October 16, 2017
Saturday, October 14th during Radio Memphis Around the World, D is got a phone call from Maui, Hawaii at 1:30 PM CDT from Joe Gannon.
Being a native from Philadelphia, PA, Joe Gannon is probably one of the most influential under-the-radar persons in the music and entertainment business having made his own career as recording producer, director, musical stage lighting and production designer. He ran Frank Zappa’s company Bizarre Records, produced records for CBS, Joe had even staged Madonna’s first film appearance. Gannon was one of the first production designers to use moving sets on rock concert tours while working with Neil Diamond. Joe took on the responsibilities of being Neil’s road manager, lighting director and show consultant in the early 70’s and his involvement was credited as the reason for the great improvement in Neil’s stage presentations by the time the legendary 1972 ‘Hot August Night’ concert series had hit. Gannon has traveled the world and worked with such stars as Teddy Pendergrass, Luther Vandross, Barry Manilow, Julio Iglesias, Kansas, Blondie, Diana Ross and more… as well as, creating visions for outfits such as MTV. Joe has had the opportunity to work with almost every entertainer represented by rock-n-roll manager, Shep Gordon, including the shock rocker himself, Alice Cooper. Expanding upon creative input from Alice and Shep, Gannon was responsible for turning Cooper’s vision into a tangible, three-dimensional nightmare reality of magic and craziness. These set designs resulted in some of the most elaborate stage and light presentations of any rock show, setting a new standard in terms of sheer massive size, which also made them responsible for yet another industry innovation: the rock n roll extravaganza, the ultimate rock show. The presentation was that one-of-a-kind stage show that generated more press than the music itself.
Catch the conversation right here.