CANDY AND CHRISTMAS TREES

Thursday, Mar 21 @ 11:03 AM

The Girl Scouts didn’t have all the fun. When I was a kid, I sold candy for the YMCA, to earn my way to summer camp. One year, I sold enough candy for five weeks’ worth of summer camp. The only kid who outsold me had a dad who was union boss of one of the factories in town (something of an advantage, maybe?). The YMCA had only two kinds of candy: a chocolate mint comparable to the Girl Scouts’ thin mints, and a chocolate/nutty thing they called Turtles. I pushed that candy hard, I gotta tell ya. Many years later, I came off the road from a bad touring experience with a band out of Salt Lake City. The leader of the band burned me something awful, and I was probably the most bitter I’ve ever been about the music business at that point. I called Montana home in those days, and I got off the road in October, in time for the Christmas tree harvest. I needed a break from gigs, so a friend got me a job loading trees onto flatbed trucks. Then an owner of one of the tree farms wanted a couple of guys to travel with a load of trees down to Wyoming and spend a couple of weeks selling them. In addition to owning the tree farm, this guy (Irv, I believe his name was) also sold RV’s, Fifth Wheels, and the like. So I ended up spending a few weeks living on the tree lot in an RV, selling those trees. My father (an insurance agent for most of his life) used to say, “Give a salesman something to believe in and it can be the easiest job in the world.” I felt that way about those trees. I would point out how straight they were, what a good center of gravity they had, and could personally attest to their freshness. I thought about these experiences the other day, while I was sending out 400 or so emails and/or EPK’s (Electronic Promo Kits) to various venues in preparation for the Fall tour. My father also used to say he thought I was a natural salesman. That may be so; I was just never keen to sell insurance. But I believe in the music that I have to share, and look forward to sharing it with audiences across this nation. Occasionally, someone will ask me, “Isn’t it hard making a living as a musician?” I have come up with a ready answer to that: for me, doing anything else is considerably harder. So I’ll be sending out more emails and EPK’s over the days and weeks to come. And I’ll look forward to sharing my music with new audiences and old friends everywhere. Like I said, it’s a bit like candy and Christmas trees.

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