Jim Merlis

Publicist
Big Hassle Media

Jim Merlis has been co-owner of Big Hassle since it’s inception in 1999. His first job out of college was at a small independent NY based label called Upside Record. At Upside (whose roster included Jonathan Richman and Arthur Russell) he did everything but publicity. Unfortunately Upside went out of business and when it became clear that jobs in music were scarce, he took a six-week job at Columbia Records working in the publicity department helping with the George Michael Faith tour. Six weeks pretty much turned into 28 years and he’s still a publicist. Along the way, he was the first publicist for the UK band Blur, and later after being hired at Geffen records in 1993 became publicist for Nirvana, Hole, Garbage and Gillian Welch. At Big Hassle he’s overseen pr campaigns for The Strokes, Tom Petty, Jimmy Eat World, Mumford & Sons, and The Lumineers. In 2004, he left Big Hassle to move to LA and become the head of press at Geffen Records where he worked with Snoop Dogg, Common, Mary J Blige, Weezer, and Sigur Ros. In 2007 he opened the Los Angeles office of Big Hassle.

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Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.