What a title for my first Blog post ever. Usually, I'm a sketcher, editor, writer, reader, editor, re-writer, edit, re-read again, and then press "Send" kind of guy, then of course dread the lack of better editing. This title took 7 seconds, unedited.
15 years ago I spewed this crazy bar idea that involved an all wood design, acoustic guitars everywhere, and an over-sized, penalty box type recording booth, that would isolate artists for their "live" moment. You play, people listen (and watch), the arrogant bar snob music director determines live value, and if it passes their sonic snobbery test, it is played & recorded live to the patrons. THEN... if it really passes muster, it is put on a super cool CD and placed in the house jukebox! Or something like that. The actual musicians at the table, as I am not one, proceeded to toast my insanity and proclaimed - "No way".
Fast forward to 2014. After battling 3 years of multiple kinds of cancer, my mom, Sandy, passed. 1 month later, my dad, Earl, still waiting his turn to mourn her passing, was diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer, and given 4-6 months to live. He passed on Dec. 29th, 5 short months later.
We were a modest family that had an absolute passion for music. My mom's morning routine was clockwork: wake, turn on coffee, wake her sons, layout bread/butter/cereal for breakfast, turn on the record player in the shop (2 chair salon in the back of our house), then check to see if we actually rose and fed ourselves. My dad, a 1970 high school grad, was way into quirky show tunes more than the expected post Woodstock rock catalog of the day. He was huge into anything with keys and horns, but outwardly LOVED Funny Girl, West Side Story, and his favorite... Fiddler On The Roof! Weird, I know.
We were paycheck to paycheck household and understood there were limitations to Christmas, birthdays, cars, vacations, etc. We were fine with that. The generally positive vibe in our house was so excessive, matching the ferociousness of the brothers battles, that the lack of "stuff" was never a cancer on our home.
Their passing was the first time, thanks to mandatory insurance on their business, that we had no money issues, no mortgage, no medical bills, no credit card debt, nothing. No financial stress for the first time ever, which was something that we had come so accustomed to just dealing with. So what to do???
So what to do? We built. We, my brothers and I, decided it was time to try the crazy "Bar/Studio" idea and see what happens. The WHY was a no brainer. Our parents were the most giving individuals, ESPECIALLY when it came to kids and young adults that needed help, or simply an opportuniy. It wasn't about money, but an ear, a drinking partner, a confidant, a teacher (via the cosmetology school), or frankly whatever was needed at that particular time for that particular person. That was their M.O.
So....... Gaslight Studio. How does this all tie together??? Simply put, we will provide artists that display talent, work ethic, perseverance, class, and any other value add personality trait that is not reliant upon money, an opportunity to advance their art. That's fair. And that simple act is in line with how my parents lived their lives. Give someone a chance.
Fuck Cancer. Long live Rock and Roll. And thank you Earl and Sandy for an awesome childhood.
PS... I didn't edit in honor of the titles efficiency. Please forgive my first go and all of it's diabolical grammar.