If you've never heard of Nick Panaseiko, that's entirely understandable. He was a backstage guy, making sure that the act onstage is playing to a full house, making sure their records were on the radio and in record stores.
He was a promo man. Kelly Jay of Crowbar referred to the Canadian music industry of the era as a matter of 'six degrees of Nick Panaseiko'. Taking off from a popular Panasonic ad campaign of the day, legendary rocker Ronnie Hawkins dubbed him, 'Nick Panaseiko, a man slightly ahead of his time'. And at his induction into the Jack Richardson Hall of Fame, Alice Cooper, Ronnie Hawkins and Peter Criss of Kiss all sent video tributes.
Promo Man places Nick Panaseiko in the zeitgeist of the music industry in the 60s and 70s and his work with the acts who were - and in some cases still are - the aural soundtrack to our lives. How Nick made his way to the epicenter of the Canadian music industry and made his way out alive is the story of Promo Man.
Promo Man takes the reader from the 17-year-old kid who booked The Supremes to a sold-out show through his success breaking Kiss in Canada to his time with Quality Records and WEA in the 70s.
While Nick Panaseiko's metier was promoting acts, his other duties as assigned including finding Freddie Mercury and Liberace Toronto gay bars, playing board games with young Marlon Richards, finding cocaine for his father, Keith and Ronnie Wood, having to deal with a racist Bill Cosby, being the de-facto minder for Keith Moon at a party and being an extra in a Van Halen video.
The book truly lives in his tales of a breakneck lifestyle, working with and promoting acts including Queen, Liberace, The Cars, Van Halen, and finally The Rolling Stones. This is an insider's look at the freewheeling times of the Canadian music industry as it came into being, told by the consummate insider. Key to the book are the many photographs by acclaimed rock and roll photographer John Rowlands of Nick with artists including Debbie Harry, Donna Summer, Kiss, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Johnny Cash, Liberace, Keith Moon, and Freddie Mercury. The fast pace of the narrative coupled with the photos brings to life a much mythologized time in popular music.