Summerfest 96

During the Summer of 96′ I was the Operations Manager for Summerfest in Long Island. It was an incredible summer and the type of festival which also allowed me the opportunity to have conversations with many of the artists performing. Two moments I’ll always remember was the night with BB King as after the show I was invited to come on his bus as I’ve worked previous shows with BB in Switzerland. I told him how much it meant to me when he came up after the show to say thank you and I gave him a pin. He in exchange gave me a necklace while we shared several laughs.

On another evening we had a power outage and the performer on stage was Roberta Flack. As there were also issues at first with finding our electrician I asked Roberta if she would like to do a song ‘acoustic’ as I can bring out some candles and she was fine with giving it a go! We did exactly that! Lined them up along the piano and stage, and she addressed the crowd with No PA with everyone quieting down and she started playing Killing Me Softly. The crowd was so quiet that you could probably hear a pin drop (there wasn’t a peep) except when it was time for the chorus and she had everyone help… The power was back after that song and the evening was magical. It was one of those experiences I’ll always remember and I remember when she came off stage she couldn’t stop talking about it!

Part of the Schedule of shows for Summerfest 96Summerfest turns Jazzfest 96

The necklace given to me by BB King

The necklace given to me by BB King

Talking to Kenny after almost 17 years

About 17 years ago I was on the road with Melissa Etheridge which was my first real major tour.  Yes I did work with other acts on the other side of the world before, though this was my first major tour!

When your young and on the road for the first time, there’s quite a learning curve and it was funny because working for years before that on shows in New York always made doing tickets & credentials in big markets a breeze. First tour struggles… Yeah the list is countless, though I had an interesting work relationship with some members of the band which made my job at times easy though there were times where I struggled or some of them wanted to strangle me. One of those members is Kenny Aronoff who is by far one of the best drummers today! It’s always great seeing him performing on some of the most legendary performances throughout the past 2 decades including the Kennedy Honors shows annually. Kenny and I just had a great conversation for the first time in over a decade and shared some stories. From a flight we were on with hydraulic failure being thrown inside the cabin like you wouldn’t imagine to good times laughing and having drinks.

He’s by far one of the hardest working drummers out there and someone who was there for me countless times then when I was first learning ‘the rules of the road’ not to mention just being an awesome guy. I have much respect for him and his great attitude!    Happy to have had some moments to talk great memories with an ol’ friend.

Kenny AronoffKenny on Private - MLEMe and Kenny Aronoff

My early days at PLJ

Just getting off a phone call over 20 years overdue brings this entry.

In New York I started interning at WPLJ radio which was Mojo Radio when I was 13. Tom Cuddy the VP & Program Director gave me an opportunity as a kid that most wouldn’t.   I remember having to sit with him and being taught so much. Tom gave me my first paying job the week I received my working papers which made me the youngest employee at the time thru ABC/Cap Cities. And Tom allowed me to use on free time the PLJ studios which much of what has been recovered on ‘the lost tapes’ were recorded in those studios. I talked to Tom a few minutes ago and shared many laughs and memories going back to over 25yrs ago. From shows with the Village People (The Mojo Hojo) to a special reunion with the BeeGee’s… He also reminded me how devastated I was when Bill Graham died. It’s important to acknowledge those who were there for you and I’m grateful to those who were there for me when i was just a little kid trying to swim in a big pond. I can easily tell the stories of all the crap I also took by so many others.

IMG_5648[1]


Important to acknowledge the PLJ alum who were also there for me during those years, which there are so many including:  Dave Stewart, Ted Maturo, Scott Lief, Kenyatta Simpson, Terri Angela and so many others!   A very special thanks to John Mullen, who interviewed me while I was 13 and took a chance!  I’m grateful he didn’t do what most would have.