Thursday, March 3, 2011


Everyone has experienced crisis at work or in business... Something has to get done YESTERDAY!!!  There is a general freak-out and you rush around and it seems that everyone else is taking their sweet time getting back to you and you can't understand why.  Furthermore... someone is on your back as to why it's taking so long or, "what are you doing to fix this problem"... to which you have to either make something up or answer "nothing"... neither of which is fun. 

Now... I'll be the first to admit... I never got my homework done on time.  I never dealt well with deadlines.  Some people base their lives on them.  Personally I've always thought deadlines did nothing but induce stress... the task that is given, the build up, and the eventual judgement by someone as to weather or not the task was completed satisfactory... it all adds up to stress.  And I can't stand stress.

So where am I going with all this?  I was meeting with my business attorney today... it was a casual meeting.  He was catching up on some licenses for me (that he was 2 months behind on) and we were talking about some things for the future.  In the process, he's apologizing for taking so long and I'm telling him not to worry, he took on a new partner recently, lost another, his wife had a baby, and he and his assistant parted ways... that's a lot to handle in a few months.  We talked about all the projects I've been involved in in the past month... and how my company is also going through a few personell changes and then he printed out the licenses for me.  I signed them and delivered them to the label... a month before the actual deadline and all is great.

I like my attorney.  He's a good attorney and he's a great associate of mine.  I trust him and we've become friends.  Even though he got two months behind, we made the deadline and there was never any stress because no matter what... I'm working with people I LIKE and can place my trust in.  They have more going on in their lives (as do I at times) than what is "so important" in the moment.  I have found that patience, understanding, and preparation come only when you work with people you like and trust... and that leads to no stress, which allows me to make better, more level-headed decisions... because I know... with the right people... e.g.b.o.k.

Surrounding yourself with the right people is all that matters.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Race

We're all in a race.  We're not necessarily racing with anyone but we're all racing nonetheless.  Racing to get where we want in life.  To achieve the goals we set forth whether they be career goals, family goals, or even goals that leave a legacy for society.  And let's be clear, just like track and field, some races are inherently longer than others and we usually know this going in.

Now just the same as any other race, there are some that finish first and the rest that don't but... that only matters to the ones that view their life's race as a race against others.  You will see others achieve your goals (or similar ones) before you and, likewise, others will see you achieve their goals prior as well.  Who cares.  Seriously... it doesn't matter.  Your life and your race is your own... it (along with it's accomplishments) is the only thing you can truly call your own.

I'm not sure I'm exactly where I thought I'd be right now in my "race" but I know I'm still running and along the way I've had set-backs, gained strengths by learning a few things from those set-backs, and discovered something interesting... I don't exactly know where the finish line is!  Maybe because there isn't one.  While this could seem a little anti-climatic or... even slightly depressing... it's not.  It's better this way because now I believe that it is only my goal to run and let my accomplishments finish for me.

Kinda deep for a Monday morning I guess... but I got the idea from watching my dog run circles for no other reason than, to him, it was glorious to just be running circles!  Live in the moment as they say...

Monday, October 18, 2010


So I recently had a birthday... a pretty big one too (lets just say it has a "0" and a "4" in no particular order!).  Everyone asked me how it feels to reach the big "X-X"???  Honestly, I've never felt better.  I have more knowledge than I ever had, I still have my health and I'm in decent shape, and most importantly... I have GREAT people... better people than perhaps ever.  The really intriguing thing to me in all this is that most of those people came into my life within the past 7 years.  Furthermore, these people are likely to remain for the next, well, foreseeable long term future (I'm planning on living til at least 100).  Why is that?  What is it about the people you meet in your thirties that make them more long-term than any other group at any other time in life?  Many of them, for me, are co-workers in music but I don't think me, or my industry is alone in this phenomenon.  I think this resonates with many people and I would say, many other executives especially.

Perhaps it is that we "come of age" in the third decade of our lives, learning who we are and also how to judge how we want others in our lives or, maybe it is that we finally want to stop roaming around so much in all aspects of life that we just settle "here".   For me, I think I finally convinced this maverick, independent spirit of mine that maybe... just maybe... I don't have to do it all by myself.  And... since I don't... I might as well work and socialize (they are one in the same really) with people I really like... not ones that I want to like me.

Anyway - thanks to all the great people in my life - here's to another 40!

Friday, September 17, 2010


A very wise man and long time industry professional with numerous "make me jealous" credits to his name, told me a while ago that people you randomly meet today may have an impact 10 years later in your career.  I believed him... sort of.  Until you've experienced something for yourself, you always live in that state of "I'll believe it when I see it".  Well I saw it... kind of.  I got a call two days ago from a random artist, from Canada no less, that I've never met.  She was told to call me by someone I haven't seen or spoken with in I'm sure it must be like 3 years that I actually met proabaly 6 years ago and barely got to know.  For some reason though, this guy thought of me and now I'm writing with this artist (who is actually pretty good and has some good things in the works as well) next week.  Crazy.

Now I know it wasn't 10 years but if it can happen like that after 6 years... who knows what is possible!  I'm coming up on my 9th year in Nashville and I swear this town and the relationships I've made, never stop amazing me.  What I find most amazing is that more and more, it seems as though the random chance meetings that you think mean nothing, end up meaning everything.  I'm also finding out that often, the relationships you spend the most time cultivating, are often either the most fragile, or the most unfruitful.  I don't however believe I need to re-evaluate my priorities though for the same wise man also told me that "it is all happening the way it's supposed to happen".  No... this isn't meant to open a discussion on fate or destiny or any of that stuff either...  The point I wanna make is, on those days in this business (the music industry) where you feel like you're getting nowhere... like every ounce you've put into making what you think are the most important relationships flourish, keeps failing miserably... you can't take it too seriously because someone, somewhere, that you have met along the way will think of you at a time that you least expect it.

You may not understand it now, but when it happens... you will!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Love Songs

'Alone' by Heart.  That was "our" song.  The summer before my senior year in high school, my girlfriend Beth and I decided, it was ours.  A couple years before that, Janine and I had decided 'Heaven' by Bryan Adams was ours.  This was common when I was in school, every couple for the most part had "their song".  I could go on and on listing songs by Journey, Chicago, Peter Cetera, even Motley Crue or Poison for that matter that all fit the bill but all I really have to mention to make my point is, 'Right Here Waiting For You' by Richard Marx - that was everyone's song.  Does this still happen today?  I don't have children so I'm not really sure but I would have to guess that even if they do... it may not be quite the same.  Has there been a truly legendary love song released in the past few years and if there has been... are the kids listening?

Taylor Swift, one of my favorite writers and artists for sure has connected in a very emotional way with kids through her songs and just by being her... but... taking nothing away from her accomplishments or her work... are any of them truly legendary love songs?  I guess only time will tell but I'm feeling probably not. 

I wonder if it isn't even entirely music's fault... has love within society these days become to convoluted by things like divorce, online dating, facebook, and Jerry Springer, to name a few, that it just isn't taken as seriously anymore?  Part of me thinks that may be a big contributing factor and that's a little disappointing.

Music however is and always has been both a reflection on and a driving force of the times.  Perhaps it's time for music to take the lead and be daringly positive and romantic about love... change never comes easy but it is almost always worth it! 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Songs are like children

I don't write as much anymore (songs that is!).  I used to write 8 session a week, close to a hundred songs a year, now, maybe two or three sessions a week and 35 songs a year.  Producing takes so much focus that I just don't have the time anymore to devote to writing.  I'm not disappointed at all... I love writing but I love producing more.

Today was a writing day though... in every sense of the world.  Wrote with one of my artists and one of my favorite writers ever and we did well, got a great start on something we like.  It was not without struggle... much like a child, the song was trying to tell us who it was... it just took a couple hours to see and understand it.  Along the way all three of us learned just a little more about ourselves through the "child" we raised.

Later this evening, I had dinner with 4 pure songwriters.  People that write doubles sessions daily and have well over 3000 songs between them.  We talked passionately about songs they wrote and played out at songwriters nights, and the feedback they got and you could see and feel the love for their creations and what they have become. 

It's interesting for me though as a producer, someone who makes direct decisions on what songs get recorded by my artists... I know that 90% of the songs they were talking so passionate about will never get recorded and released by major artists.  Hundreds, thousands of songs... good even GREAT songs.

It's unfair, like children, not all song have the same chances to reach the top.  There just isn't enough room.  But one thing I noticed today is that the passion and love for them is the same.  We love them dearly for who they are and what they teach us along the way... 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Yesterday, today, tomorrow, and the whole crazy world!!!!

Yesterday (in the figurative sense), I truly thought of this as a waste of time.  Today, this is my first blog and it feels great!  Tomorrow is simply another day to learn something else new. 

To say that I'm amazed at where the world has come is cliche' and I won't bore anyone with that... I will simply give my slant on it from time to time and hope that maybe myself and someone else will get something from it.

I've been reminded in the past 24 hrs, that the more as the world changes, people generally don't.  Some are good, some aren't so much, some have integrity, and some will step on anyone and hurt them without conscience to get what they want.  I work in a very social world (the music business) but although I'm acquainted professionally with a fairly large number of people (well over 500), it really is only a select 5 or 6 that I truly consider "my people"... people that know my strengths, faults and like me for both.  Fortunately, I've realized that there is almost nothing that the 6 or 7 of us can't accomplish!  As a business owner and entrepreneur, there is nothing more valuable than these people to me.  When others have come and gone (and will come and go), these people stay.

So for as much as the world has changed... it still comes down to 1% of my world making 100% of the difference... It's the same as it always has been, it's just more important now than ever I think.  Technology has opened the flood-gates allowing me to connect with anyone in the world but I've found that I cannot let that dilute the core of my world - and it very much will if I chose to let it (I won't).

To my people: I am grateful for you!  Thanks!