unnamed***SEE THE OFFICIAL SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINEABC NEWS and NYTIMES coverage of David’s photography that is being featured in a hip hop photography exhibit at the Smithsonian!***

Meet David Salidor, the founder and president of disCOMPANY. When David was 16, he decided to work for his father, who had an impressive run at the legendary Decca Records; running their PR-department, of course. He had just taken him to see a new band (at Long Island’s Lido Beach Club), with the unlikely name of The Who (1967).

“It’s not necessarily the job I wanted, in PR – I played guitar back then and loved working in high school and college, at the radio station. But, it was hard to get a footing in the door,” he says.

David also worked for the legendary rock-club My Father’s Place, where he saw such bands like Bruce Springsteen, The Good Rats, Chick Corea and Return To Forever; Larry Coryell; Todd Rundgren, Patti Smith, Hall & Oates, and Aerosmith explode. “That was my first face-to-face experience with rock ‘n roll music live; and, I loved it.”

He also worked at WLIR, then one of the nation’s premiere progressive radio stations in the country.

After graduating from college and armed with a ton of solid on-site experience already; he landed a job at London Records in their Creative Services department. “My first projects were with The Moody Blues, The Rolling Stones and Al Green. I always loved Al Green, so to be working on his team was indeed a dream.” He also worked on the record “Slowdown” by John Miles, which became a seminal record in the then developing dance-music scene.

After that he moved to an Account Executive position at the Howard Bloom Organization; then, the top PR-firm in the nation. “I was working on 22 accounts and sharing an office with Howard. It was like going to boot camp for a year-and-a-half. But, projects like Billy Joel, Genesis, and Hall & Oates made it so worthwhile. Plus, working with Howard … and, constantly brainstorming with him, was a coup.”

From there he went to work as PR Director at the avant-garde ZE Records; working with the likes of Kid Creole and the Coconuts; The Waitresses; James White and the Blacks, Cristina, and Was(Not Was). “Honestly, my personal taste in music always went more to Patti Smith, Lou Reed and David Bowie, so to be at the heart of the industry’s most inventive label was a dream come true.”

In 1984, Salidor formed his own company, the disCOMPANY, and began with Profile Records, who had just signed a new act called Run-DMC. Their legacy is inescapable (certainly their seminal hit “Walk This Way” with Aerosmith) and Salidor had them as the first rap-act ever on the cover of Rolling Stone (note: two of his photos of the rap-group, which he took by chance,  now reside in the Smithosonian in a new urban-art installation later this year).

He also worked with Long Island-native Debbie Gibson, who scored impressively at Atlantic Records and was the host of 1986’s American Music Awards (Gibson stills hold the record for the youngest artist ever to have written, performed, and produced a #1 pop record). He also arranged for Gibson to visit Elton John at New York’s Madison square Garden, where she ended up dueting, with Billy Joel and Elton on The Beatles’ “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.”

He also began a working relationship with Madonna and her then-producer John Benitez aka Jellybean; and, released a series of solo albums on his own with Salidor leading the PR-attack. He also worked with Coati Mundi, from Kid Creole, who appeared in the Madonna-movie Who’s That Girl?

Around that time he helped start the industry’s New Music Seminar. “That first show was at NYC’s SIR Studios and we had Madonna and Coatimundi on our artist panel.” The Seminar became an industry mainstay and still exists to this day.

All these years later, David knows publicity and marketing like a second sense. “The explosion of media, social and otherwise, has been astounding. We work with them all now … and, I love it more than ever.”

David just had client Micky Dolenz, of Monkees-fame, on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, sitting in for the whole show with The Roots. “A great way for us to begin our fourth-quarter … and, a tremendous night, returning Micky to a national TV-audience was a dream come true,” he adds.

Dolenz appeared on the show on a Thursday, with his new album being released on Friday. “Perfect promotion I’d say,” adds Salidor

He also has maintained all these years a policy of working with new and developing acts. “The future of this industry is in new artists and new music. I’m proud that we’ve been at the forefront of that for years … and, will continue to be”

Keeping his operation decidedly lean and mean, over the years, David has worked for the likes of Sigma Sound Studios, Hungarian-classical artist Havasi, radio-host Brett Winterble; SQ1 Publishers (which included Elliot Tiber’s Taking Woodstock opus which became a movie directed by Ang Lee); Canadian-brass ensemble Canadian Brass; noted-rock biographer Mark Bego, MCG Jazz; and been associated with the Broadway productions of The Fantasticks, Disney’s Beauty And The Beast,  and, Nickelodeon-actress Isabela Moner; singer/actress Gloria Reuben; actor Donnie Kehr of Jersey Boys-fame; Broadway Records; and, actor Robert Funaro from The Sopranos.

“It has been quite the ride,” he says, “And, I wouldn’t change a thing.”