30 Years After – Part 7: The Gift
Life has a way of interrupting our best intentions. Sorry for the lapse in time since the last post. Life is unavoidable –ya know?
Where I left off, PR was becoming the focus of my journey through the world and business of music. In 1999 I decided to end my duties as a booking agent. I was at a crossroads really: Should I have a more conventional career aspiration, or dive off the deep end into public relations on behalf of regional artists? Taking some time away from the whole thing proved interesting. There was suddenly time to do things without the piles of music stuff clogging part of the house. And yet, the absence of the art continually nagged at the stillness. The phone wasn’t ringing as much, though a few business calls continued to come in. Packages weren’t arriving on a regular basis as they had before.
This brief period of time was a life lesson. Once anyone has been involved in creative work for a period of time, you simply cannot ‘not’ do it. It’s in you, and that’s that. No amount of self-talk or cold turkey withdrawal will satisfy the pull back into the creative circle. Too, the relationships working with people in the regional industry were as much working relationships as they were friendships.
One day during the summer of 1999 at a local eatery the song “San Francisco” was playing on a juke box. A friend was kiddingly arguing about the origin of the song. I was adamant it was Scott McKenzie who made the tune a classic while the friend swore up and down it was John Phillips of the Mamas and Papas. So I made a bet. If I was right, I’d resume my career in music. Turns out we were both right. Phillips wrote it, but it was McKenzie who recorded it, making it one of the most recognized songs of the 20th century.
So I bought every text book recommended at the University of Washington on communications and public relations, and dove right in. It’s a much more complicated subject than you might imagine and it took several months of constant study to get through the process.
And then, I got a phone call from a booking agent one day asking about the concert series I’d started with the city. It wasn’t long before the conversation steered toward PR, and “did I know anyone who might want to work with her client, Tingstad & Rumbel?”
What a gift. [Thank you, Carol!]
Within a couple of months I began working with Eric Tingstad and Nancy Rumbel – a working relationship and friendship that continue to this day. What’s more, I don’t think I could have found a better client to work with in the beginning. There are a number of reasons why, and some of them will be highlights of subsequent posts.