Jim Messina on Johnny Palazzotto

[In the new issue, Alex Cook profiles our Best of the Beat honoree for Music Business, Johnny Palazzotto. After press time, we received a testimonial for Palazzotto from Jim Messina of Loggins and Messina. It arrived too late to run in the print version of
OffBeat, but we’re pleased that we can now run it online.]

When Loggins and Messina first started out, Kenny was green and had never toured before, nor had he ever been a band leader. There wasn’t a lot of money in those days and I had an album to promote, a new artist to launch and a band that needed direction and help to tour with and promote the album and artist.

Johnny Palazzotto was assigned by Shiffman and Larson, Kenny’s personal managers. He was new at the business of “road management” but he had integrity and the will to learn. He and I shared a room in the beginning so that if he needed any guidance or assistance I would be there and close by to respond. Calls were coming in so much that Johnny barely had time to sell.

It wasn’t long before Johnny caught on and was not only road managing, but also setting up radio interviews, working with the record company promotion men, and dealing with promoters who tried to steal from us by telling us we sold “X” amount of tickets when we actually sold “Y” amount of tickets. Johnny and I went out together and purchased a train conductor’s metal tally counter that fit into the palm of his hand. When we performed dates where we had a percentage coming, he would hand count everyone in the room, thereby keeping the promoter from taking advantage of the band.

Johnny was always there to look over us to make sure we were safe and provided for. Not only did he make time for his artists Kenny and I, but he also took care of the band members and made sure of every aspect, when it came to flights, travel, hotels, rental cars, in addition to their basic health when they were sick and needed to see a doctor. We never missed a gig or a flight. He never complained about the amount of work there needed to be done.

His sense of humor carried me through trying and stressful times. He was a life saver for me during those days. Johnny made it possible for the birth of Loggins and Messina.

Kind regards,
Jim Messina