"Keeping the Lights On: The Storied Career of Lehigh Valley's Favorite, Billy Joel, Continues with Release of New Single"
On February 1, 2024, the six-time Grammy Award-winning Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Billy Joel debuted “Turn the Lights Back On”, his first recorded single in 17 years. Over his plain but affective piano playing, Joel’s unmistakable voice beseeches the listener, “Please open the door / Nothing is different / We’ve been here before…” before launching into his trademark everyman musings on the passage of time, life and love.
The acclaimed and influential rock n’ roll recording artist has been recognized as one of the genre’s greatest storytellers with a lasting legacy spanning generations. Recently, Joel’s residency at the Madison Square Garden of 100 plus shows has further cemented his legendary status as a live performer.
Media Five Entertainment and Extensions of Man Concerts have a special relationship with Joel’s live performance history starting with his "Piano Man" album tour in 1974. As Joel’s Lehigh Valley promotor, Extension of Man staff at a Muhlenberg College concert in 1975 heard Joel sound check parts of the chorus of a song that would later be titled, "Allentown."
In 1982, upon the release of the "The Nylon Curtain" album and the “Allentown” single, David Sestak along with local radio station WZZO and the backing of Mayor Joe Daddona, the then mayor of Allentown, spearheaded a campaign to bring Billy Joel back to the Lehigh Valley to perform, "Allentown." There was a controversy over the interpretation of the "Allentown" lyrics within the region and along with the campaign this garnered national attention on syndicated TV, radio, daily newspapers, and major magazines. Billy Joel has often commented that the early Lehigh Valley shows always had a special place in his heart and he agreed to come back to the area on December 27, 1982 to perform "Allentown" at Stabler Arena in Bethlehem.
While Joel’s residency at Madison Square Garden is coming to an end in July 2024, Joel is in no way signaling his retirement as evidenced by the release of his new single and a scheduled live performance at the 2024 Grammys. The hope that Joel returns to the Lehigh Valley to perform "Allentown" in Allentown in its 10,000 capacity PPL Center remains a possibility.
One of the hands down best party bands on the circuit has distilled
their two talented leads into a potent acoustic duo.
The playful and talented Juules Wardel has teamed up with charismatic and skilful John Corsale forming the Turning the Tide duo. Jules' soulful and elegant range as a vocalist blended with John's singing and accomplished guitar playing create a full bodied sound few acoustic acts can match.
Bringing an intimacy to the big stage, Jules and John turn in a classy but energetic night of acoustic performances, playing today's top hits and sing-along anthems of the last three decades.
Greg Epler Longtime Media Five Agent & Manager Passes Away
Veteran booking agent, manager and longtime Media Five executive, Greg Epler, passed away Thursday, October 6th, 2022 at the age of 64 in Fogelsville, PA.
Greg joined Media Five Entertainment in 1983 and currently was Vice President and celebrating 38 years in the world wide music industry. Most recently, Greg was key member of the management team relaunching Fuel with the release of their full-length record "Anomoly" and hit single "HARD". In his career, Greg booked and represented nearly 100 bands. He is best known for co-managing and developing the band FUEL, to be a multi platinum headline artist with worldwide sales of 5 million albums and whose #1 hit single "Hemorrhage (In My Hands)" was named No. 6 out of 100 All-Time Alternative Songs by Billboard Magazine. He is credited with working with the estate of Nina Simone and representing her daughter, Lisa Simone, as well as co-managing the multi platinum band Tantric. Greg, as an accomplished photographer and videographer and through his work, many of his clients used his images for their promotional needs online and in venues.
Greg was a dedicated music executive who brought passion, intelligence, business savvy and creative guidance to every artist and project he worked with. His sense of humor and demeanor made him very popular to all of his clients and very well respected in the industry.
Greg, a proud father started mentoring his daughter, Sarah, who was interested in a career in the music industry while in high school. Greg's connection to modern rock Philadelphia radio station Y100, yielded Sarah an internship where she gained valuable experience in radio, concert promotion & social media. After graduating college, Sarah's credentials landed her a key position at VH1 where she developed a highly successful career.
Greg is survived by his loving Mother Marie Epler; Daughter Sarah Epler and her husband Charles Goetz of Brooklyn, NY; Brothers Richard (Stephanie), Gerard (Lori), Thomas (Stephanie), Charles Jr. (Tammy), James (Lisa), and Christopher. Greg was predeceased by his brother Robert.
Services will be held Wednesday, October 12th at Stephens Funeral Home, 274 N. Krocks Ave, Allentown PA 18106. Call/viewing from 10-11am and services at 11am. Family and friends can send flowers and condolences in memory of Greg. Donations can be made in Greg's name to MusiCares: https://www.musicares.org/
Having sold more than 100 million records over the course of a career spanning more than 40 years, Billy Joel ranks as one of most popular recording artists and respected entertainers in the world. Extensions of Man Concerts and Media Five Entertainment had a special relationship with joel as his Lehigh Valley promotor starting with his piano man album tour.
It was at the sound check at their promoted Muhlenberg College concert, on this date 45 years ago today, december 11th 1975 where a select few first heard parts of the chorus of a song that would later be titled, "Allentown."
upon its release, and especially in subsequent years, "Allentown" emerged as an anthem of blue-collar America, representing both the aspirations and frustrations of America's working class in the late 20th century.
"I was sitting at the soundcheck, taking it ALL in and it blew my mind when billy started into a refrain with ?Well we?re living here in Allentown... ? I said to my co-promoter, john EISENHARd, in naivety "I bet he changes the city in this for each town he?s in? ...little did i know, 7 years later in ?82 I?m at the Jersey Shore covering band dates and listening to the radio on the beach, and here comes the full on Allentown song, i was mesmerized and knew I had to start a campaign to have joel sing "Allentown" in Allentown"
-David Sestak, promoter
The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) are an English rock band that was formed in Birmingham, England in 1970 out of the desire to create modern rock and pop songs with classical overtones.
47 years ago today, on December 9, 1973, ELO played Northampton Community College, in Bethlehem PA, with supporting act Elf, booked by media five entertainment.
This was the 3rd of a series of concerts from high profile EMERGING artists promoted by extensions of man concerts for the community college. All 3 acts (ELO, Aerosmith, and billy joel) turned SUPERSTARS, selling over 200 million combined records worldwide. This experience, in media fives infancy set the stage and built a foundation for media five MANAGEMENT'S successes with their multi-platinum bands, live and fuel, who sold over 25 million records between them.
During ELO's original 13-year period of active recording and touring, they sold over 50 million records worldwide. From 1972 to 1986, ELO accumulated fifteen top 20 songs on the US Billboard Hot 100. The band also holds the record for having the most Billboard Hot 100 top 40 hits (20) without a number one single of any band in US chart history.
In 2017, the key members of ELO Roy Wood, Jeff Lynne, Bev Bevan and Richard Tandy were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. jeff lynne eventually joined the travelling WILBURYS, a supergroup consisting of stars Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty .
Elf was an American rock band founded in 1967 by singer and bassist Ronnie James Dio, keyboardist Doug Thaler, drummer Gary Driscoll, and guitarists Nick Pantas and David Feinstein (Dio's cousin). The band, from Cortland, New York, was originally called the Electric Elves, but was shortened to the Elves in 1968 and finally Elf in 1972.
The Lehigh Valley was a HOTBED for hard rock, metal, and english rock, and Media five was ready to bring together these rockstar bands and their loyal fans.
Bethlehem Pa?s Northampton Area Community College was once one of best medium-sized venues to go for live music in the Lehigh Valley. The director of programming at NACC strived to bring in a diverse lineup of live entertainment for students and the community, and worked closely with Extension of Man Concerts to book an adventurous concert schedule.
On December 9, 1973, Elf played Northampton Community College, Bethlehem PA, opening for Electric Light Orchestra.
Elf subsequently disbanded and lead Ronnie James Dio went on to front & found numerous groups throughout his career, including Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, & Dio
Big City Music Band was thoughtfully molded and assembled by selecting musicians with common goals and dissimilar musical tastes in order to encourage a melting pot of ideas: rock, jazz, country, pop, and big band.
During the height of their popularity, the group entered a "Battle of the Bands" contest sponsored jointly by the prestigious Billboard Magazine and the Tea Council of America. The contest received 15,000 entries from new talent and bands across the United States. BIG CITY just missed the top six, coming in seventh. Remarkable, considering they did it on their own with little help from the media.
In the history of the band they played 101 major concerts and festivals either as a support act or headliner. Big City Became a highly respected band both by national acts and their huge fanbase throughout the mid-Atlantic states.
They shared The stage with acts like Grand Funk, James Gang, Alice Cooper, Van Morrison, Sha Na Na, Jerry Jeff Walker, Livingston Taylor, Delaney Bonnie and friends, Steve Miller, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Edgar Winter band.
Founded and Managed by Rudy Blomstrum, This Bethlehem, Pa based band played 498 performances including twenty-nine college campuses from 1969-1975
The Armadillos would have never come to be if it weren't for founding member Joe LaBianca deciding that he wanted to write and record an album for his Kutztown University Telecommunication degree's independent study.
The Armadillos remained intact even after LaBianca received an A for the original pop LP "Frisked? the first of the band's 9 records between their 13 year run from 1988-2000.
The band reinvented its image more than once in its 13-year (and 14-member) history, playing a groove-oriented, classic flavored rock and building up a loyal college-aged following.
Playing venues from the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania to the Jersey Shore beaches and beyond, The Armadillos proved that they were much more than a university class project
In 1966, the first big break for Jay Proctor came when he won a regional "battle of the bands" contest and landed a recording contract from Philadelphia producer Jerry Ross of Mercury Records. The group jay and the techniques was born when lead vocalist Jay Proctor and vocalist/frontman George "Lucky" Lloyd teamed with an all-white band, one of the first racially integrated groups in pop music.
Under Mercury Records the song "Apple, Peaches, Pumpkin, Pie" hit big and Jay and the Techniques found the right mix of rhythm & blues and bubble gum appeal, vaulting them into the Top Ten. Later that year they had the honor of performing at the Rock'N'Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
in the mid-70s when disco became fashionable, Jay & the Techniques were ready with their already danceable sound. Their first hit disco song "Number Onederful" is a high energy, heavily orchestrated tune which reached the Top Ten in all the major NY discos.
During their career, Jay and the Techniques appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, Joey Bishop Show, Dick Clark's American Bandstand, The Murray the K Show and the Steel Pier Show. Jay sang in front of a packed Houston Astrodome, Madison Square Garden, Philadelphia's Uptown Theatre, in colleges and universities across the country, many charity benefits, and gave free concerts at Army bases and prisons throughout the United States.
Nightingale Bar in Manhattan was reserved as a launching pad for many seminal bands, such as The Spin Doctors and The Blues Travellers. 30 years ago Public Affection, later to be known as Live, was asked to perform at the College Music Journal?s Music Marathon at Nightingale Bar in New York City.
Each time the band travelled from their home in York, Pa to New York they debuted new songs they had written since their previous NYC gig. That night, they played "Pain Lies on the Riverside" for the first time, with manager David Sestak and soon to be the band?s A&R person Phil Schuster in the audience. It immediately captured the attention and respect of everyone in this bar with it?s infectious syncopated rhythm and Ed Kowalczyk's heart-on-his-sleeve lyrics.
Phil Schuster A&R for Radioactive Records was extremely impressed by the band. Public Affection, who had already been playing CBGB with all its glory as a dive bar, played on the floor at Nightingales. No stage. The band, at this point were promoting their self-financed full length album, "The Death of a Dictionary" They already had in their repertoire, "Operation Spirit" which was a single off their first record under Radioactive Records "Mental Jewelry"
In a very full circle way, this single eventually went to #1 on CMJ's New Music Report. Before Public Affection, Nirvana?s iconic Teen Spirit was sat at the top of CMJs chart for weeks.
The gig at Nightingale turned into bi-monthly gigs in the Bowery District, building relationships with music business professionals and gaining fans.
This period of time rocket launched the the band into success.
Today, October 29th, marks 47 years to the date that Mott The Hoople played the last date of their tour with Aerosmith in Bethlehem Pa at Moravian College's Johnston Hall. The bands, crews, and management were all in a celebratory mood, sending us out to buy champagne to toast the end of a successful tour.
That excitement spread throughout the Lehigh Valley, and the anticipation led to a sold out general admission show, with fans lining up in the afternoon, hours before the doors opened.
Inside, complications occurred when the stage was set up facing the wrong wall, which caused a substantial delay in the opening of the doors, leaving a pack of eager fans lined up outside. When they doors finally opened, the thrust of the crowd pinned the doors back, and luckily no one was injured, but it definitely set the tone for a night of high energy rock and roll.
Supporting act, Aerosmith, came out and opened for Mott The Hoople, getting the crowd warmed up and rockin. It was obvious to all in the room that this young boston band was working their way to become legends around the world. Mott the Hoople, amazed the crowded room with their setlist, which included some of their all-time biggest hits like "All the Young Dudes" and "All the Way From Memphis"
This was the first time either of the bands played the Lehigh Valley, but little did anyone know that 26 years later Aerosmith would make their mark on the Lehigh Valley again, asking Media Five's client Fuel to be direct support for them in their 1999 North American Tour.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania is the home of Negative Space, a hardworking Pennsylvania heartland band that released 4 ambitious bodies of work.
Storylines, Negative Space's first full-length record, is proof of more than just personal growth and redemption. The album's stellar production was under the direction of producer Kirk Kelsey (Creed, 3 Doors Down). Immediately after hearing the band's material, Kirk agreed to take on the project. The band lived, ate, slept, tracked, and mixed in his home studio located in Atlanta, Georgia.
Musically and lyrically, Storylines proved that their songwriting, their aggressive show, and style were not simply used as cheerleading methods or sideshow distractions. The album quickly became an undeniable push-off point for Negative Space into mainstream and crossover audiences.
With the experience of over 2,000 concerts, this once naive bar band exploded into a collective force emerging from their struggles: defining the difference between the end of adolescence and the beginning of up-and-coming songwriters.
They trailblazed the East Coast opening for bands such as 3 Doors Down, Fuel, Lit, Breaking Benjamin, and Saliva, building a loyal fanbase.
45 years ago this week, on October 29, 1975 Extensions of Man Concerts presented a co-headlined show at Muhlenberg College?s Memorial Hall in Allentown PA, a 4000 person venue. This show presented a creative pairing of two highly successful and popular acts: Renaissance & Little Feat.
Renaissance, from London, is a progressive rock band, who at the time was fronted by stellar lead vocalist Annie Haslam. Little Feat, an American rock band, was formed by singer songwriter Lowell George and Keyboardist Bill Payne.
On the night of the Allentown Pa co-headlined show, a tug of war situation occurred with both bands debating over who was going to close the show. After much back and forth, it was finally agreed upon that Renaissance had earned the closing rights through their airplay, record sales, and ticket sales in the Lehigh Valley.
The night took a strange turn after Little Feat left the stage with tremendous applause. Mysteriously, the sound board that had been functioning perfectly during Little Feats' set suddenly had catastrophic problems just as the Renaissance Sound Engineer took over the mixing desk.
This almost caused a brawl between the two crews, but Renaissance knew the show must go on, and ended up putting on a fantastic performance, making this co-headlined show a night to remember.
Both Renaissance and Little Feat are still rockin? 45 years later!
October 22, 2020
16 Years of Trailblazing
North and Central America
Gandalf, founded in 1976, was a highly successful and popular rock band from the Lehigh Valley(PA) that trailblazed North America from Canada to Florida. They were a spring break favorite in Fort Lauderdale playing the most popular venues like the Playpen. They also travelled as far as the Caribbean Islands to perform.
Gandalf?s talent gained them loyal fans everywhere they performed and opened doors for them to travel to hundreds of cities opening for national acts including REO Speedwagon, Molly Hatchet, Gregg Allman, & Foghat to name a few.
One of the most influential productions Gandalf took part in was Grand Illusion Magic Show with the music of Pink Floyd
In 1982 Gandalf won the WZZO Rock Poll as "Best Local Band"
In their 16 years together their show and repertoire was constantly evolving to reflect the strength of all the members that played with the band. Several of the members, like Jimmy DelGrosso and Kevin Soffera, upon leaving, joined national recording acts like Ozzy Osbourne, Y&T, Breaking Benjamin, and Seether and toured the world.
We salute all 38 members of the band, the crew, the management, and the Media Five agents whose hard work ,talent, and creativity played a part in this legacy.
in 2013 Gandalf played a grand reunion that was standing room only. Many of the members came back to perform and reunite with their bandmates and fans to celebrate their legacy
Bonehead was formed in 1994 as a Philadelphia area cover band and with a name change to FAMILIAR 48 charted in the TOP 30 eight years later.
Producer Don Gehman, expressing interest in the band's debut album, got them signed to MCA Records WHO produced their single, "The Question", which was a TOP 30 ROCK HIT in the United States.
Jayy Mannon, Guitarist, Lead Vocalist, and Drummer Brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and subtle artistry to BONEHEAD/FAMILIAR 48 and mesmerizes audiences by connecting with them on a deeply personal level.
Since then Bonehead has DISBANDED, REFORMED, and has remained primarily a regional draw. Bonehead now plays in the Philadelphia area mostly as a cover band.
In 2011 Bonehead released a digital single entitled "Real".
Chameleon was a five-piece band founded by Tom Bluder, Steve Cruz, Tass Tilipos, Jack Krupicka, and Ed Willey. Tom bluder formerly was the lead singer of rock band reign of iron. Chameleon was Influenced by the changing tides of the early 70's their musical style ever so funkily evolved to become a mixture of jazz fusion and funk.
The original five piece was suddenly dealt a major blow as the result of one particular night that will go down in the history of unfortunate musical events. After an appearance at Odysseus in downtown Bethlehem, Chameleon's truck containing instruments and sound equipment exceeding several thousand dollars was stolen from a parking lot.
Hobbled by this tremendous loss of equipment, the band would subsequently go through several personnel changes.
Tom Bluder went on to join the established disco band trust, where he co-fronted it with Anita Antolick Formerly of Jay and The Techniques, and took that band to new heights.
Despite their name, chameleon did anything but blend in
October 21, 2020
ONE OF THE HIGHEST ENERGY
BANDS OF THE 1970S AND 1980S
UNDER THE leadership of Dave Goddess, GUITARIST AND VOCALIST, DADDY LICKS BECAME The quintessential early '80's undiscovered band from Allentown, Pennsylvania. Daddy licks was Arguably the greatest combination of New Wave ethos and R&B foundation in the history of music.
Their 1981 EP "I Got Wheels" featured the tracks: "We'll Show 'Em","Just A Little (Goes A Long Way)","They Might Be Giants","Lolita","I Got Wheels","Tragic Flaw" AND "Kids Looking Out For The Real Thing"
Daddy licks Joined forces with members of Crisis and Tikit to form the Alan Towne BanD, They paid homage to Billy Joel's "Allentown" with their song "Remember Me (Hicksville High)."
Daddy Licks has since evolved into the popular Dave Goddess Group, which still plays live and releases music to this day.
Daddy licks was the essence of Punk,
meant to be more than fad.
Fuzzy bunny was an Allentown, PA based Soul and R&B band fronted by Mook Stanton and Emmitt Harris.
Fuzzy bunny was one of the most popular dance bands in the region playing top night clubs, colleges and high school shows.
They were championed by Philadelphia DJ Jerry Blavat who had them appear several times on his nationally syndicated TV show with guests like Sammy Davis Jr and the late Philadelphia weatherman Jim O'Brien.
They recorded and released several singles including "Hey Baby," that were very popular regionally, which earned them supporting gigs for national acts like; Wild Cherry, Vickie Sue Robinson, Tavares, The Village People, and Chuck Berry.
October 14, 2020
From Easton PA to The Beatles' Opening Act
Playing to 60,000 at Candlestick Park
The Cyrkle began their musical life in 1961 as just another college frat band. Calling themselves the Rhondells, the group played Top 40 covers at frat houses on campus at Easton Pa's Lafayette College.
David Sestak, Media Five President, first heard the band when they were The Rhondells, playing at a Lafayette College fraternity, while he himself was playing with his own band on campus at a different frat house. During a break in Sestak's set he walked into the other frat house to see The Rhondells, and when he walked in they were wearing the exact Edwardian/Beatnik style clothes The Beatles wore and they were mid-way through performing Meet The Beatles note for note as almost an exact replica.
A few years later during an Atlantic City summer RESIDENCY THE band was brought to the attention of The Beatles manager: Brian Epstein, who had made it known that he was looking for a new project. First, a name change was in order, "The Rhondells" sounded too outdated, and the input of John Lennon was reportedly sought to come up with a new name: "The Cyrkle" after Easton Pa?s notorious downtown roundabout.
Soon, the group recorded the first of their two albums for Columbia, and "Red Rubber Ball" was released as a single in April of 1966. With Epstein pulling the strings, the Cyrkle was tapped as an opening act for the Beatles on their '66 American tour, and the high-profile exposure helped "Red Rubber Ball" hit #2 on the Top 100 early that summer.
The Cyrkle regrouped briefly in The Lehigh Valley in 1986 to play the benefit "dance for our town" and then again in 1995 at their alma mater, Lafayette College, for their 30th anniversary, this was their final outing together.
Archie Bell & the Drells was an American R&B vocal group from Houston, Texas. They utilized the infamous Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff's Philadelphia International Records and brought their amazing live show to PA and NJ, produced by Extensions of Man concerts and booked by media V entertainment.
In the early 70s their biggest R&B hit ?Tighten Up? started a dance craze of the same name, that generated venues packed with fans everywhere they performed, from Wildwood New Jersey?s Pier 66 Hotel?s Penthouse nightclub to Easton PENNSYLVANIA'S Club Mohegan.
Their setlists, consisting of hits like "I Can't Stop Dancing", "There's Gonna Be A Showdown", "Girl You're Too Young" and "Here I Go Again" to name a few kept their legacy and music with bands dancing all night long.
This power pop rock band made a name for themselves as a worthy national act. Sandlot Heroes garnered attention with their second #1 Most Requested Song "Out of My Hands" from their debut Pretend That We're Famous released late in 2009, in addition to headlining Lehigh Valley's internationally recognized Musikfest and Allentown PA's fabled Crocodile Rock. In 2012, they toured nationally with popular acts such as Hawthorne Heights, Bowling For Soup, and Yellowcard.
With soaring guitars and heartfelt lyrics, Sandlot's 2009 debut LP, Pretend That We're Famous, created an exciting buzz, earning the band substantial regional recognition.
"out of my Hands" quickly claimed the no. 1 most requested spot on B104's nightly countdown following the footsteps of "So," which also reached the top of the countdown.
Sandlot Heroes left a legacy on music industry, making fans across america and creating songs that topped the charts.
October 8, 2020
BLUE OYSTER CULT
debuted in the LV 47 years ago today
at ncc With Support From The High Keys
Today is the 47th anniversary of when New York State's Blue Öyster Cult performed at Northampton Community College in bethlehem, PENNSYLVANIA.
Blue Öyster Cult was formed in 1967 as Soft White Underbelly in a communal house at Stony Brook University on Long Island when rock critic Sandy Pearlman overheard a jam session consisting of fellow Stony Brook classmate Donald Roeser and his Friends. Pearlman offered to become the band's manager and creative partner, which the band agreed to. The band's original lineup consisted of guitarist Roeser, drummer Albert Bouchard, keyboardist Allen Lanier, singers Jeff Kagel (aka Krishna Das) and Les Braunstein and bassist Andrew Winters.
Pearlman wanted the group to be the "American Black Sabbath".
Best known for the singles "(Don't Fear) The Reaper", "Burnin' for You", "Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll", and "Godzilla" They have sold 25 million records worldwide.
The band's music videos, especially "Burnin' for You" received heavy rotation on MTV when the music television network premiered in 1981, Lehigh Valley Legendary Band The High Keys was the opening act, where they showcased their original recordings in advance of what was going to be an independent release.
the band cemented themselves and their legacy through contribution to the development and success of the music video
in modern popular culture.
October 5, 2020
1974 Lehigh Valley's 1st Headline Show
Boston Bad Boys Live up to Their Repuation
Today is the 46th anniversary of when boston rock band, Aerosmith performed at Northampton Community College in bethlehem, PENNSYLVANIA. The group, consisting of Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton, Joey Kramer and Brad Whitford had to fly FROM boston to allentown for the October 6, 1974 show. Things began to go awry when Guitar player, Brad WHITFORD insisted his guitar be on the seat next to him, even though he didn't pay for the extra seat. Whitford missed his plane twice because of this, and ended up not coming to the show at all.
Things got even crazier at the venue- NACC's gym was only a few years old and had fire sensors in the ceiling. Aerosmith insisted on using their pyro, but the school administration and student activities director had extensive conversations with their tour manager explaining that if they set off pyro, everyone in the AUDIENCE, the band, and crew would be soaked by the fire sprinkler system. Aerosmith finally relented. They also refused to play their greatest hit "Dream On", because Whitford played a key solo in the song. They eventually gave in on this as well, not wanting to upset or alienate their fans.
The Good Rats opened for them and set the stage from Aerosmith to take. The boston bad boys didn't let anyone down and this probably goies down in the history books as one of the only times they ever played as a 4-piece band.
Roughly 25 years later media five management crossed paths with aerosmith when the band selected the company's client, Fuel, to
be their main support for their north american tour.
Just another story on how crazy Rock n Roll can be.
October 1, 2020
Earned Their Way to One of the Most Epic "Hair Bands" of the 80s
Media Five Entertainment first began booking the Lansdale Pa band Teeze, a rock/glam/metal/hairband, in the early 1980s.
Born out of Teeze, the infamous roughhouse signed to columbia/sony RECORDS. They toured up and down the east coast and gained notoriety from radio
and mtv exposure.
The band was an "over the top" hybrid of both early Twisted Sister and Motley Crue. Bigger hair sprayed mane, louder amps, tons of smoke, concussion bombs, blood spurting, spinning guitars, multi-colored shredded outfits, timed staged antics and of course, lots of makeup.
Roughhouse tour dates continued to routinely sell out.
With multiple MTV top 20 chart-topping songs, like the hit "Fantasy" which was featured on TV shows like "General Hospital" Massive press coverage continued up and down the East Coast. The band was swarmed with requests for interviews & photo spreads appearing in Faces, Hit Parader, Metal Edge, Kerrang, Raw, Metal Forces, Billboard, Circus, RIP and others.
This led to roughhouse supporting such acts on tour like Skid Row, Kix, Ace Frehley, Blue Oyster Cult Vince Neil of Motley Crue, Steven Adler of Guns N Roses, Cinderella and more!
Luis Rivera, Gregg Malack, and Dave Weakley originally
of Teeze and then of Roughhouse made it from LANSDALE, pa
to the top of the metal scence.
September 27, 2020
NJ and PA's Popular 70's Funk Rock Horn Band
This 8-piece rock horn band with their memphis r&B sound and influences like the bands Chicago, Blood Sweat and Tears, and Edgar Winter Band was one of pennsylvania and new jersey's most popular bands of the genre.
Fiasco existed for a few years in the early 70s and focused mainly on original songs and playing in larger concert venues.
In the band's short existence with talented musicians and gifted vocalists, they released two IMMENSELY popular singles: How I feel and hey hey head. with the success of these singles they got offers to open for Santana at the nazareth raceway, the James Gang at muhlenberg college, and several concerts with Bill Chase including saylor's lake pavillion.
the Fiasco band proved to itself and to its fans, that it was anything but a fiasco.
Best known for their 1980s hit "Everybody Get Off" which reached #65 on Billboard, this New York Disco era band was founded by Kenny Simmons, lead vocals, Joe Lafragola on lead guitar, Ernest Angisani on bass, and Larry-Marc Aurele on percussion. Later joined by members Vinny Lafragola on drums and keyboard player Bob Stasiak, Daybreak was a fan favorite across the north east in the disco era.
daybreak was legendary in the Lehigh Valley(pa) performances through their residences and passionate fans at Phase V in Bethlehem. This earned them wpvi-6 ABC Philadelphia TV exposure on the Variety Club telethon hosted by Cissy hurst and high profile spots on Easton Pa?s Community Spirit Day festivals at Hackett Park.
September 26, 2020
Fuel's Kevin Miller's Rockin' Early 90's Band
Three of South Florida's most respected musicians: lead vocalist Deb Smith, drummer and lead vocalist KEvin Miller, and guitarist and vocalist Victor Del Rio, moved back to Allentown, Pennsylvania in the early 90s, and under the leadership of Miller (later to become the multi-platinum drummer of Fuel, playing on shimmer and hemorrhage) founded the band Shotgun Wedding.
Fronting the band was Deborah Smith, who along with Miller, formerly played in the Florida band Fury. They brought with them from florida-based guitarist Victor del Rio and added Nick Donato on bass and Josh Levine on acoustic and electric guitar. Shotgun Wedding with their powerhouse sound turned heads out of the gate, and became one of the North East?s most epic bands.
Driven by Miller's infectious signature drumming, Smith's outrageous stage presence and soulful rock vocals, and del Rio?s compelling guitar style, this 5-piece band, together for over five years, released a regional hit single, X Lover of their independently released album Emu.
Word spread and soon acts like Collective Soul, Zack Wild, Nazareth, 4 Non Blondes, and Many others were requesting shotgun wedding to be their opening act in the region.
This was a musicians band.
September 25, 2020
Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of
Fuel's "Something like human"
Today, we celebrate the 19th anniversary of something like human reaching Certified Double-Platinum status by the RIAA on September 25, 2001, and last Saturday was the 20th anniversary of the albums release date.
The first smash hit single "Hemorrhage (In My Hands)" immediately exploded on multiple radio formats and broke records for consecutive weeks at #1 on alternative radio. This smash hit took the music industry by surprise and had a tremendous impact on album sales and concert tickets. the music industry buzzed and called the song ?lightning in a bottle? for it?s omnipresent profile on radio and MTV.
a few years ago Billboard Magazine named ?Hemorrhage (In My Hands)? the #6 Alternative Rock Song of the Past 25 Years. To date, Something Like Human is fuel's best-selling record and most requested song.
Led by Carl Bell, primary songwriter and co-producer of the album, along with frontman Brett Scallions and bass player Jeff Abercrombie moved from their home state of Tennessee to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in the mid-90s. Kevin Miller, the fourth band member, was a high profile Pennsylvania drummer on the scene and was asked to join the band prior to the recording of their first platinum album Sunburn.
Fuel had hopes of emerging to national level prominence on the successful heels of Central Pennsylvania modern rock bands like Live (who already were MULTI PLATINUM),
The sharks, The Innocence Mission, and The Ocean Blue.
Joining forces with Media Five Entertainment for management, with the team of David Sestak and Greg Epler, fuel started working on their independent ALBUM "Porcelain" in 1996 that contained the original version of "shimmer" that went to #1 in Harrisburg.
Ben Grosse was hired to produce the record by Ben Goldman, A&R for 550/Sony Records, and Randy Lane, live sound engineer, helped set up Pre-production in the early months of 2000 in a chalet the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.
Under the watchful eyes of Sestak and Epler in the 11th hour Carl Bell pulled "Hemorrhage (In My Hands)" out of his back pocket, the song came from two previous musical and lyrical ideas he had worked on in the past. With that song fuel packed up and headed to New York city, to record the album at Right Track Recording.
The rest is history
September 24, 2020
MEDIA 5'S FIRSTS
August 28th 1970
Media 5 Production concepts was founded
with a $100 investment by the founders
With a $100 loan from the partners, it became official, Media 5 Production Concepts was in business. Three days later, the first ever contract was issued with the booking of Lehigh Valley popular rock bank, UPROAR, for Wilson High School Class of '65 five-year reunion at The Pavilion in Phillipsburg, NJ. The band's price was $145 for the 5-piece band to play from 10pm-1am. The commission due was $20.
It all began with this ironic booking, celebrating the high school that
the founders all graduated from!
With this commission, the founders purchased their first business cards on September 11th, with check #101, written by Anthen Morrow to Cetronia Printing Company Inc for $11.66.
This all happened at their first office, a reconverted living room in Morrow's home at 1808 Freemansburg Avenue, Wilson Pa. This office was short lived, for a period of less than a year, but through its doors walked some amazing talent looking for the opportunity to make their mark in the regional music scene. In the company's 50-year history we were only at 4 locations, and for the past 25 years we have been at our current location in Bethlehem, Pa.
(Special thanks to Pat Patterson-Morrow and Sue Osifchin for saving these memories!)
Band members and fans are encouraged to build upon the band pages on our website by submitting additional content to:
September 23, 2020
Check out Five Decades Of Epic Live Music Coming Alive on Our
Media Five Entertainment Archive YouTube Video Highlights Reel.
Profiles for over 500 bands centered in or around Pennsylvania and national acts that were promoted or produced by Media Five from the 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s & 2010s can be found in the online Archive
This video highlights just 45 of our hundreds of successful artists from the 1970s to the present decade. Whether you were a lead guitarist, a roadie, or a face in the crowd, this website is dedicated to you. We are actively soliciting bands and their family members to email email@example.com to start the process of building and updating their page
Band members and fans are encouraged to build upon the band pages on our website by submitting additional content to:
September 22, 2020
IN THE BEGINNING
Media Five's Legacy began with 3 high school friends hanging out at their favorite pub in Easton, Pa in the summer of 1970. A musician with business sense (David Sestak), A regional TV producer (Don Hunt), and a photographer with an interest in music (Tony Morrow) sparked a hypothetical idea to professionalize band representation and promotion in way not done before in the midst of a whole new music evolution brought on by the Woodstock generation.
Thus, Media 5 Production Concepts was born in late August of 1970. That vision to offer professional services to the growing local music community evolved from booking, photographing, and promoting bands to include artist management and concert promotion featuring national acts. Tony Morrow's house in Wilson Borough became the first office and the living room?s checkerboard covered table, became the first office desk in the fall of 1970. The group was later joined by John Eisenhard, another Wilson high school friend, who was a bar/ restaurant manager and accountant, when Don Hunt departed to go take on a full time position at Service Electric TV Allentown.
Scouting bands in need of an agent was no challenge because Sestak, then a member of Big City Music Band, was very familiar with the regional rock music scene and it's bands from gigging and making connections in Eastern PA. Initial signings included the all-girl group Fraulein, Barnaby Plum, Big City Music Band, Union Pacific Rock, and 191 to name a few of over 70 artists the agency booked in their first decade.
During the company's first year, the friends easily fell into their respective roles with Dave Sestak being the point person for the booking agency, Tony Morrow handling photography and concert promotion, Eisenhard handling concert promotion and finances and Pat Patterson-Morrow as secretary and bookkeeper. Coming on board in the fall of 1970 was concert chairperson Ben Rose, a recent graduate of East Stroudsburg University. Also joining in 1971 was agent George Poidamani, who opened a branch office in Florida. George's Uncle Tony ran Vesuvio?s Restaurant in New York City, which was a hangout for the 70s NYC music industry whether it be radio personalities, producers, record label executives, ect.
Media 5 Production Concepts' first Billboard Magazine industry profile was the famous weekly Vesuvio's print advertisement saluting music industry figures, which announced the company's name change to Media V Entertainment Agency, and listed the founding staff.
Within the first year, giant steps were taken towards the company's vision. Shortly after operating mainly as a booking agency, Media V recognized that artists needed more guidance to develop a higher sense of professionalism and reach maximum potential. This realization gave birth to the Artist Management arm of Media V.
Spring of 1971 the company founded a sister-branch, Extensions of Man Concerts, who on Memorial Day Sunday debuted the Summer Sunday Night Dance Concert Series at Saylors Lake Pavilion in the Pennsylvania Pocono Mountains. This business move delved Media V fully into the concert promotion and producing business. The opening night was an immediate success, with over 700 attendees, and set the foundation for future venues and creative concert promotion in addition to the booking and artist management.
This strong foundation and momentum capped Media V's first year, and three months later the company brought rock and roll doo woop group Sha Na Na, who played Woodstock, to Easton to play a "Save The Boyd Theatre: Grease For Peace" show, this concert included Media Five's Fraulein and Big City Music Band. Their highly ambitious first year positioned Media V Entertainment as a legitimate all-around music organization with great potential and brought confidence and confirmation to not only the company's hardworking and creative staff, but also to the bands they represented and promoted.
September 21, 2020
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
SALUTING THE BANDS AND THE MUSIC OF OUR PAST AND PRESENT
Media Five Entertainment, in celebration of 50 years of epic live music, is launching a year-long campaign to salute the nearly 500 bands that the company has worked with as a booking agency, artist management Company, and concert PROMOTER. Together these Rock, Pop and R&B bands', whether regional, national, or even global superstars, made an indelible mark on pop culture and have touched the world through their creative artistry.
We are proud to announce that across all our platforms we are opening the Media Five Archive Vault and going back through our 50 years of memories. Starting Today Look For our posts 5 days a week for 52 Weeks, we will be sharing the recollections of our booking agents, artist managers, concert promoters, and some of our artists.
Whether you were a face in the crowd or a face up on stage, we hope that in celebrating Media Five?s half a century legacy we can dutifully honor the powerful music moments that are forever etched into our hearts and souls.
Band members and fans are encouraged to build upon the band pages on our website by submitting additional content to: Archive@MediaFiveEnt.com
July 16, 2020
PLAN YOUR OWN PRIVATE PARTY
BY A STAR BAND DUO TRIO or DJ
Celebrating a birthday anniversary graduation or
just hosting fun great summer outside gathering?
Our exciting bands and their acoustic duos and trios are
ready to party on your own personal stage for your special event
All our popular bands are back and pumped up and offer immediate availability on Monday's through Sunday's
It is very simple with the entertainers bringing everything
they need to put on a great show
Plan Now Your Summer Event and have our bands wow your guests
Billboard Magazine Names LIVE & Fuel On List of Greatest All Time Alternative Rock Songs and Bands
Billboard Magazine just announced 30 Years of Alternative Greatest hits. Fuel earned No. 13 out of 300 All-Time Top Alternative Songs for their smash hit,"Hemorrhage (In My Hands)", which achieved No. 1 on the Alternative chart on November 4, 2000 and remained at the No. 1 position for twelve weeks. "Hemorrhage (In My Hands)" was from the certified double platinum US album, Something Like Human. Fuel's drummer Kevin Miller is an Allentown native. Members Carl Bell, Brett Scallions and Jeff Abercrombie all lived in Harrisburg, PA during that time.
LIVE is ranked No. 17 out of 300 All-Time Top Alternative Songs with their smash hit, "Lightning Crashes", which achieved No. 1 on the Alternative radio chart on February 25, 1995. It was No. 1 for nine weeks. "Lightning Crashes" is the biggest single from LIVE's album, Throwing Copper, earning 8x certified platinum status in the US and a No. 1 album on Billboard's Top 200. Members Chad Gracey, Patrick Dahlheimer, Chad Taylor and Edward Kowalczyk are all York, PA natives.
LIVE also ranked #22 of All Time Alternative Rock Bands and Fuel made the list at #70.
LIVE and Fuel are both currently touring in America and worldwide. Live is touring in support of their EP "Local 717."
Both bands were discovered by Media Five Entertainment, Bethlehem, the management team at that time. Media Five Entertainment's David Sestak discovered LIVE when they were known as Public Affection in 1989 and oversaw their independent release, Death Of A Dictionary, that debuted their senior year at William Penn Senior High School in York, PA. Sestak managed the band for 13 years and brought on board as co-manager the late Peter Freedman of Lancaster, PA. LIVE went on to sell over 20 million records worldwide.
Fuel was discovered by Media Five's David Sestak and Greg Epler who began by working their debut independent release, Porcelain, with the first version of the #1 radio single, "Shimmer". Both managed the band for 8 years with Fuel selling over 5 million records worldwide.
This team of musicians and managers working together put Pennsylvania on the map as a hotbed of emerging from the heartland to become worldwide superstars.
David and Greg along with everyone at Media Five congratulates each member of both LIVE and Fuel, LIVE's producer Jerry Harrison for "Lightning Crashes" and LIVE's A/R, Phil Schuster and Fuel's producer Ben Gross for "Hemorrhage (In My Hands)" and Fuel's A/R, Ben Goldman. Both bands continue to tour worldwide.
Steal The Sky's Stephen McKnight & Alyssa Lee Lewis have recorded "I'm Afraid Of Americans" in tribute to the late David Bowie as Thermal featuring Alyssa Lee Lewis! The song was recorded and produced at Thermal Studios.
It is available for pre-order and you can hear a 90 second preview from the ITunes link below. It goes on sale for all digital platforms and streaming services tomorrow Saturday October 20th!
Alyssa and Stephen have decided to donate 100% of the proceeds from this song to the Time's Up charity foundation, which provides legal help for victims of sexual harassment and abuse. Know that by purchasing this song your $0.99 is going to a fantastic cause.
Will play two shows on Friday July 6 at Bethlehem's Levitt Pavilion and Sunday August 5 at the Musikfest Cafe
March 19, 2018 Greg Epler Rejoins Media Five Entertainment and is Named Vice President Veteran booking agent, manager and longtime Media Five executive Gregory Epler has rejoined the company as Vice President. His position will focus on booking and scouting talent, artist management and spe