For this first feature, we teamed up with booking agent, Andy Somers. You can find out more about Andy and advice he has for people interested in the industry (his “Trick of the Trade”), after the break.
Name: Andy Somers
Booking Agent Resume:
Current – APA
Previous – The Agency Group – LA (2000-2014), Bandwagon – LA (1998-2000), ICM – LA (1992-1998), Triad Artists – LA (1990-1992), Frontier Booking International – NY (1987-1990), Bandwagon – NY (1884-1987).
Other than being a booking agent, have you held any other positions in the music industry?
Nope, just unofficially dabbled in management for unmanageable or unmanaged agency clients.
Current – agent.Social Distortion
Previous – just stuff.
Your first booking agent gig:
While an assistant at William Morris in 1979-1980 I just snuck around and booked a few local New York punk rock bands. I did learn from some great agents there just by watching how they did this thing. Booking my own little punk bands led to being noticed as capable so I was then handed a few cool bands by William Morris to take care of. After that, I went to FBI very briefly before hibernating for 3 years trying to be a manager and I was broke. In 1984, I started (with some very helpful partners – Arne Brogger & Bob Singerman) what morphed into my own agency, Bandwagon in NY and built a nice little roster of punk rock, and speed metal and all of a sudden what I was doing wasn’t a secret from the music business.
How did you get the gig?
My cousin worked at William Morris and helped me get in the mailroom there.
What was (is your continued) motivation for wanting to start working in the music industry?
Just being a record collector, fan, and going to club shows in NY during a very exciting time got me motivated to this. Now I do it because I enjoy it most of the time and love being involved in the live music business. Nothing better than a concert that you love!
While growing up were you involved in your local music scene? If so, how did you get involved?
My only involvement in the music scene was hanging out in record stores. Just a consumer. Going to see bands at clubs after I thought I was a grown up.
If you could recommend one piece of advice (“trick of the trade”) to current or aspiring booking agents, what would it be?
Be passionate about music. Enjoy communication and strategy with managers and artists and hope they are people you like as well (that’s when it’s the best!). Be smart and honorable. Enjoy making deals and seeing progress. Go to shows and don’t stop being a fan.
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