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Backstage Stars – Steve Galeazzi

Backstage Stars
9 July 2018
Steve Galeazzi

These days he does what he light-heartedly describes as the “boring stuff”, but Steve Galeazzi’s role in his own company, Industrial Strength Media (ISM), and as a director of the Alan Cottam Agency, is what holds it all together – the logistics behind tours, including contracts, equipment, flights, hotels, tour buses, VAT and Withholding Tax. He is also consultant for a new music venue and conferencing complex, The Edge [cap. 1,200] in Wigan, and vice-chair of The Entertainments Agents Association’s North West branch.


What are your first live music memories?

“Seeing the Beatles in 1964 at the ABC Ritz [2,560] cinema in Wigan had a big impact, although it was also impossible to hear what they were playing above the mass of screaming girls.

“I’ve also fond memories in the ‘60s of seeing acts such as Roy Orbison, Gene Pitney, the Rolling Stones, The Kinks, Moody Blues, Stevie Wonder, and The Supremes there too.

“Most of the major acts touring the UK played at the ABC Ritz in those days.


How did you get into the music business?

“From ’65 to ’67 I was studying electronics at Wigan Technical College and then joined a local firm, SAI, which built amps and speakers, as their electronics engineer.

“I built SAI gear and serviced everything from Fender, Vox, Marshall, Sound City, WEM and Selmer amps and speakers systems. I would also go out on-the-road with north-west bands such as Rainbow Cottage and Whizz Kid, taking new SAI designs to evaluate before putting them out for sale.

In ’69 I went back to college, while still working part-time at SAI, and became social secretary at Wigan Tech, running all the events we put on at Wigan Casino [1,200], including acts such as The Drifters, Desmond Dekker and the Aces, Ben E King, Geno Washington, Status Quo, Jimmy Ruffin, Edwin Starr and a host of others – they were all were sell-outs.

“In 1970 we decided to open our own venue, Wigan Technical College Club [500], which I ran for a year putting on gigs ranging from Slade to Barclay James Harvest and Gentle Giant.

“During the ‘70’s and ‘80’s I promoted shows across the north-west, at Wigan Casino and the Monaco Ballroom [750] in Hindley.”


How has your career developed?

“In September ’71 I became by accident a DJ at Sloopies in Wigan, at the time one of the most prestigious clubs in Lancashire. In ’72 I started DJ-ing at Wigan Casino until ’78, during which time it became the home of Northern Soul, and I was so lucky to work with so many of my soul and Motown heroes.

“In those days there weren’t backing tapes and computers. It was real live music, raw and adrenalin-filled.


What were your greatest low and high points?

“The death of a good friend William Leyland of LE Agency in Wigan, who backed the Alan Cottam Agency and gave me the chance to dream and made my dreams a reality.

“To quote that classic John Miles song Music Was My First Love, so to me being given the chance to work with, meet and see some of the artists that I admire means there have been countless high points along the way.


What are your ambitions?

“I intend to set up a recording studio, record label and publishing company under the ISM banner in the US and have, over the years, amassed a crazy amount of analogue recording and studio gear for that day.

In September this year I’m going over to Florida to set up Industrial Strength Media Inc and am currently negotiating with colleges and agents in the US to bring American artists over to the UK and take British acts Stateside.

“I’m proud to be managing record producer Nick Tauber, whose legacy includes Thin Lizzy, Toyah, Def Leppard, UFO and The Soup Dragons


How do you unwind?

“All of my living family and a lot of my close friends are in the US and Canada, so I plan to move to the USA and split my time equally between the States and Britain – one of the advantages of my having dual citizenship.

I’m going to get my pilot’s licence when I’m in the States, enjoy the Florida sunshine and sit on my porch with my guitar, writing songs again. I’ve been a finalist and winner in several international song contests.

“I would like to make good on a promise that I made to my Grandma when she was dying, that I would write a hit song one day.”

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