Frank Barsalona, Remembered by U2 Manager Paul McGuinness

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Frank Barsalona, founder of Premier Talent and one of the pioneers of the modern touring business, passed away Thanksgiving morning after a long illness. For a tribute written by Billboard’s Ray Waddell – featuring comments about Barsalona from Irving Azoff, Danny Zelisko, Peter Luuko and many others — we asked U2 manager Paul McGuinness for a quote: and he responded with this touching tribute.

By Paul McGuinness, Dublin

“Trying to get U2 signed to Premier Talent was the reason for my trip when I flew to New York for the very first time in 1980. I was a baby manager but I knew that Premier were the agency that had driven the British Invasion for the Who, Zeppelin and all the great bands. U2 were recording their first album, “Boy,” in Dublin, with Steve Lillywhite producing, for Island Records. When I arrived in New York, I phoned Frank Barsalona’s office for an appointment. They took my number, maybe they would have called back. The next day my father died suddenly back in Dublin. I phoned Premier to say I wouldn’t be able to see Frank that week because I would be at the funeral but I would be back soon. He had to see me when I returned, I was the guy in Ireland whose father had died …

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