In part one, Jon talked about how his career started in Memphis as a DJ and then moved to being a promotion man in the 1970’s and 80’s for MCA and ABC Records. Jon also talked about meeting and promoting John Mellencamp.
When did Jon meet Tom Petty?
When Jon started at ABC Records, one of his first experiences was a record that fell out of his closet, which happened to be Tom Petty’s first album. Jon played the record and immediately knew Tom Petty was a rock ‘n’ roll star. He then went to see Tom at his next gig at the Whisky a Go-Go in Hollywood, where the band was opening up for Blondie. Jon was so proud of Tom and the Heartbreakers, and they loved him. After Tom passed, Jon decided to write a book “Tom Petty and Me.” It is about his own career and his personal relationship with Tom.
In 2003, Sean Gilday formed Blue Raven Entertainment in New Jersey after starting a successful merchandise company in 1994. The merchandise company was also involved in making concert T-Shirts. When Molly Hatchet asked him to make their T-shirts, they were so impressed with his product and fast production, that they turned him onto other bands such as Blackfoot, Jefferson Starship, and others. Sean then became an agent in booking bands as a result.
More on Blue Raven
Blue Raven is based in Mountain Lakes with offices in Illinois,Texas, and Siberia. They handle all aspects of the music business from merchandise, booking shows, and finding new talent, such as The Outcrops. They work with national acts and tribute bands. Blue Raven also works with festival shows, especially the New Jersey Rock, Ribs, and Ridges that Howard Freeman promotes every year in Sussex County. Check out the interview below with Sean and hear from him about Blue Raven as well as a couple of funny stories that he has to tell.
Jon’s career started in Memphis as a DJ and then moved to being a promotion man in the 1970’s and 80′ for MCA and ABC records, his career is a fantasy to anyone who loved Rock n’ Roll in the 1970’s. When Lynyrd Skynyrd was the opening act for The Who in the early 70’s, Jon was there with Pete Townshend and saw the early jaw dropping reaction to FreeBird. He witnessed some of Keith Moon’s legendary antics and was one of Tom Petty’s best friends. Jon was so proud of Tom and the Heartbreakers, and they loved him. After Tom passed, Jon decide to write a book “Tom Petty and Me” it is about his own career and his personal relationship with Tom.
Tom Petty and John Mellencamp
John Mellencamp and Tom Petty are forever grateful to Jon for helping to jumpstart their careers and getting their music on the radio. John Mellencamp personally wrote in the Foreward section in Jon’s book, and saying that there will never be another guy like him. Tom Petty even thanked him in front of 20,000 people at the last concert he ever did at the Hollywood Bowl. Check the videos out below.
A promoter who has set the bar high for balloon festivals across the country along with the annual, Rock, Ribs and Ridges Festival.
Who is Howard Freeman?
Howard, a New Jersey native, has been in the promoting business for over 35 years, and is one of the few people in the world to hold the title of being a Doctor of Hot Air. Howard is most known for being the leader of the biggest hot air balloon festivals held across the country. He started his company, Promo 1 in 1981, and has been a leading promoter since.
Rock Ribs and Ridges
Howard was approached ten years ago to help come up with a balloon festival in the Sussex County area, but with all the high mountains, it was not possible, so Howard and his team came up with a Rock n’ Roll Festival with Ribs- What a great concept! The festival was held at the Sussex County Fairgrounds, and has been a staple event every year. The first festival had Charlie Daniels and the Marshall Tucker Band, with Doug Gray asking Howard, “What are you going to call it?” Howard said, “Rock and Ribs” with Doug’s response, ” How about Rock, Ribs, and Ridges?” Howard agreed, and said that name was cool and fits with the mountains being in the area.
Rock, Ribs, and Ridges 10th Anniversary June 29th and 30th
This year’s event is extra-special, it brings back the Marshall Tucker Band, 38 Special, The Weight and the Artimus Pyle Band. Newcomers to the festival are Southside Johnny, who headlines the second night on Sunday. Local acts, The Outcrops and Mark Coffy will be on hand as well. There are some new Pit Masters cooking their ribs and are expected to be feeding over 17,000 attendees. All the VIP stickers are sold out for both shows.