I was a 12-year-old kid working for a tiny neighborhood record store called Big Apple Tapes & Records. Now, when I say working for, what I mean is…I made my presence known until they asked if I wanted to do some work for the store taking inventory, stocking, creating displays to post on the walls, etc. I wouldn’t be paid but, I could have access to promotional items like posters and advance copies of the latest albums. I would go in every day I could after school, happy to do whatever I could to make the store better. For the next few years, I was bringing home every album I could and listening to great music from bands like Great White, RATT, Faster Pussycat and watching their videos on MTV. I’m a kid living out my dream.
I’m a man working for an internationally popular Hard Rock/Metal Podcast/Website on the internet called Decibel Geek. Now, when I say working for, what I mean is…I made my presence known until they asked if I wanted to do some work for the website running their YouTube channel, creating/filming videos to post on the site, etc. I wouldn’t be paid but, I could have access to concerts and bands for the promotion of them and the site. I work every day I can, before and after my day job, happy to do whatever I can to make the site better. For the past year I’ve been going to every concert I could seeing great bands like Eclipse, Tango Down, Jetboy and filming hundreds of videos for Decibel Geek TV (the Decibel Geek YouTube channel).
Every concert event working for Decibel Geek has its share of disappointing missed opportunities and exhilarating lucky opportunities. My first time attending the annual Rock N’ Skull Festival on the outskirts of Chicago, IL. was no exception. Jetboy is a band I met and became friends with earlier in the year. Especially with bassist Eric Stacy, original bassist for Faster Pussycat, whom I have had hours of conversations with and worked on projects with over the past year. We talked before Rock N Skull about setting up interviews, a possible photo shoot, and about just getting to see each other again. But, I chose to eat at the wrong restaurant before the show and within all the chaos of everything going on, did not meet up with Eric or the rest of the band before their set, got some video and had my wife drive me back to the hotel because I was feeling too sick. The next morning, feeling better, I stepped out of my hotel room to see Eric in the parking lot. Turns out, the band was partying all night a few feet away and was now being ushered off to the airport. I was able to film a quick video intro and say goodbye. A very disappointing missed opportunity. After a great set by Jack Russell’s Great White, I went outside and just happened to see Jack being led to a waiting vehicle. I asked him if he would mind giving me an audio bite for the podcast and he graciously agreed. Afterward, we talked briefly and he was an extremely friendly, outgoing, nice guy to talk to. On the last night of the festival, the headliner was Stephen Pearcy, singer of one of my favorite bands since the mid 80’s, RATT. Imagine, mine and all of the Decibel Geek Team‘s excitement when we were informed that we were all invited to go on stage to introduce Stephen Pearcy!
Since my earliest memories, music has always been a major part of my life and now I have had the opportunities to meet, talk with, and in some cases become friends with the artists that I have listened to throughout my life. The anticipation of many more experiences are still to come with my first Monsters of Rock Cruise, a return to Rocklahoma, and another return to Rock N’ Skull already on tap for 2017. I couldn’t help but think of this as we were waiting backstage. It was then that I looked to my right to see Stephen Pearcy about a foot away from me. Now don’t get me wrong, there is and always will be that “fanboy” in me which is why, on my left side, I had Rich “The Meister” Dillon poking me and mouthing the words “don’t do it” at me while I just made eye contact and nodded at Stephen without uttering a word. I was thinking that brief exchange was satisfying enough for me as we walked on stage in front of the Rock N’ Skull crowd. Because one thing I’ve learned in my experiences with the artists and bands that I listen to, see on TV, watch videos of, and never dreamed of meeting is that they are people who were once kids, like all of us. They just grew up and are lucky enough to be living out their dream. Just like that kid from Big Apple Tapes & Records.
Live Life & Keep Rockin’,