Wednesday, July 06, 2005
A friend and I became partners in something that we had hoped would help up and coming musicians and worthy causes. Our first charity was the Victory Junction Gang camp in Randleman NC. These people do extraordinary things for children in need of a good time like the could not experience anywhere else.
We created Project Stepping Stone for this purpose. Based in North Carolina, we worked hard to put on a show using two groups, Abe Reid and the SpikeDrivers and Lee Tyler Post.
Abe and his boys are a Boogie Woogie, stomp and rock trio. Lee Tyler Post is a Texas Bluesman working out of Nashville Tn. Both of these acts put on a hell of a show playing great sets.
Now My partner and I put in many hours and months to make this whole thing happen in my home town of Burlington NC. We made and distributed posters and placed ads. The Venue that we used, The Paramount Theatre, even did some radio spots for us. I won't go into all of the sorded details but several people let us down in their areas and we lost out and went broke in one night. We had already had another concert set up with two different acts and deposits paid.
Only four people showed for the concert as there was much confusion by a certain party for another band to play the same weekend at, the same venue. The other group was booked in very short notice as to which we absoulutely had no time to act and bump up our ads.
When show time came for us, with only four people in attendance, I was asked if we would proceed. I asked the bands, and they both stated that they were there to play and it was my call. I said the show would go on, and it did. These bands played extra long sets for the patrons who definatly recieved their monies worth and then some.
My partner had made the promise that we would pay to acts we hire the night of the shows. So we stood by what we saidon any and all agreements, which is a rarity in the music business I've been told. We lost a good amount of money and it hurt us enough that we had to cancel the next months concerts. We were trying to bring some great music for the younger croud to this City of much older generation that is set in their ways and not up to this type of thing. We had the blessing of the City and many business owners wanting us to make this an annual event here. But none of the people that we had blessings from showed up for the show either.
We had to close the doors for now, but I hope to give it another try. I fear that my partner has washed his hands of it being that he put up most of the funds to pay the bands and lost it. I paid for everything else related to the show and we did pay all of our debts which helped put us in the hole farther. However, we did what we said we would do and stuck by our guns, seeing it through. It was one of the toughest business lessons of my life and I learned alot about the music business that many will never know. At least we learned all of our lessons in one night, so next time, we'll be ahead of the game and trust nothing to chance. Others will let you down and not come through for you. Its a rough business to get into and is not for the thin skinned. Thats for sure.