I find and develop bands for a major label. It’s called
A&R (Artist & Repertoire). It’s a great job, maybe the greatest in the
world, at least in my opinion. People
often ask me what a typical day looks like for someone who does what I do. The
truth is, there isn’t a typical day. Every day is very different from the next,
each day is unpredictable.
“ATL-LGA”–That’s what my Twitter feed says once or twice a
month as I make my way to our New York office for my monthly (or bi-monthly)
meetings. The most recent trip was two weeks ago, and it didn't just include the usual meetings I go up for, this trip was way cooler.
One of my bands has been playing
the late-night TV circuit to promote their recent album release, this night was
Jimmy Fallon, and I came along to make sure everything ran smoothly, and to help
out where needed (and to see if I could spot Tina Fey on the set of 30 Rock—no dice). When I got to the set, you could feel the energy in the air.
Obviously the band and those with us were excited, but it was really the Fallon
staff that made the vibe feel like it was everyone's first day of school. I’ve been to
other shows with this band in the past, and those have always been good
experiences, but this was way different. It was much more casual and relaxed. The staff was serving up brews and all the guests on that night’s show
were hanging in the hallway outside their dressing rooms, cast members from
Saturday Night Live were there (odd since SNL isn’t in season right now), Quest
Love from The Roots was chatting it up with John Krasinski (Jim from The Office),
and Stephen Moyer from HBO’s True Blood.
Jimmy Fallon came by and high-fived everyone on his way to his opening
monologue. Maybe the cast and crew were still in the honeymoon period since it's such a new program, either way, it was an overall great vibe and great feeling.
I grew up watching late night TV, and always imagined the show’s
guests partying with the show’s host before and after each show. That has never
been the case with the shows I’ve been to with my bands in the past, but this
night, this show was very different. When the show wrapped for the night, I sat back and watched my boys hang with some of pop culture’s most relevant stars of
today, and then it hit me that they themselves were also a big part of the show, which meant they too were part of the current crop of up-and-comers that are
forming the culture in which we live. I couldn’t have been more proud
as memories of this band playing empty venues while grinding it out on the road
for several months, or an entire year, came flooding back. There’s still a
long way to go to be sure, but that night made it seem, at least to me, that
all of their work was starting to pay off.
Moments like that make me forget that I’m in a business with
an unpredictable future, one that’s bleeding money by the barrel, they remind
me of why I got in this in the first place, and why I’m in it for the long hall.