A Zealot Looks at Sixty

Time, apparently, does fly when you’re having fun. I turn sixty at the end of March and it’s time to reflect. I’m not much of a reflector but it’s time to get it on paper, as they say. I will get right to the point – how do you keep your flame burning for artist relations? I fully understand that you are only as old as you feel. I’ve had sixty years to figure that one out. But as a group of professionals in an industry that, to a large degree, doesn’t eat its young, can we stay relevant and interested in this fast paced job? Can we avoid the trap of becoming grumpy old men and women and continue to love what we do? As we all know, this is a job that doesn’t allow for faking, phoning-it-in, or other foolery.

Sometime in the late 1980s, I wrote an article for Mix Magazine called “I’ll Sleep In September” about the touring life as seen through the eyes of a factory sales guy. It was a fun thing to do – going on tour and seeing how things really went together. I got quite good at my chores and was asked back for several subsequent tours.

Fast forward to a week ago. My sister was on a long layover in Los Angeles on her way to Australia. My wife, Claudia, and I (with our sons) met up with her for a lunch. Amy and I got chatting about the sixty “event” and what did I hope to do? Taking up tennis and that sort of thing. I suppose the modern term would be “bucket list” but I reject that in favor of a “sieve list.” I keep it fluid…I pointed out that, for the most part, I am very content and life is a gas. One word did blurt out though and I think it took my sister by surprise. Tour.

I would love to go out on something that was interesting and required little or no heavy lifting. I could work with my clients or other interested parties and tie AR into this.  Sounds crazy, I’m sure. But for me, thankfully, the fire for this gig burns brighter than ever. Simply put, I love being around this stuff. I’ve found a home where my contributions are appreciated to the degree that I can make a comfortable living. I’m fine knowing that I’m not part of the band but also I’m not NOT part of the band either.

So, Rick Elias, my sights are set on you. Let’s hit the road and promote that new CD, Jōb. Come on, it will be fun!

What ways do you keep the fire burning, lit or at least glowing?