This is one of a series of posts about jobs I’ve had during my time on this planet. You can read more posts by clicking the “jobs i’ve had” tag, and read a lengthier intro to the series in the first post.
This was another job I mentioned in my Internet history post. I wrote:
I also worked briefly for an ill-fated concert promotion company along with Furious D. I designed a couple of web sites, got drunk with some sketchy people, and got into some free concerts. There were two things I actually learned that were useful to me though, both having to do with clients we tried to get but didn’t land.
The first was when the manager of a famous recording artist called us about an estimate for web site development. I was busy with school work and took too long to get back to them, and by then they weren’t interested. So lesson one was a very basic principle of customer service that was later reiterated during my stint at Best Buy: even if you can’t help someone right away, acknowledge them and tell them you’ll help them soon.
The second was when the president of the company (one of the aforementioned sketchy characters) was pitching web development services to a band, and then without warning gave the floor up to me. We had vague ideas about what we wanted to sell — web sites, promotional video packages, and probably some other web-related services to go along with traditional concert promotion. What we didn’t have were package deals and price lists set up. So I learned that just telling someone “we can do anything you want us to do” doesn’t fly. They were coming to me because they have no clue what they want, so it’s my job to tell them and to let them argue with me if they think I’m wrong.
About the president of the company: he was a stocky dude with a bald head and a devil tattoo on his arm the artist had drawn to look somewhat like him. A variation of the tatoo ended up being the company logo. His speech was peppered with colorful, offensive phrases, like when he would observe that something was “cooler than cancer.”
I never trusted him, which turned out to be good judgment on my part. The most I ever put myself out there for the company was to purchase a scanner we needed with my credit card, and I kept that at my apartment (and later just kept it period).
He had a partnership with a pub in Knoxville I’m forgetting the name of, and most of the concerts the company promoted were staged there. Among the acts booked were 2 Live Crew and Sir Mix a Lot. 2 Live Crew was late to their show because they were getting high at a frat house down the road.
The biggest booking was a weekend-long festival somewhere in the Tennessee mountains with 20 or 30 bands. It actually was a pretty impressive effort on paper. I don’t know much about how it turned out since I didn’t go, but there were some pictures, so it wasn’t a total bust.
My other brush with celebrity when working for this company was when we happened to see Jamal Lewis at the Knoxville Hooters. The president chatted him up a bit, and they apparently knew each other. Considering Jamal’s troubles not too long afterward, this isn’t surprising.
There were a lot of deals supposedly in the works for me to do some development work, but ultimately I only made the company’s website and a website for the aforementioned festival. The company went under when the president skipped town after robbing someone’s car. He was rumored to have been part of other robberies, though I never received confirmation about this.
– Furious D writes in:
He (/we, whatever) didn’t actually do the booking for the 2 Live Crew/Sir Mix-a-Lot shows. He just knew enough people to get in for free and “take some of the load off the management” (read: stand around and pretend to have something to do with it).
Haha, had me fooled. That actually makes it funnier to me.