U2: Remembering a Friend
The music industry lost one of its pioneers last week, and someone who most people never heard of. Frank Barsalona, the founder of Premier Talent, the first booking agency to work exclusively with rock acts, passed away on November 21st from the effects of Alzheimer's Disease. Among the acts he booked were The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, The Yardbirds, Grand Funk, Van Halen, Tom Petty and U2. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.
Among the artists who are remembering Barsalona are Bono, who says, "Beyond a gentleman to deal with. Graceful, very family orientated. Working with Frank as U2 did, it was like you were in his family. His stories were sometimes long but always memorable -- my favorite featuring The Who smashing their instruments on stage for the first time in his presence and starring Frank, who, starting to get it, turns to his beloved but aghast wife, June and says, 'It's OK honey, it's all part of the show.'
And former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony says, "I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Frank Barsalona. He was a great pioneer in the industry as an agent, and Eddie, Alex, Dave and myself were represented by Frank and Premier Talent in the early days of Van Halen. He will be greatly missed."