Frank Barsalona, founder of Premier Talent and one of the pioneers of the modern touring business, passed away Thanksgiving morning after a long illness. For a tribute written by Billboard's Ray Waddell -- featuring comments about Barsalona from Irving Azoff, Danny Zelisko, Peter Luuko and many others -- we asked Bono for a quote: and he responded with this lovely remembrance. U2 manager Paul McGuinness also sent us some memories about Barsalona, who worked with U2 beginning in 1980, and for many years after.
"Beyond a gentleman to deal with… graceful, very family-oriented. Working with Frank, as U2 did, it was like you were in his family. His stories were sometimes long, but always memorable, my favorite featuring The Who smashing their instruments on stage for the first time in his presence-and starring Frank, who, starting to get it, turns to his beloved but aghast wife, June, and says, 'It's ok, honey, it's all part of the show.' Maybe you had to be there... hard to explain somebody like Frank, as they just don't make them like that any more. We think of June and [daughter] Nicole as the band, and I salute him. I don't think U2 would have enjoyed the kind of success we have had without Frank Barsalona building it with us, [as] one of maybe 10 in the business who believed in U2 as much as we did, and cajoled and crooned his peers into doing the same."