This year, Barry Fey was inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. Last year, he published his first book, Backstage Past, which gave the legendary promoter a chance to relate some of his best stories from the past. It’s that past that psychic medium Michelle Houchens attempted to reconnect him with recently at Red Rocks. We were on hand with photographer Dan Fong to document the exchange between Houchens and Fey, who channeled some of his old friends and one particularly noteworthy adversary. As Fey looks down from the top row of Red Rocks at a staging crew that’s busy setting up, he says, “Get off my stage.” Fey views the musical community around him with a sense of entitlement, and rightly so. While John Shear booked the East Coast and Bill Graham handled the West Coast, for nearly three decades Fey owned everything in between: He was the first promoter to book Black Sabbath in 1971, he booked the Doors before anybody knew who they were, and he threw parties for the Rolling Stones, during which Mick Jagger once even tucked Fey’s son into bed.
Among his many other accomplishments, Fey helped make Red Rocks one of the most revered venues on the planet when he brought U2 there to perform. He also saved Denver’s historic Paramount Theatre when it faced certain destruction, and he stepped in to help keep the Colorado Symphony Orchestra afloat. “I am something special,” declares Fey, adding that’s he’s also had a lot of luck. “How I got here, if you don’t think that’s an accident, you’re out of your mind…. I am the quintessential person being at the right place at the right time.”