Rich Engler has been one of the most innovative and successful concert promoters in America and helped redefine promotions, event productions, ticket distribution and more. As a teenager in the 1950s, Rich began playing the drums and talked his way into the band the Royals in 1963. As he would attest, his drum set was far from any sort of “kit”. But it was his talent for booking the band, which would become his preferred career choice in the end. In 1965, he played drums on the Vogues “Five O’clock World” that reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Royals became the Grains of Sand and then Phweet Phwew. They even opened for such national acts as David Bowie, YES, King Crimson and more. Rich also met his spouse, Cindy, during this time. But, his playing career soon ended. Having been booking his own band and local acts for a few years, Engler chose to pursue promotion and management and hung up his drumsticks. Engler started Go Attractions (later Command Performance) in 1967 allowing him to promote some of the country’s biggest acts at the Pittsburgh Civic Center, the Syria Mosque and Three Rivers Stadium among many other venues.
In 1973, Rich joined forces with competitor Pat DiCesare to form DiCesare-Engler Productions, cornering the market on all concert and event promotion in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. They thrived during the 1980s and Monsters of Rock era offering shows at Three Rivers from The Allman Brothers to The Doobie Brothers to The Beach Boys to Kansas and so on. They were promoters of the famed Monsters of Rock Tours that includes Van Halen, Metallica, The Scorpions and more during the late 1980s. DiCesare-Engler purchased the Stanley Theater in 1976 that hosted many of the top acts like Bruce Springsteen, The Grateful Dead, Journey, Sha Na Na and many others. In 1998, SFX Entertainment purchased the extremely successful DiCesare-Engler Productions, to which Pat DiCesare ultimately retired and Rich remained with SFX as the president and CEO of SFX Pittsburgh. When Clear Channel Entertainment purchased SFX in 2004, Rich Engler retired from the music industry. In 2013, Rich published Behind the Stage Door, the inspiration for the rockumentary in production of the same name. He is currently semi-retired as some events still get his promotion blood flowing.
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