Steve Sesnick

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Stephen Sesnick is an American rock club and rock band manager, and later an inventor, entrepreneur, and businessman.

Velvet Underground manager[edit]

Sesnick was manager of the Boston Tea Party, a seminal Boston nightclub founded in 1967, which was the first in Boston to spearhead the burgeoning psychedelic rock and underground rock scene, and which also helped break bands which went on to become major stars. Sesnick was replaced in 1968 by Don Law.

Sesnick was a real hustler, and he managed to get the airlines to fly these amps around.... On one of these tours we stayed at the St. Francis in San Francisco which is like one of the oldest hotels in San Francisco. Really old money, and they don't like men with shoulder length hair walking around in the lobby in flowered shirts. They didn't want us there, but [Sesnick] finagled it with his little song and dance.

— Doug Yule[1]

The Velvet Underground shows at the Tea Party were particularly notable and the band became especially popular in Boston. Sesnick also knew the band from his involvement with Andy Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable.[2] After the Velvet Underground ended their association with Warhol and Paul Morrissey in 1967, they selected Sesnick to be their manager.[3][4][5] Sesnick was also associated with Jonathan Richman at the start of his career.[3]

Over the next few years, Sesnick influenced the Velvet Underground to move toward a more commercial direction in their music.[citation needed]. Doug Yule was invited to join the Velvet Underground when John Cale quit.[1] Lou Reed later accused Sesnick of driving "a wedge between" him and Yule during the recording of Loaded in 1970,[6] and Yule did aver that Sesnick favored him as the potential leader for a new Velvet Underground, minimizing Reed's role. [1]

Sesnick owned the tapes that were to become 1969: The Velvet Underground Live. Sterling Morrison and Maureen Tucker signed over their rights to the tapes for $1,500 each ($8,242 in 2021 dollars).[7][8]


By 1972, what was left of the Velvet Underground ceased operations, and Sesnick left the music business and became an avid golfer. He says he conceived the concept of the Skins Game, a yearly golf event where four top golfers competed head-to-head in a match play format. Extant from 1983 to 2008, it was successful and popular. According to Sesnick, he came up with the idea, convinced some influential people of the worth of the concept, and began working on the project with the sports marketing company People & Properties. People & Properties then obtained buy-in from Arnold Palmer; this attracted wider attention, and bigger industry players stepped in and seized control of (and credit for) the property from Sesnick, he has said. (Others have disputed this account.)[9]

After this, Sesnick worked in golf as a consultant with organizations including Golf 20/20, First Tee, and TourTurf.[10]

Sesnick was later part of a team at Florida Sustainables which developed technology for replacing plastic grocery bags and other plastic items with robust but degradable plastics, the research being partly funded by a $383,000 grant from the American National Science Foundation ($461,356 in 2021 dollars).[7] This effort won the team the 2011 Cade Prize from the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention.[11]

Sesnick invented improvements to the solar cell and licensed it for commercial development from the University of Florida through Sestar Technologies, a sort of parent company for Florida Sustainables,[11] of which Sesnick was a co-founder and Vice President of Product Development.[10]


  1. ^ a b c Oliver Landemain (1994). "Head Held High: The Velvet Underground Featuring Doug Yule". The Velvet Underground fanzine. Fierce Pup Productions. Retrieved April 20, 2021.[better source needed]
  2. ^ Warholstars (November 29, 2008). "Andy Warhol Chronology 1967". Andy Warhol Stars. Retrieved April 20, 2021.[better source needed]
  3. ^ a b Ben Greenman (November 17, 2013). "World on a String". The New Yorker. Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  4. ^ Bockris, Victor; Gerard Malanga (2002). Up-tight: the Velvet Underground story. Omnibus Press. p. 69. ISBN 978-0-7119-9170-5. Retrieved December 4, 2010.
  5. ^ Hogan, Peter (1997). The complete guide to the music of the Velvet Underground. Omnibus Press. p. 50. ISBN 978-0-7119-5596-7.
  6. ^ Hogan, 1997, p. 37
  7. ^ a b 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved April 16, 2022.
  8. ^ Hogan, 1997, pp. 49-50
  9. ^ Adam Schupak (October 17, 2019). "The never-before-told story about the Skins Game forgotten man". Golf Week. USA Today. Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  10. ^ a b "Board of Directors". Sestart Techologies. Archived from the original on 2012-03-31. Retrieved April 20, 2021.[better source needed]
  11. ^ a b Anthony Clark (May 22, 2011). "Creating a plastic alternative". Gainesville [Florida] Sun. Retrieved April 20, 2021.