A BRUSH WITH FAME

You're never too old (or young) for music. Just ask Merv, a retired businessman who is now learning ukulele with me. 

Merv has done quite a few things for a living. "Have I told you about my brushes with fame?" he asked one day, eyes twinkling. 

When Merv lived in Seattle, he owned a company that made signs. One day a couple young fellows gave him a logo and asked him to make a sign, which, judging by the logo, must have been for a restaurant--so he thought. 

He made the sign and brought it to the guys, saying, "Well, I think the logo and sign are great. It'll show your customers that the subs are ordered on that side of the counter, and the pop is over there," referring to the arrows on the sign. 

The two guys burst into laughter and explained that they are actually about to open a record store and are trying to start a recording studio and label--not a restaurant. 

Then they took Merv on a little tour of a room that they were hoping to turn into a studio, where he saw some grungy fellows playing and singing something about teen spirit.... 

The two young guys were actually businessmen who had a vision to create a big Seattle music scene. They wanted to build the next Motown or California Sound type of thing, so they envisioned the "Seattle Sound" as something they could create--and market. 

They rounded up some local bands--and let's face it: Every town is loaded with talent. But these guys wanted to capitalize and were eager to get to work. So they eventually got some bands together in the studio and recorded with an engineer who mixed the songs similarly (with EQ and such). Eventually, the recordings were, indeed, engineered and marketed to have a similar sound--what eventually became known as the Seattle Sound. 

If you've heard of Nirvana or Sound Garden--or any grunge band from the 90s--you've heard the Seattle Sound. Their company, Sub Pop, has become one of the most influential labels in American popular music. (Click the pic to scroll through these legends and current artists if you're interested.) 

So Merv unknowingly stumbled upon some business visionaries and music legends that day when he delivered his sign many years ago, and he was one of the first people in the world to hear the crazy scheme of these young guys to build a music empire with no money...but with lots of ideas and readiness to work hard. 

You just never know who you might meet on any given day... 

And you never know if your crazy dreams and schemes will result in anything unless you try. :) 

--Kittyko

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