Sunshine Man Steve Gerardi
Writer / Pat Carlini
Photographer / Brian Brosmer
The next time you attend a fabulous concert or maybe enjoy some great entertainment at your office party, one of our Geist area residents may be behind that show. Steve Gerardi, president of SG Entertainment, has been booking bands and other talent since the ’80s in Indianapolis and surrounding areas.
From setting budgets to checking all production needs before a show, Gerardi has done it all when it comes to entertainment, including working with some big names in music.
“I’ve worked hand-in-hand with some popular bands: The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, AC/DC, Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Phish, Metallica, Billy Joel, Elton John and Reba McEntire just to name a few,” he laughs.
Gerardi recently booked Aretha Franklin for a local event, and he has another upcoming big show with Jay Leno downtown in March.
“It is a constant balance between budgets and musical tastes with my clients,” Gerardi says. “It’s great when it really works.”
Gerardi was 15 when he caught the so-called “booking/producing bug” after attending his first concert in Columbus, Ohio.
“It was Edgar Winter,” he recalls, “and I knew by the end of the show what I wanted to do.”
Gerardi jumped into the business helping book talent and working as a runner, which is helping in all areas of a concert.
“It’s the most thankless entry job, but probably one of the most important jobs,” he laughs.
In the early ’80s he started working for Dave Lucas and Steve Sybesma at Sunshine Promotions, a regional concert promoter for Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky and, on some occasions, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Sunshine Promotions opened Deer Creek Music Center in 1989, and Gerardi was a Production Manager and Talent Buyer.
“Sandi Patti was our very first show in 1989 and I personally booked it,” he says. “That show, along with Frank Sinatra and Grateful Dead were probably the most important shows at the venue in those days. It was Sandi starting it all off, Sinatra lent it local credibility and Grateful Dead let us show that we were really good at what we did.”
Grateful Dead was Deer Creek’s first sold out show with 18,000 fans in attendance.
Sunshine Promotions was sold in 1999 and today Gerardi books talent for a variety of venues and for corporate and other special events. In his free time he enjoys working out — he’s lost 44 pounds since last summer — and is committed to volunteering for the annual Leukemia Lymphoma Society’s Man and Woman of the Year campaign which kicks off in March. Having lost two lifelong best friends/cousins, Dick and Mike Gerardi, to rare forms of leukemia, he has worked to raise money for LLS for the past 18 years.
“It’s a lot to balance, but, as they say in the world of show biz, the show must go on!”
For more information, or to contact Steve Gerardi, email him at Stevegerardi@sg-entertainment.net.