John Velasco-Mills: Rock Star/Entertainment and Publishing Guru

Having just come off of producing a historic and unprecedented six-hour virtual benefit concert presented by SohoJohnny, The Let Me Help Inc Foundation,and  #IAMNOJOKE via Creative Visions, John Velasco-Mills attempted to enjoy a quiet Thanksgiving weekend. The extravaganza was produced in record time and consisted of over 75 artists, icons and legends. Through years of contacts and friendships Velasco was able to secure live streamed videos from artists including: Rick Wakeman the keyboard superstar and master from YES, John Lodge from The Moody Blues, Sha Na Na, Ten Years After, and other heroes. Through Creative Visions and the anti- bullying project  #IAMNOJOKE he enlisted superstars including Sir Patrick Stewart, Slash, Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, Henry Rollins, Jeff Goldblum, Jane Lynch, and about 65 others. The  event evoked awareness for the shattered lives caused by COVID 19, anti-bullying and prostate cancer.

An entertainment virtuoso, John was destined to become a legend in the backstage of publishing, licensing, producing, advocating, consulting and managing, but you would never know any of this from speaking with him. Laid back and humbled, Velasco rarely speaks of his accomplishments, and of those there are many…..

John Velasco-Mills, currently the CEO of MD25 Entertainment has spent most of his life in the music and entertainment business. The British New Yorker’s career inauguration was with Canopy Music for Jimmy Webb where he worked with artists including the Fifth Dimension, Tony Orlando and Dawn, Thelma Houston and more. He signed artists including Yes and Black Sabbath.  Velasco’s credentials soared as he became the head of United Artists Music UK. It was there he signed ELO, Abba and many others. 

Velasco’s talents also extended to publishing as he set up the first UK publishing company for BMG and Interworld, and the formed his own consultation and publishing company. He represented Tina Turner in the UK and either manage or published Tommy Boyce, Hal David, John Denver, Davy Jones, Tom Paxton, Marvin Gaye and others. He also produced albums and soundtracks for Disney, American greetings, Parker Brothers and was on the production team of the biggest live productions of the time Elton John Live in Central Park. Also to his credit Velasco delved into producing children’s projects which included the Care Bears and The Cabbage Patch Kids.

In 1984 he joined CBS Sings in the United States as Vice President. He formed MPI and managed the Sesame Street music catalog plus Sesame Street Records, he signed DC Comics, Marvel, Archie and Care Bears. He also produced music for productions including Thomas the Tank Engine, Madeline, Pippi Longstocking, and others.

Velasco consulted for numerous organizations including American Greetings, Hearst Entertainment, Cherry Lane Music, International Movie Factory, METV, and more. In 2006 he became the chairman of the Times Square Art Center until he became owner of Direction by Appointment for the next 10 years. He is currently a partner in Terror TV, Chairman of RADD, (Artists, Actors and Athletes Against Drunk Driving), President of  Allied Artists Music Group, a member of The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Songwriters Hal of Fame and Variety Club International. 

Article by Eileen Shapiro

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