Submitted by Don Graham
Eric Alper, a 6-time nominee for Publicist of the Year during Canadian Music Week, a 19-time JUNO Award winner overseeing PR campaigns including 3 in 2021, and over 50 Maple Blues Award winners, over 40 Canadian Folk Music Award winners – makes Eric one of the hardest working members of the music community.
If you work with Eric don’t be surprised to get an email from him at 6:45 AM, all through the day and then at 10:45 PM. He is a busy guy but somehow through his drive and dedication he manages to keep all the balls in the air and all the plates spinning.
In Eric’s own words, “I am not used to routine, which is how I like it. As a weasel, a flack, an officer to the press, a director, a dictator, a Coke and Chips for breakfast, dinner for lunch kind of guy, I think I can be forgiven, by 10:00am, if I have felt I had too much to dream last night.”
I think what sets Eric apart is that intangible piece that can’t be achieved by time in, contacts and reputation (although Eric grades are excellent in all those categories) It’s that Magic word, passion and Eric’s passion is palpable. His love of music in general and live music in particular probably started from frequenting an establishment his grandfather owned. Al Grossman opened Grossman’s Tavern in 1943, which is Toronto’s first licensed blues bar. “I would be fascinated watching the musicians, watching the audience reacting to the live music. I wanted so badly to be a musician but i had zero aptitude for it. I tried drums, piano and even a kazoo. I just couldn’t do it. So I decided if i was going to be involved in music I would have to find another avenue of entrance.”
His first PR gig was at the Free Times Café in Toronto in 1995. “It really all started out for my career because I wanted to work with the Smithsonian Folkways label. That was the beginning and the game for me during my teenager years. Armed with a sense of fun and a never-ending love of both the myth and actual history, I was proud to represent the label for many years, alongside some of the greatest record companies of all time.”
“I am one of the lucky ones for sure – getting to do during the days (and nights and weekends) what I love to do in the music industry: Be around passionate music lovers, fans, music industry folks (yeah, we’re still here!) talking about the newest album, the old record recently found in the basement or bargain bin, tragedy-tainted tales, and memories of old C-30, C-60, C-90s in our pockets”
But Alper’s musical aspirations started a long time before that when he saw a movie based loosely on the life and career of Alan Freed. “I was 8 years old when I saw American Hot Wax at a theatre in Barrie, ON, where the family cottage was. My parents went to see something else, I saw that movie and was transfixed. Right there, in front of me, 20 feet high, the real life Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, and the story of Cleveland DJ Alan Freed and a real rock and roll show happening. This was my Star Wars, My Superhero film. I wanted to be part of this world and had no clue what to do, where it was, how to do it. But that was it. I was bitten by rock and roll, and have never looked back, except to watch that film about 50 times since then!”
Currently Eric Alper is a music correspondent, blogger, radio host and former director of media relations, at eOne Music Canada in Toronto, Ontario. In 2016, he started his music public relations company That Eric Alper, and is the host of @ThatEricAlper show on SiriusXM, Channel 167 on the Canada Talks Channel. He has appeared as a music correspondent on numerous Canadian television and radio networks including CTV, CBC Radio 2 and SiriusXM.
Past and present clients include Ringo Starr, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ray Charles, Barry Manilow, Bob Geldof, Pete Seeger, Jerry Garcia, Monty Python, Randy Bachman, Nickelback, Sinead O’Connor, Steve Miller, The Smashing Pumpkins, Little Big Town, Black Label Society, Natalie MacMaster, DJ Khaled, Carole King, Jimmy Webb, Harmonium, Billy Ray Cyrus, Curt Smith, Rita MacNeil, Dr. John, Dwight Yoakam, Fred Eaglesmith, Joey Alexander, Ani DiFranco, Harry Shearer, Dan Zanes, Opeth, Cradle Of Filth, Jordan Knight, Chickenfoot, Bush, Duran Duran, Jeff Dunham, A-Trak, Judy Collins, Ashanti, Supersuckers, Joan Baez, Slash, Andy Kim, Robert Palmer, Rival Sons, Denise Donlon, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Alex Chilton, The Drifters, Colin James, Kathy Valentine, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Pussy Riot, Steve Gorman (Black Crowes), Lori Cullen, Murray McLauchlan, MonkeyJunk, Lee Aaron, Jane Bunnett, Jason Blaine, Dan Talevski, Gloryhound, Steve Vai, Big Sugar, Jesse Winchester, Liona Boyd, Sweet Honey In The Rock, Joan Armatrading, Wanda Jackson, Amy Ray, Jake Clemons, Kevin McDonald, Matt Andersen, John Prine, Jesse Cook, Of Montreal, Kris Kristofferson, Eva Avila, Snoop Dogg, Robert Munsch, Bilal, J. Dilla, Allman Brothers, Ben E. King, Fred Penner, Sue Foley, Kenny Shields and Streetheart, Sesame Street, Xzibit, The Wiggles, Bill Wyman, Sass Jordan, Midge Ure, Sasha & Digweed, Jimmy Rankin, Light Of Day Canada, Speech from Arrested Development, Paul Reddick, Alpha Blondy, Unearth, Kiran Ahluwalia, Public Enemy, Joe Budden, Mobb Deep, Sly and Robbie, Taking Back Sunday, Ziggy Marley, Underworld, The Wild, Quasimoto, Barney Bentall, Yesterdays New Quintet, Mayer Hawthorne, Lunch At Allen’s, Kensington Market Jazz Festival, The Cadillac Lounge in Toronto, Crystal Shawanda, The Mission UK, Cracker, Daniel O’Donnell, Madvillain, Frank Black, BadBadNotGood, Diana Panton, KRS-One, Aloe Blacc, Pete Rock, 54-40, Bonnie Bramlett, Janis Ian, 98 Degrees, Sundy Best, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Paul Oakenfold, Jake Miller, Solomon Burke, Devin Townsend, J Rocc, The Black Angels, Megadeth, Carl Cox, DJ Dan, Barbara Cook, David Archuleta, Downchild Blues Band, John Zorn, Leeroy Stagger, Ghostface Killah, DJ Drama, Slaughterhouse, Shooter Jennings, Everclear, Cormega, Andre Rieu, Dearly Beloved, Carole Pope, The Standstills, Diemonds, Secret Broadcast, Die Mannequin, Steve Earle, Dillinger Escape Plan, Raekwon, Matt Dusk, High On Fire, Slum Village, Christina Martin, Indian City, Autorickshaw, Bif Naked, Carl Dixon, Ori Dagan, The Smithereens, Carol Welsman, Bruce Cockburn, Hatebreed, Streetlight Manifesto, The Mahones, The Game, Thursday, Eric Bibb, Mick Fleetwood, The Prodigy, Third World, Duke Robillard, Heather Bambrick, Michael Kaeshammer, Jay Douglas, Max Parker, Myles Goodwyn, The Spoons, Madlib, Dio, Deborah Cox, Honeymoon Suite, Ian Anderson, Kim Mitchell, Pop Evil, In Flames, Amy Helm, Barbra Lica, Polina Grace, Maestro Fresh Wes, Katharine McPhee, Lorraine Segato, Tom Wilson, Ministry, Miss Emily, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Ray J, RJD2, Jurassic 5, DJ Z-Trip, Alchemist, The Kings, Chali 2NA, Steven Van Zandt, Gino Vannelli, The Boxer Rebellion, The Irish Rovers, King Crimson, Jean-Michel Jarre, Michel Petrucciani, Steve Hackett, Mastodon, All Time Low, Madness, The Cult, Jim Jones, Tom Russell, The Guess Who, Turbonegro, Charlatans UK, Master P, Asking Alexandra, The Trews, Los Lobos, Steve Forbert, Jesus Jones, Howard Tate, Electronic, Freddy Cole, Stereolab, Tim Booth, The Nylons, Christine McVie, RZA, The English Beat, Porcupine Tree, MF Doom and hundreds more.
I watched Eric’s worked online and saw how he kept his profile up and kept people’s attention but did it with such diversity and knowledge that it never became mundane or repetitive. He actually sends Tweet prompts up to 50 times a day. And I’m now in a position to speak firsthand about his service having hired him for my last single. His level of connection was amazing, keeping me up to date with every aspect of the promotion. I also noticed how he treated the lesser known artists with the same respect and attention as his Grammy, Juno and Hall of Fame artists. And he delivers amazing service for a reasonable fee.
A lot of acts spend all their funds on the production of the record, the artwork and video and have nothing left for promotion. For your next project be good to yourself and contact Eric Alper for a quote and include it in your budget. You’ll be glad you did.
Editor’s Note: Eric Alper has been named by Billboard Magazine, Paste Magazine and The National Post’s best on social media, is on Canadian Music Week’s Advisory Board and The City of Toronto’s Music Industry Advisory Council. He serves on jury panels for Canada’s Walk of Fame Emerging Artist Music Mentorship Program, CBC’s Searchlight, The Rockie Awards, Canadian Country Music Awards, and The JUNO Awards, among dozens of others across North America.
Eric Alper was recently featured on CNN’s website with a feature article entitled
“Meet the man behind some of the best questions on Twitter”(His Twitter account boasts over 765,000 at date of this publication.)
Read that story here: https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/05/entertainment/eric-alper-twitter-conversation/index.html
Check out Eric Alper’s social media links here: