People first, Money second.

November 24th, 2008 Posted in Uncategorized

In the dramatic downturn that our present economy is experiencing I have noticed that people start freaking out about money. When money is in “first position” it increases stress and it is IMHO one of the major determining factors in a “depression” and or “recession”

The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the quality of your relationships.

There are myriad examples of people that are wealthy beyond imagination that are not happy, miserable, depressed and even suicidal. Several very famous people in all walks of life have taken their own lives because they did not have a “strong psychology” to carry them through the rough and dark times in their lives.

Everyone has heard the age old adage “Do what you love and the money will follow”

I wonder how many of us truly believe it though? And when I say “believe” it, I mean live it!

To truly walk your talk and “be alive” and follow your bliss. Listen to your hearts desire and do just that. All the while staying the course with massive perseverance. With a degree of commitment that any obstacle is merely viewed as a simple stepping stone towards your goal that must be removed.

I can tell you from experience not many. Once again we are back at about 4% of the general population.

I ask just about everyone I meet at some point this question; “If you could do anything you wanted in life and there was absolutely 0% chance of failure” and I mean that 0% chance of failure!

What would you do?

I have found it is best to ask this question before you know someone very well. The less they know you often the more honest they will be in their answer. I am not sure why this is but I have found it to be true.

I asked this question to an extremely driven girl I had dated that put herself through school by dancing at an upscale strip club all the while attending college and getting a 3.96 GPA in psychology. We were just starting to like each other a whole lot and we were still in the “honeymoon phase.”

She was a rare find in her field as she was young, had no children and avoided any drug or significant alcohol use. She save over $100,000 dollars in a safety deposit box all by herself. She is an amazing story of determination. She was always worried about money though and had a lot of anxiety about her future.

She used to ask me all the time about how to get this job and that job. I helped her get out of the stripping and find other kinds of work that was less draining on her soul. She hands down and admittedly confided to me that the colossal impetus in her stripping was the money. She couldn’t make the kind of money she was making in most professional careers, even doctor or lawyer.

It was cute she used to come stay at my home during the week and she was like a purring kitten. She would read and cook for me. Sometimes we would cook together and she would walk by my refrigerator and take out the “Ben and Jerry’s” eat a few scoops and then check her e-mail and go back to studying. She would widdle away all day at that “Ben and Jerry’s” It was so funny because she weighed about 90 lbs. She was always laughing and pulling little pranks on me and would call me nick names.

Then the weekend would arrive, “primetime” for girls who work in the “strip club” business. Friday morning she would get up and her entire demeanor changed. It was like I had a chameleon in my house.

She would become so “matter of fact” and a switch flipped in her personality. It was also cute, because I knew who she was and this was an act to protect her heart and her soul from the “War Zone”(the club)

I used to call it her “bitch shield” In that environment you need it though. When you are taking people’s money first and strip clubs do it well. Patron’s have a sense of entitlement and expect things. It is the reality of the bizz. Ask anyone that has dated strippers, If they like to go to work. They hate their job, they do it for the money.

I know “porn stars” that like their jobs more than strippers. At least they like sex and are getting paid for something they like to do.

So anyway let me get to my point. When I first me this girl we at the Galleria in Dallas shopping. We were walking down the corridor along the shops holding hands and I asked her the question…

“If you could do anything you wanted and there was no chance of failure, what would you do”

She looked at me and smiled and said “really”

I said yes, “really”

She said, “I would be a mother and have a baby and raise my child as best as I could”.

I was floored, you see I could tell this was an extremely honest answer from the way I felt when she shared this with me. As time went on and I got to know her better she retracted and denied this desire.

As her doubts and fears about life surfaced and she “let down her guard” she became focused on going to school and getting her Phd in Psychology. In get this; studying “Close Romantic Relationships”?

Reminds me of the wise words of Joseph Campbell once again;

“Would you rather go to Heaven, or a lecture about Heaven”?

People are funny and that brings me to the topic of today’s subject “People first, Money Second”

Me and my assistant Rina just got through booking and promoting 3 dates in Texas for my friend Allan Holdsworth. Allan doesn’t play in Texas that often and promoting his shows presents a challenge.

Allan’s fans aren’t mainstream folks. He is a musician’s musician and most of his fan’s are audio connoisseurs who do not subscribe to the traditional media outlets that the herd listen’s to, i.e., “the radio”, local rags like the Dallas Observer. I could call the knuckleheads at The Denton Record Chronicle about the show and they would say “who’s that”. So you get my drift. This is why I liked the challenge.

I love Allan and his music and I admire his dedication to doing what he wants to do, when he wants to do and how he wants to do it. So we went with utilizing what we know best reaching out to the people.

Allan is having a “renaissance” in his career as of late. He has influenced so many people and he also was recently featured on the cover of Guitar Player Magazine again last April. So we had that on our side. Luckily through my years of playing shows myself I have acquired an e-mail list of friends and fans that trust me and that also have great taste in music as well. This is priceless went it comes to creating a buzz on the street and utilizing “word of mouth”

In all my endeavors especially business I aspire to put “people first” and “money second” I made it a point to book the shows at my friends clubs. People that I know and that trust me as much as I do them. People like Dan Mojica at The Silver Leaf, and my friend Pete Gordon at The Continental Club in Houston.

Pete introduced me to Steve Wertheimer at The Continental Club in Austin who is a great guy that truly cares about local musicians. Instead of “eating out” at fast food or hotels. I arranged for dear friends that I have that are chefs to cook for Allan, Chad and Jimmy. People like Kei Nagano and my friend Shari Beasley and her sister Cindy and there Mom 79 years young “Antoinette Sacco.

The result; all three shows were sold out and the fans were awesome and waited 2 hours after the show to meet the guys in the band and they sold out of all of their merchandise. Jimmy Johnson, Allan’s bassist who is a great guy and Allan’s favorite bassist to play with even commented on how great the money was on this “mini-tour”.

I agree with him as it wasn’t about the money. It was about Allan and his dedication to his art. It was about the fans that appreciate his dedication to his art. It was about the venue owners that take care of the many details that go into having a venue that supports “original” live music. Here are some great photos from the behind the scenes happenings at the shows.

Here we are at Chef Sheri’s home prior to the show in Houston!

Sheri, her Mom and Me!

Chad, Sheri, Mom and Jimmy.

Having Supper. It was hilarious! Mrs Sacco kept calling Chad “the boy” and Jimmy “the hippy” She would say “make sure the boy and the hippy get enough to eat!” She then told them to “go play purdy now”

Allan and the ‘Italian girls” Sheri and Cindy!

All of us after the show. Sheri and Cindy helped Allan sell his merchandise while he signed autographs.


Allan and a couple of “Texas Birds” after the show. You see even pretty girls come to Guitar concerts if you promote them properly.

Have an Incredible Thanksgiving and stay tuned for Playboy part II and a great story about an “up and coming” band “Osage” and their debut CD that me and Eric Delegard produced.

Much Love,

Eric

  1. One Response to “People first, Money second.”

  2. By RONNY L. EPPS on Oct 14, 2010

    Eric , it was nice working with you and Joyce this past week.
    I’m glad I met you the way I did, it gave me an angle some people do not get a chance to see.
    You doing a favor for a friend ie; John.
    If you get back to Vegas and it occurs to you, let me know and I’ll buy the coffee.
    RONNY L. EPPS

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