Taking Risks: Is It Worth It? Music Production Choices

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times  I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

I’ve never done well with failure. I don’t know why. I’ve mellowed quite a bit as I get older and have become a father of 4 children who are now of legal age. As they were teenagers, I’ve learned to pick my battles. More of a survival skill really.

Even in business, I don’t feel like it’s necessary to fight every battle. I pull back and let things fall as they may. I figure, as long as I do the footwork, I’m not going to win ’em all and somehow everything just seems to work out.

But I’ve had to make a couple of tough decisions lately. Over the last 4 months now, I have been planning and strategizing new directions in this vibrant business of music.

We’ve done well as a premier live music production company. We have built a well rounded talent agency supplying quality live music entertainment for our corporate clients and charity events.

I have become a seasoned professional with the ability to get up in front of any audience and, if they are willing, have them experience an excellent evening of live music entertainment with the use of nothing more than a piano, a microphone and a superb imagination.

music for advertising, music production,  music for commercials, We will still continue to produce more of these kinds of shows for many years to come. It’s something I deeply love and am forever grateful that I am allowed to perform piano music in front of appreciative audiences.

The decision comes in how to expand the music productions on the recorded side of the coin. I write and compose new music, soundscapes, jingles for radio, TV, film and advertising. It’s fun. I’ve been doing that since I left The Second City back in 1996.

Advertising jingles and production library music has evolved in waves since then. We have been getting more and more calls lately to supply music for radio ads.

Take a listen at some of these jobs that have come in over the last year at Www.musicforcommercials.org

That decision is this: Hire more sales reps to work the phones and get the leads that bring in more clients. It would be a new paradigm for us, for me, for our company. I feel a little afraid about it.

What if I fail? What if it doesn’t go well and we lose the capital and the time it takes to see how well this will work? It almost seems foolish to think that way as I see myself type these words on the computer. Yet I feel this way.

Why is that? I hate failure? I want to win? I might look stupid? I might put my family at a disadvantage by taking a risk that doesn’t pan out?

Those are all stupid reasons. I can do this with a sane, rational and logical approach that anyone else who has taken a new business initiative has ever done.

You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky

I will put a plan together. I will execute the plan. I will follow up on the plan and change it until it works. Or I will fold it up after a set amount of time, if the results are not there.

When I was a music teacher (many moons ago) I had students who wanted to learn a musical instrument who were from all age groups. One thing I noticed is that kids were quick learners and grown ups were not. After a few tries, the grown ups would tend to give up and stop coming. Kids would stay for years (if they were interested).

I think that’s because adults are harder on themselves than kids will be. Kids take more risks. Especially little kids. They aren’t afraid they’re going to look stupid. At least not until they get into 7th grade or so,. Then they want to fit in and NOT stand out.

So maybe I want to look good. Maybe it’s as simple as that. Maybe I don’t want to look stupid.

So here goes. To be continued for sure. I’ve made the decision. We are going to proceed with the plan and we are going to move in and build additional revenue streams.

Tune in here often to catch the updates as we create new content all the time for advertisers, small businesses and corporate clients.

Thanks for reading and until then, Please try to be nice to somebody. Thanks.

Car Trouble After A Live Music Gig

Right after I finished another live music gig:

It happened. I don’t like to admit that it happened to me.

But it did.

It’s not like it hasn’t happened before.

It’s just that it hasn’t happened in a long, long time.

Car Trouble. Yup. My truck didn’t start after the gig.

Thankfully it happened after the gig and not on the way to the gig.

I was finished. All done. All loaded and ready to go and boom. Then it happened.

Put the key in.

Turn the ignition.


Don’t you hate that?

It used to happen all the time. You know, like, 30 years ago. When I was a college student and I relied on $50 cars to get me through the winter.

Now it hasn’t happened in ooohhh I don’t know probably 15 years? Maybe longer.

I bought this truck because I needed reliable transportation for our gigs.

Playing live music is expensive.

You’ve got to keep the gear working in all kinds of weather here in Chicago. digital music equipment is fragile. You’ve got to have reliable transportation. And when the cold winds blow, you know the odds rise up against us.

So you stay on top of things. I replaced the battery before the beginning of this winter. I always carry a pair of jumper cables, just in case.

I’ve been trained by The Boy Scouts. Be prepared.

I have a blanket in the back of the truck. I don’t know if I have flairs but I think they’re back there by the spare tire as well. I replaced all 4 tires on her before last winter’s party season. Snow tires. That way I wouldn’t dependent on that spare tire or a tire jack that could get fussy. 

Good thing. Last year was a snowy one. We’re not as snowy this year. But we’re sure getting a lot of cold weather. What’dya expect? It’s winter. 

Here is a picture of our beloved cargo van on the back of the tow truck.

car trouble, cargo van, happened, happens, mechanic,

Not A Sight One Likes To See

This ole girl has been great. We named this van Vicki. My girls called it ‘The Man Van’. The boys said it looked like it belonged on an episode of Law and Order: SVU. My accountant loves it because it has no windows so I guess that means it’s a solid write off.

I love her. Vicki. Yes I always name my vehicles after girls. We figured that one out when we were teenagers. They’re prettier that way. And we all know every girl, like every vehicle, has an inherent beauty to it that must be named.

So let’s see what’s up with Vicki. I’ll let you know. My mechanic is awesome. I can give you his name if you want it.

He’s always been great. Because he never charges that much. He is always fair on what he charges and because I have another big corporate event coming up this Thursday. He said Vicki will be back up and running again by then. Phew!

Maybe its something simple like a starter. Oh well . . . . . it happens. At least it happened after the gig.

Recording Studio Time Equals Great Music Production

It’s something I’ve been doing for over 30 years. Writing and recording in studios. It’s my favorite part of being a musician. I’ve always loved technology. I’ve always loved the creative process.

I used to do a ton of jingles. I started as a session player. I copied charts. Then I began to write them and produce them.

But as is true with all things — things change. In the later 90s the fees dropped as the technology became more affordable. Consequently, jingles slowly faded from mainstream usage and practically disappeared altogether.

I’ll get on this discussion in more detail at another time.

What I’d really love to talk about is how we have completely retooled our studio this year. The software for recording and producing music is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!

So today I had a guitar player to lay down some tracks on a tune I wrote for a publishing library that has been buying some of my tracks. I haven’t mixed it or mastered it yet. But we’ve been busy here over the last year.

You can here some of our wide and varied efforts, from soundscapes to jingles and back again, by visiting our site at
Music for Commercials

Tune in again and we’ll keep you updated on some of our additional efforts of original music productions. Writing and producing music is on its way back.

We can custom write a song for your product roll out, your trade show, your sales conference. Give us a call. Jingles are more affordable than you think.