Newsletter and Tour Schedule for MICHAELMASSIMO
"All The News I See Fit to Print"
NEW ALBUM COMPLETE!!
RELEASE DATE SET!!
I've been waiting to print those words for over a year now. It's true; the CD is actually done!! Shipped to the plant this week. MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW: The CD released party will be on FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12th, 8:00PM at DOWNTIME, 251 W.30th St., NYC (Easy to get to from anywhere in the tri-state area; just 1 block from Penn Station.) The cover charge will be $15. I know you're thinking; that's kind of steep but here's what you'll get: a Precious Seconds CD (9 songs, 16pg color booklet with lyrics, and autographed), a one hour plus show of Massimo favorites old and new supported by my new bandThe Characters, drink specials (it is Friday after all), T-shirt giveaways, a snack treat on every table, and the ambiance of the newly renovated Downtime (complete with a brand new 3rd floor lounge).
Not a bad deal when you think about it. Why December you say? Truthfully, I need all the time in between to further ready the band and advertise the show. Expect radio and retail to receive it a bit earlier. Credit card orders will be handled through IUMA (1-800-850-IUMA, www.Massimo.iuma.com - not up yet).
In the future, watch for a few college shows (Rutgers, Villanova, Sacred Heart, Lehigh, College of NJ, Drew, Fairliegh Dickinson, Monmouth), showcase slots at the Philadelphia Music Conference and N.E.Folk Alliance (hopefully!), a listing on the Billboard Talent Net, more advertising than anyone can stand, and a show opening for Cliff Eberhardt in CT next year. "I'm just getting warmed up!" - A.Pacino
And now another episode of...
GIGS FROM HELL! or HOW NOT TO TOUR!
And now in the interest of taking you all along for the ride (bumpy as it may be), surf the learning curve with me as I recount a tale of the not-so-glamorous side of touring:
It's winter 1996. "Live in N.Y.C." has been selling well. It's even enjoying some moderate airplay, especially on some CT stations. I figure it's time to take to the road, to the towns where it's gaining ground to see if I can spark some more interest with my live show. Settling on the New Haven area, I poll the local radio stations for a list of good clubs to play. Along with the obvious (Toad's Place - I can't get in) I am told about a relatively new establishment in town called Barbakan. Although I was able to obtain no more information about this place (amazingly no one else in town had ever heard of it) I book a show there anyway (duh!). Being the diligent PR person that I am, I forward my press kit to the local paper for whatever exposure they can afford me.
Upon my arrival in New Haven, I check into my hotel and pick up a copy of said paper. I am described as "................." Joy. That should bring the people out in droves. Undaunted, I soldier on to the gig convinced I can "assail the masses" successfully. I'm much better in person. I'm sure they'll like me if they just get to know me.
Difficult to find, in a horrid section of town, Barbakan is immediately recognizable as one of these clubs that's simply in a bad location. The kind of place that changes hands every 6 months as previous owners flee from the scene, wondering what the hell they were thinking when they opened the place while imagining ways their latest business failure can be described as a write tax write-off.
Once inside, I notice the distinct sound of techno dance music filtering in from upstairs. I let it go for now but surely this is not a good sign for a performer whose main goal is to move people internally rather than getting butts to boogie. I set up my gear and turn to face the crowd which consists of.... no one. Not even the bartender. I decide to investigate the sounds of funkiness upstairs.
I discover a scene not to be believed, very Sodom and Gormorah-like. More like Studio 54 than Fast Folk. Much dancing, yes, but also women writhing in cages and many looks from around the room that say "Who invited the honky?". Oh well. Back downstairs to do what I came to do.
After a few minutes of performing, two ladies from upstairs who've come down to investigate this foreign sound of an acoustic guitar ask if I could do something with some soul. Thinking on my feet, I suggest something by the Black Crows (figuring that's about as close as I'll get to sounding like soul). Remarkably they misinterpret my suggestion as a racial slur, thinking I'm calling them a couple of black crows! Sensing an increasing air of hostility in the room, I decide to bail, certain that God is laughing his ass off somewhere.
While packing up, I am approached by a man whom I'd not seen earlier but who was there the entire time. He said he enjoyed my music very much, even bought a CD and signed my mailing list. He offered to buy me a drink at one of the better establishments nearby. I graciously accepted.
Over the course of a few brews, I received an invaluable education on the acoustic scene in the area, from radio and retail to better clubs to play in town. But soon he had to leave and though I do not remember the man's name I will never forget the hospitality he showed me. Thank you wherever you are.
Of the many lessons in this story (including "Do more research before you leave the house") the best one is this: it's the precious seconds like the kind that man spent with me that inspire me to keep doing what I'm doing. Angels are in disguise all around us.
We are always looking for submissions for the newsletter. If you've got something interesting you'd like to share, send it to Mmassimo@aol.com for inclusion in a future issue.
Here are past issues of The Ride when it was known as the Perspective.
Each newsletter is also available as a PDF file for downloading
and can be opened with the free version of Adobe Acrobat.
Download PDF file Issue 2.1
Download PDF file Issue 1.2
Download PDF file Issue 1.2
Skytide Music, PO Box 141, Edison, NJ 08818-0141 (732) 661-1941
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