This month David Salidor is celebrating his company’s 34th anniversary. Salidor started out with a scant few clients in 1984; among them Profile Records, who would soon launch Run DMC; Jellybean Benitez, who would soon go onto to rule the world of dance music and produce a new singer called Madonna; celebrity author Mark Bego, who the following year would have the #1 book on Michael Jackson and, just last year released his 62nd book, “Eat Like A Rock Star” (Skyhorse), and Debbie Gibson, hailing from his hometown of Long Island.
Salidor had come from London Records, where his first projects were The Rolling Stones and The Moody Blues. He also worked for the visionary Ze Records – Kid Creole & The Coconuts (August Darnell and Coati Mundi), Alan Vega’s Suicide and James White & The Blacks.
Currently, with a small staff in downtown Chelsea, New York, Salidor handles the PR-affairs for The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz; Joanna Bonaro’s Good ‘n Screwed TV project; author Bego; Rockers On Broadway and Donnie Kehr; and, several entertainment startups which Salidor is eager to discuss.
We met in his office.
Q: What was your very first concert?
A: Believe it or not, it was The Who at the Lido Beach Club in Long Beach, Long Island (1967). That night galvanized my interest in music … creatively for sure. Watching Keith Moon, with day glo- drumsticks no less, is something I’ll never forget. I also was involved in the original My Father’s Place with Eppy. I may actually be involved in the new one opening this June.
Q: With being in the music business for so long, what have you learned?
A: That’s a loaded question for sure. Very, very few have the ability to just shine. They’re a lot of pretenders to the crown, but true talent, when you find it, it’s just an awe inspiring moment. Watching Debbie Gibson create her own first album, without the restraints of the record company, was just an amazing opportunity. One that I’ll never forget. To have watched John Benitez work is something I’ll never forget either. We worked with a lot of the re-mixers early on like Shep Pettibone and Jim Burgess and their talent was simply extraordinary.
Q: What’s the one thing you can never count on in this business?
A: Well, loyalty for one. What I do in planning a campaign, or developing an image and executing it, is a process. Things happen to slow you down and the individuals that really know they don’t have it, always panic. Not to be braggadocios, but if I didn’t know what I was doing, I would be here all these years later. I always say there are two types of clients: Ones that will listen and ones that don’t. The ones that don’t are doomed to fail no matter how much money they throw at you. Everything we’ve touched has not hit … but, it could have it. Again, a process.
Q: You recently relocated to downtown Manhattan … right?
A: After 32 years at 57th and Broadway, yes we did. The building changed hands and it was a momentary moment of panic. I hadn’t moved in quite some time, so it was a rather furious time. But, we moved in one afternoon and were up and running the very next day.
Q: What are your proudest accomplishments?
A: Watching Debbie Gibson onstage at Madison Square Garden, singing “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” with Elton John and Billy Joel has to be one. Watching Micky Dolenz and The Monkees have a top ten pop album like Good Times! (2016) was terrific. Watching Mark Bego’s continuing career and the diverse number of subjects he’s covered has just been so rewarding. And, doing the media for the Off-Broadway play The Fantasticks was awe-inspiring too. It still remains the longest running Off Broadway-play ever!
Q: What’s next?
A: Writer/producer/actor Joanna Bonaro has written and produced a TV pilot called Good ‘n Screwed; about a woman who gets a sudden divorce later in life and how her life changes and how she has to adapt. It’s got Vinny Pastore, Robert Funaro and Suzanne Smart in it and it’s just marvelous. Joanna is a triple threat and I enjoyed the brainstorming with her … it’ll be on shortly and the world will love it.
There’s a Micky Dolenz/Michael Nesmith tour beginning in June that will be spectacular and we’re forming a new production company for new recording artists. The music business has changed so dramatically, but it’s still a buyer’s market. There’s more new talent than ever before … and more new outlets.
Q: What about PR these days?
A: More important than ever; what with the advent of social media, it’s essential to get the word out everywhere, although, with so many talented people having been unfairly jettisoned, for one reason or another, it’s more important than ever to get qualified, capable, and dependable people.
Yes, it can make the difference between success and failure. Never forget, PR makes you more negotiable. It’s still a delicate process and you need as much foresight going in as ever.
Q: Advice for the kids beginning a musical career?
A: If you have the goods, it’s all there for you. Get a good lawyer and put together a responsible team and get out there. We have three new acts that are, as of last year, brand new and I cannot wait to get them out there.