Sean LaRoche, concert industry veteran, died July 15 in Ocala, Fla., after a battle with esophageal cancer. He was 71.
LaRoche grew up in New York and attended Yale University before dropping out to pursue a career in the entertainment business. He got his start as a road manager for country star Roger Miller in the late ’60s.
In the early ’70s, LaRoche joined Frank Barsalona’s Premier Talent, booking acts like Led Zeppelin and the Who. He later served as an agent for Agency for the Performing Arts and American Talent International.
In 1994, LaRoche partnered with agent Tim Drake to form the booking firm Drake & LaRoche. The company eventually became the Roots Agency, which is run by Drake. After about a year at Drake & LaRoche, LaRoche joined Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Fleming Tamulevich (now called Fleming Artists) as an agent. At Fleming, where LaRoche worked from 1995 through 1998, he booked such artists as Dar Williams, Lucy Kaplansky and Eddie From Ohio.
“He’s a great soul,” Drake says. “He’d spend so much time talking with buyers and artists, artists who weren’t even on our roster, to help them out. That was his greatest passion, to help singer/songwriters.”
After leaving Fleming Tamulevich, LaRoche and his wife moved to Albuquerque, N.M., where he served as an independent agent for artists like Cosy Sheridan and David Jacobs-Strain. Following his wife’s death in 2003, LaRoche moved to Ocala to be near his daughter, Wendy.