CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is home to the greats, and now, Danville native Irving Azoff is one of them.
Azoff is a major music manager who got his start as a student at the U of I, where he met former musician Ralph Senn.
Some might know Senn better as one of the “flying tomato brothers.” He’s co-owner of Garcia’s Pizza in a Pan in Champaign.
But before Senn’s pizza parlor, he was part of a music group made up of Illini students called The Regiments. They were one of the first bands Azoff ever managed.
“It’s been history. I mean, He’s gone from a million air to a billion air, and he’s just a great talent,” says Senn.
He booked shows for The Regiments all across the Midwest throughout the 60s.
“He was a real wheeler-dealer…we used to laugh. Here’s this guy sitting at his desk with a phone in one ear and another phone in the other ear…and he’d be talking to one guy, then switch phones and talk to the other guy,” says Senn. “He was quite a dynamo.”
Azoff made the move to Los Angeles and went on to work with The eagles, Seal, and Christina Aguilera–just to name a few.
He also managed REO Speedwagon, which got its start in central Illinois as well.
In 2012, Azoff was also named the most powerful man in music by Billboard. He is currently the chairman of Full Stop Management, which represents recording artists. Azoff’s also the CEO of Azoff MSG Entertainment.
He will be officially inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in May.