Michael Alago

Adjunct Instructor

Michael Alago

Passionate about music, art and literature, A&R executive and now portrait photographer, Michael Alago is the quintessential New Yorker with an “only in New York” career. From booking bands at the legendary Eighties East Village rock club the Ritz to famously signing metal gods Metallica.

A former record label A&R executive and talent scout for over twenty four years, Alago earned the respect of the industry for his expertise in a wide variety of musical genres. In addition to signing Metallica to Elektra records he also signed White Zombie, Alan Vega, John Lydon aka Johnny Rotten (with his band Public Image, Ltd.), Michael Feinstein and Nina Simone, for whom he executive produced her critically acclaimed final album “A Single Woman.” He has also A&R'd everyone from Tracy Chapman to Swans and Cyndi Lauper. Alago is a man of many hats.

In 2017, a documentary about Michael was released entitled "Who The F**K Is That Guy?" The Fabulous Journey of Michael Alago. The film speaks of his 24 years in music with all the ups and downs of a music executive as well his battle with alcohol and drug addiction, and his recovery and reinvention. A fascinating and cautionary tale. The film is on Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes.

2018 finds him writing a memoir for Backbeat Books tentatively titled "I AM MICHAEL ALAGO..breathing music…signing Metallica and surviving the AIDS crisis." Look for this release in 2019.