There’s a tradition on Facebook of Throw Back Thursday (tbt) where people traditionally post photos from their past. I do not typically participate unless it’s something unusual like a photo of my BFF Michael Lasalandra smoking weed with Bob Marley. As to my own dark past, I deny everything and demand proof. If you don’t have photos, it didn’t happen.
Nonetheless, and old friend sent me this, my first business card, some 51 years ago. Here is the shortened version of how it came to be. I wanted to be in a band, but couldn’t play for sh*t. To this day, I remain a music lover without a musical bone in my body. I have a near-encyclopedic knowledge of classical music (although maybe not as comprehensive as that of my sister-in-law Corey who can also play it all, dammit, or my sister-in-law Susan, also an accomplished pianist).
Anyway, my buddies in the band found a way to keep me (“I know, we’ll make him the manager” or something like that, I imagine). So I learned how to book the band, how to rent equipment, how to arrange transport, and how to handle the money.
I saw an article about Jimmy Buffet, where he said he performed the same functions in his band. The only difference is he’s now worth $400 million or so.
In every job I’ve had I seem to have swiftly ascended to a management position, until soon I had my own business and had no choice but to manage it. One irony is that the band was called The First Edition, and I grew to become a collector of books.
It’s pretty funny, although perhaps only to those who know me. I still subscribe the Woody Allen school of management, which is that you find a bunch of gifted people — in 1965 it was the band members, now it is the Smart Marketing staff — and stay out of their way. When they succeed, you claim credit.