This week In the Hot Seat with Larry LeBlanc: Eva Alexiou-Reo, president/founder, FATA Booking Agency.
Eva Alexiou-Reo lives to chat down the phone line with promoters sketching out ideas and parameters for her clients.
As president/founder of the FATA Booking Agency in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Alexiou-Reo race walks/talks through pitches of her eccentric, creative roster of over 25 acts including Skinny Lister, Hey Ocean!, Joel Plaskett, Schematic, Dear and the Headlights, Courage My Love, The Bunny The Bear, Beta Play, Captain Capa, and others
In 2012 Alexiou-Reo launched the affiliated management company, FBA Management, which handles Alvarez Kings, Imam Baildi, the Jazz June, BoyMeetsWorld, and Kevin Burke who FATA also books.
While FATA represent its artists primarily in the North America, the independent boutique agency also covers such territories as the United Kingdom, Asia, Australia and Europe.
Alexiou-Reo began her music industry career in 1996, booking local DIY house shows and working at college radio. During this time, she met Hot Water Music and began booking tour dates for the band.
With earnest and precise management skills, and support from leading live music executives championing her every move, Alexiou-Reo eventually branched off to starting the Fata Booking Agency.
Over nearly two decades, Alexiou-Reo has worked with the likes of Jimmy Eat World, Saves the Day, Flogging Molly, Hot Water Music, Elliott, Hidden In Plain View, the Blood Brothers, Rusted Root, Atari Teenage Riot, Pretty Girls Make Graves, and Mae, among others.
As well, this tireless music enthusiast works as an adjunct professor, teaching music business at Drexel University and The University of the Arts.
You began booking bands in 1996?
I did. I started as an 18-year-old in college. Actually, a little bit before I enrolled. I grew up in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and they did a lot of local hardcore and punk shows. The New York hardcore scene would come through there being so close. I helped organize, and facilitate underground shows in VFW halls. Then I went to college at Rutgers University in New Brunswick (in New Jersey), I knew bands like Hot Water Music, and I worked for the college radio station meeting Kevin Lyman who was a manager still, as well as running (Vans) Warped tour. Then Hot Water Music started taking off, and they convinced me to book their tour.
Hot Water Music was from Gainesville, Florida.
Yes, Gainesville, Florida. Just like Jawbox, and Jawbreaker and many of those bands at the time, they used to book their own tours coming through, and Wilkes-Barre was one of their spots.
You were you a punker?
Kinda, yeah. I was more into Bikini Kill and bands like that. Yes, punk rock and not so much hardcore music. I liked a lot of New York Dolls, and Bikini Kill. When I got into this, a lot of the music I worked for was still unknown. Some of the bands I started with were Hot Water Music, Elliot, and Jimmy Eat World. But I can compliment my punk tastes from my stepfather who introduced me to most of that stuff.
Thatís very cool.
Yeah, he used to call when he would hear things like the Get Up Kids on college radio, and tell me how cool he thought the band was. He had a pretty interesting taste in music, and was always open-minded which helped me get into music.
What were you studying at Rutgers?
I did my undergrad in environmental science, and I did my masters in psychology. (Laughing) My parents are very proud.
Great preparation for the music business.
The psychology helps.
Did you get so involved in the music business that you figured, ďThis life is for me?Ē
Yeah, thatís exactly what happened, basically. When I was 20, I was working with Jimmy Eat World on their ďClarityĒ record (in 1999). I was dealing with Jorge Hinojosa at the time who was still dealing with Madonna with his wife. I was dealing with (LA-based product manager) Bob Hoch from Capitol Records. I was young, green, nervous and very driven to prove that I could do this.
Where were you working from?
I was still in school when I was doing this. So I was working from my college apartment. Then I graduated from school, and I had the opportunity to stay in the business or leave the business. I had a lot of support from people like Andy Somers (APA), Kevin Lyman (4Fini), Tim Borror (The Agency Group), and Don Muller (WME). People were always willing to assist and pay compliments of how good of a job they thought I was doing, and how I should continue. So after graduating in 2000, I decided to do just that. I stayed in the business, and I worked very hard through the years, and built the roster. I have stayed an independent boutique my entire career to date.
What year did you launch the FATA Booking Agency?
I started FATA in 1996. Funny enough I didnít have a name or anything at first, but Kevin Lyman said, ďThe first thing that you need to do is to get a name for your company, and get it going the right way.Ē I talked to him about things that I didnít know like stage plots, input lists, and contracts. Trying to figure out the right ways to do things versus the wrong way.
What groups did you open up with?
The first group was Hot Water Music. The second group was Elliot. Then there were some smaller acts. The next bigger act was Jimmy Eat World.
When you began booking Hot Water Music were you just booking the band on the East Coast?
I did all of North America for them. Six months into booking Hot Water they got a Warped tour. It kind of unraveled naturally.
I recently saw an announcement of Hot Water Musicís ď20th Anniversary Collection.Ē
I canít believe itís been 20 years, but those guys have worked so hard on every single thing that they ever did. They had so much interest in being involved and understanding the business of their band, and doing things in the best way possible that it makes sense to me why itís been 20 years of them doing things.
They split up for awhile in 2006.
They did. I probably stopped working for them prior to them going on hiatus. It was a dwindling down period. Iím not sure what ended up being the final decision for them to stop, but when they came back people were pretty excited. Of course, they went on to do other things. George (Rebelo) the drummer is now in the Bouncing Souls. So they are still playing.
You have a roster of 25 acts?
How much staff?
I have one junior agent, and one assistant.
You have some eye-catching acts like the Alvarez Kings from Sheffield, Imam Baildi from Greece, and the Jazz June from Kutztown, Pennsylvania.
We canít forget about the Jazz June from Pennsylvania. They are great.
They have been around since mid-90s.
They have. Itís funny because they got a lot of love from NPR recently. Itís exciting to see their name on NPR because they have worked so hard, and for so long. They were not one of the bigger bands that came out of the emo revival when they were more active. But they got a lot of attention when they came back (in 2014). Thatís great.
Itís been interesting watching the Alvarez Kings emerge from South Yorkshire to playing the Van Warped tours.
Yes, they did it first in 2013. That was their first experience in the U.S. besides CMJ (Music Marathon). Prior to that they did Canada with Hey Ocean!. That was really the beginning of building Alvarez Kings in North America. And we have so many pickups from that Warped tour despite visa problems with our singer getting locked up in Canada, getting deported, and then being put back in the country. That was a very funny headache.
Simon Thompson had a previous DUI conviction which didnít allow him into Canada at the time.
I told him not to go to Canada. It was for the one Warped tour date in Toronto. Not only did they (border officials) remove him from the bus, and he had to get his papers sorted out, but I had to get him back to the United States. I had Kevin (Lyman) calling me about dropping the ball. Iím saying, ďWhy did you go to Canada when I told you not to?Ē
Now Alvarez Kings are booked for the full Van Warped 2015 tour which kicks off next month.
I was able to get four clients of mine on the Warped Tour through 4Fini which is Kevin Lymanís company. CAA books the actual tour. Kevin and CAA work together to complete the manifest of bands performing on the Warped tour. We have four FATA bands, BoyMeetsWorld, Alvarez Kings, The Bunny The Bear, and Onward.
How did you come to represent Imam Baildi, an 8-piece band from Greece which has been around for about a decade.
They have been. They have a gold record (ďImam Baildi CookbookĒ in 2010) in Greece and they have toured a lot all over Europe, but they did not tour a lot in North America or the UK.
How did you hear about them?
Iím Greek. My cousin in Greece told me that I had to listen to this band. She always sends me stuff. Eventually, it became a little white noise because she was sending me bands all of the time that I just didnít like. But I listened to them, probably because of their name, and just fell in love with them. They are so much fun. It was kind of a passion project. I didnít know if I was going to fall on my face working on this or it was actually going to unravel into something wonderful. It ended up being the latter. Last year we had them on the Montreal Jazz Festival and in Quebec City, and Toronto for the jazz festival. We also had them in New Orleans. This year we have them on Bonnaroo. Not only are they on Bonnaroo but they are playing on the Bonnaroo Mixtape that is available at NoiseTrade.com
Imam Baildi sound like a lot of fun.
They are so much fun. They are definitely a band that if you donít typically dance you might end up dancing to them while watching them.
All bands these days want to play festivals.
Most bands figure that they are ready to play a festival every minute that they are a band.
Perhaps not at 5:30 P.M. playing on a side stage.
My general opinion about that is that bands do not break from festivals. If a band is not doing well or not buzzing, they are not going to break from a festival, but itís a nice resume booster for agents. If I have a band on Bonnaroo that doesnít mean anything yet; that is not known at allóI will give the example of Imam Baildi in the United States. They donít have a presence here yet. They are a great band. They just signed to a label. (End/Warner Bros.ADA for North America). Itís going to be something good, but itís not there yet. So this favor from Superfly (Presents) and Chris Sampson (GM of programming, Superfly Presents) really did a solid one for FATA and myself by putting them on there, putting them on the compilation. I get to use that now and say, ďHere is something very substantial that we are doing, pay attention please.Ē Then someone across the table from me might say, ďWell this band is on Bonnaroo, maybe Superfly knows something that we donít know.Ē
You are using the festival performance as a building brick. But so many bands being courted by agents will say, ďYou have to get us on festivals.Ē
Right. If itís in the courting stage, the person will say either yes or no.
Not many agents can deliver a festival to an unknown band.
No. Itís hard. Iím very fortunate when it comes to having smaller artists and bands on festivals. Having good relationships with people may help a younger smaller act get on something bigger at an earlier stage. It comes down to relationships that I have kept over the years including with Kevin Lyman, and Paul Tollett from Goldenvoice. They donít have to give me slots for these smaller bands, but they do. I feel very lucky. Do smaller bands need to be playing festivals without having the scaffolding and releases and so on? I would say that itís not necessary. They should be out there working, building their scaffolding, paving some cement ground to stand on, and then playing the festivals when itís time for them to really gain from it. Like that building block we talked about with Imam Baildi.
While festivals dominate summer bookings is the rest of your year split between booking colleges and clubs?
It is between clubs and colleges. I do a lot of college work with the middle college buyers, and with the college buyers directly. We donít have the capacity to have a college booking section like APA, William Morris or Windish does but we have our relationships with colleges that have grown over the past 17 years. It has evolved each year. So we are dealing with the people at the schools directly, and with the middle buyers which, of course, that are great.
With people like Harris Goldberg at Concert Ideas in Woodstock, New York?
Exactly. More Music Group is great too. Babco (Entertainment) is also great to use for college shows as well.
Whatever the challenges of college booking, major agencies seem to not spend their energies in that sector.
Thereís a niche market for colleges, and there are certain genres of bands that only work in colleges, and that will perform for NACA (National Assn. For Campus Activities), for example. They (a band) will have their entire career in a college. Then there are other acts that do the clubs, the festival circuit, and colleges. Iím not sure how the bigger companies structure things or whether there is a desire to not play the market. I know our challenge is that the studentsí college booking changes so often, and everyone needs to vote on the bands that they want to perform at their school.
You are talking about working with student-run campus activity boards?
Exactly. We have to deal with complications at times. Not so much through the middle buyers, but the activity boards when you go directly through the school. Where a student (booker) doesnít understand breaching a contract, and they will go through full negotiations, and their directors wonít know about it (terms). So we have dealt with some hiccups in the past but, ultimately, we try to lock in as many colleges as we can because it pays the bands nicely, and college students still go to shows if they can afford it. Not so much like high school students. The high school demographic, they have their parentsí money so they are going to go to as many shows as possible. Parents have more money than they have ever had to send their (high school age) kids to shows. College kids, if they can go to a show on campus for free, your band or your artist is getting exposure.
Still, itís very hard to break a band from the college circuit.
I agree with you.
As well, many colleges have restrictions.
Yeah. Thereís language (restrictions) or even, sometimes, on how an artist presents themselves as a performer. A lot of times certain artists will dress the part of their art. Letís put it in those terms. They might not be going to the supermarket with what they wear onstage, and there are some directors or activity boards that will flag that. Not so much as language because some songs have poor language, and lots of profanities, and a school will certainly flag that. I have had a school not go through with a show even though the offer was accepted, and the contracts were issued, after seeing the rider where there was a bottle of wine in the rider. A rider is like a wish list what a band would like. So they could have easily crossed it out. But they said, ďThis type of band is not welcome in our facility.Ē
Spring remains the major booking season for colleges?
Well, they are booking Fall right now. Spring is the end of year big fling type of thing. I would say thatís the bigger of the two seasons. Itís because they can do outdoor shows in the Spring. Thereís less of a gamble on the weather. So if they can have it as an outdoor pavilion artist event, they can bring vendors in, and so on. Itís more of a reason for it to be a Spring fling versus a Fall (event) where itís windy, and it may possibly rain.
Club bookings are based on band fees, their popularity, and how much alcohol or food the club might be able to sell. What are college bookings based on?
It depends on the event, of course, but I would say it goes back to what I was saying about the activity boards. It has to be one of those bands that everybody voted on. Everybody (on the board) has to like the band.
Have budgets for colleges remained stable against the various turns in the economy?
I havenít seen the guarantees go down with the economy being at the state that it was and is but, in general, all colleges vary. So you can have a college that says, ďWe have a budget of $2,000.Ē Then you might have one that says, ďWell, we have $200,000.Ē We have artists that are worth, maybe 100 tickets, get $2,500 guarantees because that is the collegeís budget, and they are willing to spend it.
For a band doing both college and club dates, you obviously try to string together dates as best as you can. That can be challenging.
It is challenging. We recently started representing a tour called the Epic Proportions Tour which hits high schools and colleges as well as a club date per city. It starts in August, and runs until mid-October, ending at CMJ. We had to wait for schools to link what dates they can do, which is tedious, but colleges take their time. Then we booked the clubs around that. Itís just a horrible process to try and route in, letís say middle Indiana, when the routing is on the East Coast at that time. So we try to get the colleges first. Sometimes they are not ready to pull the trigger, but we canít wait too long to hold proper clubs or we wonít have the right club held, maybe, in that bandís demographic.
As I said, club bookings are based on band pricing, their popularity, and how much alcohol or food the club might be able to sell.
Yes, thatís about right. I think that relationships, though, have been an aspect of hard times, and making sure that your client is getting taken care of by the right people, the right promoters. There are bands that run after the bottom line which is how much they get paid a night. I do understand why bands do that. I also understand why managers okay that. But sometimes that puts an agent in a predicament where a promoter is not necessarily someone that they have used or have a good history with or we canít even confirm what kind of history that promoter has, and they will offer a greater sum than someone who you have history with or with AEG or Live Nation. People that you really can depend and rely on, and you know that they are not going to breach your contract. They are reliable promoters.
How do you deal with such a predicament?
We have to go with the parameters that the manager gives us. So if a manager says, ďThis is the bottom line, and we canít take the deal (otherwise),Ē as an agent, our instructions come from management based on the parameters needed to make a tour work. Sometimes we okay situations which are not necessarily the right decisions, and then we have a (contract) breach we are dealing with or we have a lack of marketing or whatever the problem might be. The structure of a promoter hasnít changed in how everybody can gain, and can have the most successful show possible, but sometimes working with a promoter that we donít know changes the game.
With most North American markets, coupled with an uncertain economy, competition has become so fierce that many club owners have been forced to cut back band fees, and gate percentages. Have you seen that happening?
Yes. There is one other thing that has changed. Things like deposits are a little bit different with clubs. The standard used to be 50% upfront on a deposit for a confirmed show. Today, itís 10% which is an agentís commission, essentially. Promoters are not willing to take a huge unproven risk on the frontend. They will, maybe, work toward a better backend percentage; to hopefully be wrong (about their gut feeling about a date going sour), and the show does what the agent thinks itís going to do.
There are also situations like you mentioned earlier where bar sales are factored in. Some bands have exceptionally good bar sales, and that can offset a higher guarantee because club owners know that they will make it back on the bar if the show does poorly. Skinny Lister, a London band I deal with, are known for having a porcelain (beer) growler which they fill with rum. The singer Lorna (Thomas) will hand it out to the audience, to the people onstage and on the side stage. It is one fantastic rum-sharing experience, and sheís wearing an English peasant girlís dress. The people there (in the club) usually have a Guinness or some kind of beer in their hands, and they are also drinking shots of whisky or something else.
At an Electric Factory show in Philadelphia, one Yuengling (Traditional) lager is maybe $10. So if a patron goes to a show there they are paying for one $10 beer and one $7 shot. Thatís happening a few times during the night. If the show is 21 plus and if the promoter is taking a risk on the act for the first time, they may have that in mind. That the bar sales are something to factor in because each patron will probably drink at least one beer, and at least one shot.
Pink, Joan Jett, Stanley Clarke, Boyz II Men, the Roots, Jill Scott, Hall & Oates, and Dead Milkmen all hail from Philly which is recognized as a breeding ground of great musical talent.
Philadelphia is incredible. Itís a huge market, and itís a manageable city. Itís a great city. Right now they are doing something that is going to be epic when finished. They are tearing down anything that looks like an eyesore out and replacing the buildings. More business is coming here, and there are (artists) managers here. The times in my career that I talked about going and working at other companies, which has happened here and there, Iíve only talked about staying here if somebody would open a branch here. No. Itís such a music city.
How flexible are managers in dealing with promoters and club owners when an event is not selling the way it was hoped?
Some manager are not flexible because their client is not flexible, and they work with the parameters, and the demands given to them. Nobody want to get fired.
But itís tougher today for a lot of these clubs.
It is. The problem is that bands have a certain standard of traveling that they want to keep, whether it is a bus of whatever it might be. Or hotels. They have to make X amount of dollars to facilitate those luxuries. If they say, ďWe canít tour without these luxuries,Ē the manager has to try and accommodate that as much as they can whether itís doing a crowd funding thing like Pledge.com or whatever it may be or it has to come from the guarantees. If the guarantees are not flexible then the manager tells the agent and we have to try our best to make sense of it.
A luxury may just be a meal that a promoter or club owner doesnít want to provide.
Itís true. I donít believe in the idea that a promoter shouldnít feed a band. Iíve seen those commercials, three pizzas for $5. Címon.
There are promoters of every stripe out there.
Itís funny because promoters do fluctuate so differently. There are some promoters who have common sense. ďOkay, weíve confirmed the show. You are going to send me a contract. Iím going to send it back. We are going to read things over. We are going to agree on certain things. We are going to disagree on other things. We are going to come to a compromise term where everybody is happy with the agreement and we are going to move forward.Ē
Then there are people who will say things to you on the phone. Then you type it (the contract) up, and they say, ďI never said that.Ē Iím like ďOh, pul-eeze.Ē You sit there thinking, ďThis is my profession. To write notes, and to be accurate, put this (information) down, and send it to you to make sure you are as accurate as I am being.Ē And then you get that kind of response. Then you have to turn to your client, and say, ďThis isnít happening the way we were told that it was happening. So we are not going to confirm with this person regardless that they said they are going to pay us X, Y, and Z.Ē
Managers and promoters vary. You have great promoters, and you have not so great promoters. You have great managers who are understanding that if someone from AEG has just called you, and basically, they are losing their butt on your band when they have done everything right; that they have cross-referenced the marketing proposal properly; they paid to go into your Facebook, and be an admin, and do a Facebook boost to your demographic and fans; that they have worked the show locally, ďWill you entertain a slight (fee) reduction?Ē That reduction could be $500. Sometimes, it is just wise to do deductions so the relationship stays positive, depending on the promoter. Sometimes it canít happen, and that is also understandable. But managers sometimes look at the big picture and say, ďLook this promoter is going work with us at every show, and it has worked in the past. Letís give something back.Ē It depends on the manager, and the promoter I guess.
Are AEG Live and Live Nation easier to work with?
Yes. That doesnít take away from people I tend to want to stick with. If I could do all my shows with the companies like The Bowery Presents, 9:30 Club, AEG, Live Nation, The Knitting Factory, Goldenvoice, and the people at Webster Hall (in New York) like Heath Miller and Alex Rossiteróand Iím a big fan of the Electric Factory. They are really great. I can go---It makes my life knowing that everything is running smoothly, and Iím not going to have so many problems for our client to have a good experience. Itís not for me. I work in the music industry. I always assume that itís not going to be easy until itís done. The end point is when the band is out on the road, I do not have to deal with additional difficulties that should have been worked out in advance.
Do you still receive late night calls over settlements?
Once in awhile. Not a lot. We are very tedious with calling promoters up to a week of the show to make sure nothing has changed, and that we are on the same page. ďYou are sure nothing has changed, right?Ē We have interns looking on their websites, looking to see if thereís a lot of local support for the shows. Or if we get marketing plans, we will go over the plans. Yeah, we will follow up continuously until the show happens. If there is a late night call, itís because something happened that the tour manager couldnít handle. If something is happening, typically a tour manager will step in, and be able to facilitate the problem without it having come to me. But I have terrible sleepers for children, so if they call itís not a big deal. Iím awake anyway.
Booking overseas has its own set of challenges.
I booked my first full UK tour at the top of year for Hidden In Plain View which did their reunion and a tour celebrating (the 10th year anniversary of their) ďLife In DreamingĒ (album) which is a very popular Drive-Thru record. I booked their UK tour because their UK agent didnít want to do the tour. It was a very interesting model to work with. Quite different from here (in North America) in some aspects.
In what way?
The difference that I noticed was that one buyer would buy letís say 4 or 5 shows or the entire tour. Kind of like the way that Live Nation or AEG will buy a tour. (In the UK) they will give you a lump sum, and they will do one type of marketing plan. I like that but I found it interesting to deal with in trying to figure out how things are promoted in those different areas if one buyer is doing it. With Live Nation, they have offices in all of the cities they are buying for. So in this situation, it was the idea of how Live Nation does itóbuying a lump sum of datesóbut it was...
Then there's the different types of venues, and figuring out distances for driving.
There was that. Iím looking at a map saying, ďHow far is Glasgow?Ē There was a lot of that. I went to MapQuest. The rock bars in some places have after shows that are similar to dance clubs, but with rock music. I was talking to Hidden From Plain about this, ďWhen we were 22 we loved these places. We arenít going to do them.Ē This time they were finding all the snobby (craft) beer that they could drink.
Besides operating a booking agency and management company you also teach music industry courses.
Isnít that crazy? Iíve taught at Drexel University for 8 years, and at the University of the Arts as well for one full year now. (For both) I teach the music industry program that is popular in a lot of schools, and I teach touring and concert promotion that is an umbrella class that covers every job on and off the road for a touring artist. I teach the booking agency class which has a lab involved as well. The students get to deal with industry people, and book a tour as their final grade. They donít get to do a (final) contract though. And I teach a management course at University of the Arts.
You have argued that before any band goes with a booking agent they should book some tours themselves.
I still hold fast to that opinion. Nobody knows really how hard these jobs really are. Management has a difficult job in the sense that they canít show what they do upfront. Thereís a lot of grey, and a different aroma in the air because the bands have no idea what management is doing. The manager says, ďI talked to this person.Ē The band is like, ďWell, what did I get out it?Ē The answer is, ďYou didnít get anything out of it because I have to make more phone calls begging them to listen to you.Ē
Management thinks long term while band members often donít think past this coming Monday.
Exactly. Long term to them is not a year of scaffolding. When bands come onto the roster, and we have our first meeting, I tell them they need a year of scaffolding. Being a boutique I donít get the privilege of having bigger bands coming to me right away. We do a lot of artist development. Artist development is always at a younger (stage) working its way up. I always tell them that ďYou need a year. Do you have the money to put into a year of work? Do you have transportation to put in a year of work? Do you have the support internally? Do you like each other?Ē We have to have that conversation because itís nothing that they are going to understand, if you donít tell them. Like you said, itís a Monday (mentality), and they are thinking only about tomorrow. I think that DIY is people doing bookings, and seeing how hard it is.
For the booking lab half of the school course, I lecture; and the other half is practice. I think you canít do things right unless you practice it. A lot of the times the kids are really frustrated. They canít understand why people arenít calling them back. I am seeing all of these things that they need. They need t learn how to structure deals. They are required as assignment to build stage plots and input lists and do contracts and to do a routing, and keep gigs under 500 miles apart.
When your students didnít get their phone calls returned were they surprised?
Yes. I think itĎs very confusing for them that somebody wouldnít call them back. They are very shocked. I donít let anyone use email in my class. I tell them, ďIf you want to work in the music industry, you have to make an impact. You have to be a voice, and you have to be real. The music industry is annoying until the band starts doing well. Then people take their hat off to you and say you are persistent." So the word ďannoyingí needs to be forgotten. You need to call people until they are paying attention to you. You need to be heard.Ē
You have to be persistent.
If you believe in what you are doing you have to be willing to annoy people. You have to be persistent.
Today, making a telephone call is considered old school.
I know. With my students, and in my office, nobody is allowed to depend on email. Even myself.
When you were growing up as a quasi-punker, were you also listening to Ď80s hair bands as well?
(Laughing) Last week, I did a Pandora on Poison, and I was digging it for an hour. I was 9 or 10 when they were happening, and their music was on the radio.
Oh my God, of course. Ratt, Warrant and Winger we were talking about them the other day.
I love it. I was never allowed to perm my hair. I have very strict Greek parents. Immigrant Greek strict strict. When I said I wanted to perm my hair, and said that I wanted big (Utah) claw bangs, my mom was like, ďAnd I want a million dollars. Thatís not going to happen either.Ē
Were your parents strict?
My family is from Greece. I was born there (in Rhodos) and I have spent my entire life going back and forth from here to there in the summers. I still go back once a year. My mother is from a little island across from Rhodes, Symi, which has no cars. It is very little, and beautiful. My father is from a large island with small villages called Lemnos across from Turkey. My husband and I were married in Greece on Sept. 1st, 2007. We were married on a little island called Aegina which is part of the Saronic Gulf islands outside of Athens. We had a destination wedding that got a little out of hand. We had 100 Americans at our wedding. We had people drunk at 10 A.M., and driving scooters off cliffs.
Larry LeBlanc is widely recognized as one of the leading music industry journalists in the world. Before joining CelebrityAccess in 2008 as senior editor, he was the Canadian bureau chief of Billboard from 1991-2007 and Canadian editor of Record World from 1970-89. He was also a co-founder of the late Canadian music trade, The Record.
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