Friday, January 25, 2013

A bit of advice...

It is always good to have a mentor, when you are starting out...someone who represents your ideals. I was fortunate to realize I had two; two people to look up to and silently use as my role models. My drive was fueled in part by my mentors. Who are they? Who marched in front of me and held the lantern?

It has been well documented that I have a deep respect and love for Sharon Osbourne. Of course, she was my ultimate role model, side by side with my Mother. Sharon is steeped in charm and wit. She doesn't take any prisoners. It was easy for me to place this woman at my own personal podium. When I met her, she wrapped her wings around me and my family. I knew my perception of her was correct.

Sharon Osbourne
Who else walked hand in hand with this Queen in my Hall of Fame? A man named Cees Wessels, that's who! 90% of you have never heard the name but he played a huge part in your Metal Experience! Many years ago, Cees was the A&R person for Black Sabbath! He could have taken the easy route and nestled in at his desk in the office of a major label, but he didn't. He took a step on a stairway where he could not see the ending....he created his baby, a label you all know as Roadrunner Records! This genius served us more Metal on a platter than most labels combined!! We all need to list him on our list of All Time Metalheads!!

I met Cees when he flew into Phoenix from Holland. He was following up on a band I had just picked up. Atrophy was a garage band from Tucson. I had gotten my hands on their demo, Chemical Dependancy, and I liked it a lot. I sent the demo to the A&R of Roadrunner at the time, Holly Lane. She loved it and sent it on to Cees.
Cees was a G; he flew around the world nonstop, making new labels and checking out the new bands.
One day, I met Cees at the Phoenix airport. It was funny....I was driving a jalopy I had just bought from Jason Rainey, of Sacred Reich. The previous week, I was in a headon accident and the car was a mess! The front was totalled, but still drove. The woman who hit me had no insurance and I had no coverage. I was fortunate it still drove! When Cees got in the car, he exclaimed "They wouldn't let this car on the road in Holland!" I just laughed!

 left to right-The Roadrunner royalty...Monte Conner, Cees Wessels, Myself and Max, Felix Sebatious and Scott Givens

I dropped Cees at a hotel and joined him later for dinner. During the meal, Cees asked me if there were any other bands I was looking at. I said I was checking out a band called Papsmear. He was like "what does that mean?" And that is how we became friends and business partners!

Cees never let me down. The moral for my class?? Find a good mentor and stick with them!

Class dismissed!!!