RnM Team    27 Nov 12 15:11 IST

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MUMBAI: Credited for revolutionizing the rock concert business, pioneer concert promoter Frank Barsalona, who represented renowned artists like Bruce Springsteen and Led Zeppelin passed away at the age of 74.

He died peacefully in sleep after suffering for a long time with Alzeimer’s disease. Billboard reports that representatives for his family have confirmed that Barsalona passed on Thursday (22 Nov).

His daughter, Nicole, says a memorial service and celebraton of his life will take place in the coming months.

Barsalona founded Premier Talent- the first booking agency to work exclusively with rock artists- in 1964 and was the first to book major English acts including the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, the Who and Led Zeppelin for their US dates. His other clients included rock heavy weights like Grand Funk, Tom Petty, Van Halen and U2.

A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee (2005) Barsalona was widely credited not only with being among the first to take rock 'n' roll seriously as an art form, but creating the modern rock concert experience.

He was the first to nurture and develop a network of local concert promoters who understood and appreciated the new breed of rock performers and could be trusted to do a good job. Back in those days, a promoter was put on the map only when Barsalona gave them their own markets.

“Frank Barsalona had a vision: acts and promoters and record companies working in coordination to build careers. Rock performers now had an economic base outside of the record companies. They had the time and money and facilities to upgrade the quality of their shows,” wrote music journalist Dave Marsh.

Once the most powerful booking agent in the world, Barsalona was reportedly afflicted with dementia in his final years and was never honoured in person for the pioneering role he played in creating the modern concert business.

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