotta get corn. Absolutely, I'll tell them that it's painless.

You know.

Speaker 1 (02:07:45):
You know I got it into it with an email
the other day. We were emailing about something else and
he kind of pushed it down the road. But if
you could, but if you could play rod Y, give
this story, that'll be good.

Speaker 2 (02:07:59):
Yeah. Well I listen. I would listen to a podcast
with you and him for however long it last. To
trust me, I think I think I was. I was
just I was. I was so blown away just by
that that little back and forth and at the at
the at the bon Jovie thing the other night, I thought,
I thought that was just fascinating the two of you.

Speaker 1 (02:08:22):
Well, I could literally talk to you for hours. I
love the stories, I love the thing. But we're gonna
end it here. You got it, Charlie. At any event,
till next time. This is Bob left six
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