Wed 5/16 @ 7PM
With today’s manufactured pop acts, A&R men aren’t the career-making legends they once were. But back in the ’70s and ’80s, they were rock stars in their own right or at least believed they were. Standing for “artists and repertoire” they moved out of their original role back in the ’50s and ’60s of choosing the repertoire an artist would record and overseeing the sessions, into discovering and signing acts.
Michael Alago, a gay Puerto Rican kid from New York, was one of those superstar A&R guys (and they were guys, with only a few exceptions) who signed Metallica to their first major label deal while he was still in his mid-20s. Before that he haunted the NY clubs and was active in the punk scene (even publishing a fanzine dedicated to Cleveland’s Dead Boys), making the kinds of connections that were essential to climbing the music industry ladder.
The 2017 documentary film, Who the F**k Is That Guy: The Fabulous Journey of Michael Alago, follows his colorful career. It screens at the Rock Hall’s Foster Theatre.Tickets are free for Rock Hall members, $5.50 for others.