Big Beef is an independent media production company dedicated to creating, platforming and promoting an array of diverse, interesting and engaging audio & video creations.
Started as a bit of an in-joke in 1978 by owner Andy Valeri as a label for the various audio works he was creating, Big Beef quickly became the production moniker for the large volume of film and video works produced by himself and his close friends, including co-founder Steve Bognar (who went on to success as an Emmy and Academy Award-winning filmmaker). These works included numerous film and video creations, books of art and poetry, an assortment of music and experimental audio recordings, cable television programs, both live and pre-produced, and much more.
This organic growth of Big Beef as a creative production house finally reached the level of professional business in 1995, when it became a full-fledged, paperwork filing, tax-paying business with the release of it’s first commercially-distributed compact disc release, “The Action Poets vs. George The King Of Swing" by the stellar Dayton-based all-acoustic rock outfit The Pure Plastic Tree.
Besides production, Big Beef has also been involved in music publishing through its subsidiary Cowphonics Music (BMI), along with serving as a distribution agent for numerous audio and video works created outside the Big Beef label. It was actively engaged in show booking and promotion for a number of years, as well, including supporting and promoting different charity endeavors. These included its work with The Tim Taylor Memorial Fund, established after the passing of fellow Daytonian Tim Taylor, the late great creative leader of the ultra-progressive band Brainiac, as well as The Gregg Spence Fund, another fund raising effort created to assist the multi-talented musician and member of the Big Beef family in his costly battle with cancer.
Big Beef has always operated under a somewhat similar mode as that of John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band, where there is a consistent directing influence, but the actual creative process is open to any and all who are involved with whatever project is currently at hand. The atmosphere cultivated is one of a participatory and almost family-like structure, where the Big Beef production moniker is a consistently flexible title referring to whoever may be involved at the moment.