“…they didn’t really care, they’d sleep on the floor, they would play for whatever money, their tickets were cheap, and the music was really good.”
Elliot Lefko, describing the punk bands he first started working with.
Elliot Lefko has booked some legendary bands. He booked the first Toronto shows for Nirvana, SNFU, and the Nil’s to name a few. After many successful years working as a promoter in Canada’s biggest city, Elliot moved on to a mega-city to work as Vice President at Goldenvoice in Los Angeles. It was such a fantastic coincidence to meet a promoter who’s worked in both Toronto and LA and who also booked punk bands! (I have to thank Lily Sims-Williams from Goldenvoice, for making the introduction after she and I got to talking in a random ride share in LA!)
I met with Elliot on a Friday afternoon after it had just stopped pouring rain in Los Angeles. For anyone who’s ever worked in production, you know that Friday’s are the busiest of days – confirming all the riders, tech specs and contracts before a weekend of shows – Elliot still found time to meet with me and we ran errands together that afternoon. We had a chat at a local salon, while his son got a haircut. I’m telling you all this because I was so floored by how Elliot found a way to share his time and experiences with me on such a busy day. We chatted about what brought him to punk, how the industry can better reflect all the different artists in the many scenes, and taking the risk to promote what you love. This was a conversation for me about how to find people to help promote, support, share my work. And really, like all things it comes down to passion, commitment and finding like minded people who, like Elliot, are excited by and willing to take the risk in connecting people to new and interesting music. Below are a few short clips from my chat with Elliot.
*Please note: as this interview took place in an active salon, there are random hair dryers and conversations in the background and competing to get levels was a bit tricky. Please forgive any popping p’s that couldn’t be edited or ambient noise that couldn’t be reduced further without compromising the track. I personally like hearing the ambient noise – It’s how the project has come together, by being open and taking the opportunity to speak with super cool people – wherever that might be!
Elliot on what brought him to booking punk bands:
Elliot on diversity in the music industry:
Elliot talking about taking the risk/the joy of promoting something you love:
After the interview, the rain stopped pouring and the sun started streaking through the sky again. I was on Melrose avenue on a Friday night -I wandered around the farmers market, a few cafes and I treated myself to a manicure in the colours of the California sunset. That was a fantastic Friday.