I have been thinking about starting a blog for quite some time now.
I’m not sure if there’s an audience for me blogging, but I guess we’ll find out, won’t we? So I’m going to talk about job. (how interesting) And what is my job? Well, to be honest sometimes I have a hard time explaining what it is, exactly, that I do. Hopefully the process of typing it all out will help me figure that one out once and for all.
But OK, lets begin at the beginning. I’d guess that most people reading this will have some idea of who I am/what I do, but if you don’t, if you met me at a party and asked what I do, I’d say that I run the business and marketing end of DiPinto Guitars. That sounds pretty cut and dry, but it’s not one of those things you can say where’s there’s no follow up. It’s not like being a 8th grade science teacher, or a physical therapist, or an interior designer. There’s no reference point for this job description that I’ve created for myself that people (including myself) can latch on to. There’s always a follow up question, or two or three, and that’s where I get tripped up.
It’s not an obvious choice for me, given that I had absolutely no business and marketing experience when we started, and I’m only a mediocre guitar player at best. Along the way I have to think that the lack of business experience was more of an asset than a liability, if I’d been looking at our P&L all this time, I think we’d have shut our doors a long time ago. And I also think that at some point I should have become a better guitar player, but I never did.
And yet, guitars define my professional life. And since I’ve been doing this for about 17 years now, and so I’ve got some ideas about this industry that I work in. I’ve been ranting to anyone who cares to listen about how stupid Gibson is acting lately. I’ve mired myself in the minutia of the Lacey act. I’ve been deconstructing the appearance of Fender’s Pawn shop line, and I’ve been wondering out loud, and in my head for years and years, who is buying all these pointy, thousand dollar guitars that I see in the Musician’s Friend catalog?
I came in to my office today, and I found this photo someone had left on my desk:
That’s me and Rudy Sarzo at a NAMM show, I’m guessing around 2004. Rudy Sarzo! Bass player for the greatest era that Ozzy ever had, friend and band mate to Randy Rhoads, this guy has been on stage in front of thousands people. What other industry has rock stars wandering around at their trade shows? I mean sure, every industry has their rock stars, but we have real rock stars, and yet here I am, stuck at a trade show, standing on my feet for eight hours smiling and talking and selling, like the rest of corporate America.
Cause here’s the thing about the Musical Instrument Industry, it is at the same time, both very, very cool, and incredibly dull.