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This is my buddy, Dan

Facebook kinda sucks. Maybe it always sucked. The only good thing that I have found about Facebook is it has enabled me to re-connect with people that I have know for years but have fallen out of touch with. One such person is Pete from Manassas.



I won't bore you with the details of how Pete and I originally met other than to tell you it was around music and a CS-800 power amp. To be fair I guess I need to elaborate. Pete and I were part of the local music scene. We were both trying to "make it" as musicians and were always looking for the latest gear or how to get booked for the next gig. Pete didn't have a plan B. He was going to be a pro musician. As it turns out, he didn't need a plan B. He's a pro musician. I'm sure the sacrifices he made were great and that there were times that he wished he didn't experience. Like all of us, our journey builds us into who we become. I don't know all the ins and outs but Pete is OK in my book. Solid individual.


So flash forward to today ( A Wednesday in April). I'm sitting in a friends house in AZ listening to a conference call and remembering the past 24 hours or at least parts of the last 24 hours.

I met up with Pete at an event in Scottsdale, AZ. I let him know a few weeks earlier I would be in town and would like to come see the band play. I got the hook up. All Access! In all fairness, I am not one to get the free ride. I bought a ticket. I would hope that people who love a band support them. I would also hope that you don't take advantage. Someone once said that if you get the hook up without buying a ticket, you are being supported by the band. The music business is tough. Buy the ticket regardless of the "hook" your friend may give you. It is the right thing to do.


It was kinda cool to be shuffled through to the backstage area while I was driving Pete back from lunch. Once backstage, Pete brings me through and introduces me to everyone. "This is my buddy Dan" was what rolled out.


I was honored to Pete's buddy. Throughout the day I saw all the added responsibility he had. He wasn't just the lead guitar player but also the tour manager and truthfully the ring leader of a pretty crazy circus. Even when he was pulled away to do his work he kept checking to make sure I was cool. I was impressed with all of the people that I met. There was a sense of professionalism that I was really glad to see. The band and the organization around it had a pretty good idea of what they were there to do. They were there to make people happy by getting them to cut loose and have a great time.


So now it's getting closer to show time and I get to meet Bret. I had no idea what this was going to be like. This guy is famous and well established in the business. You would never know it. I felt like this guy was just a dude that likes to rock and roll and happens to sing for a living. I was a bit star struck to be honest. I have met people in the past buy not at this level. It was like being Pete's buddy got me into the club. I felt honored. So it's getting closer to show time and Pete say we need to go take care of some business. The business happened to be getting paid. I was impressed with the number. It would not be right for me to express what it is but it was a nice chunk of change. Pete was really giving me the full details on what it is really like to be a touring musician and tour manager. It's time to take the stage. Pete hands me the Jack and says something along the lines of "take a hit and let's rock" or something way cooler than I remember. I took the hit. It might be the best shot I ever had. The intro music is playing and now you can feel the energy starting to build with the crowd. I stepped back to take a picture and all I saw was an ocean of people waiting to have a great time. The crowd erupted as they saw me take their picture. It was super cool to have that kind of influence. SHOWTIME!!! The intro music is over and the band takes the stage. It was as though someone flipped a switch for Pete. He went from my friend from 20+ years ago to an incredible presence on the stage. He erupted with his guitar and we were off. Typically, when you go to a show, the band starts strong and then the enthusiasm lessens and they work hard to bring you back into it. That was not the case tonight. As talented as the band was, I was struck by how humble they were and how they stayed on "eleven" for the whole show. Brett was a bolt of lightning as he took the stage. The band was doing an incredible job. I was beyond pumped. I stayed that way for the entire gig. This was no ordinary rock show. The band was focused on one thing and one thing only. Making sure everyone, and I mean everyone, had a nothing but a good time. (Pun intended). Most rock stars are so egotistical that they would never consider doing anything outside of their own catalog. Tonight was not about ego. It was about performance and making people happy. The band played the hits from Bret but they also made sure to find a way to bring in many different genres of music so that everyone got to connect and have a moment. It was impressive and showed the level of professionalism that exists within the BMB organization. So I was having a great time and then we get to the part where it's about the ultimate sacrifice. There are those that would say this portion of the show is exploitative. I would say to those people that they need to come out and see it first hand. It's real. It's gut wrenching and it made this grown man cry. The fact that these rock stars fully understand how it is that they are afford the ability to do what they love and take the time to honor those that have made sacrifices beyond what most can understand is why they are successful. They are humble, They understand who has their back and they show that respect in a very public way. I was so moved that when the honored Vets were leaving the stage, I felt compelled to thank each and every one of them for their sacrifice. With a tear running down my cheek I felt humbled and grateful for what I just witnessed and what I have been afforded by their sacrifice. I don't care if you have a view on war or not. To quote Bret, no politics, just admiration for the sacrifices made so that we can do what we do. So the show goes on and I have a moment with Bret as he is leaving for a quick and well deserved break. He comes off and I am genuinely moved at what I had just seen. I thank him and let him know that as a fan of music, this was truly something special. The show continues and at the end, in typical ego-less fashion, they bring out the opening act singer and a local group to do the ultimate party song. Rock and Roll All Night and Party Every Day! Wow! Just Wow! Fast forward to the after show where fans are coming back stage to meet Bret. I don't know how it worked out but I ended up being Security for a bit. It was incredible to witness how much real interaction went on between the fans and Bret. I've been to after show events. This was different. There was a sense of responsibility to the fans that they feel comfortable and engaged. This was not a blah blah blah type of an event. I'm hanging out and I hear Pete yell out for me. He calls me over and asks if he can get me to do him a favor. Can you take some guitars to Bret's house? Ummm.....YES! I don't thing that it would be right to tell everything that happened after this. I respect the privacy of all involved. I will just say this. I was able to see a side of the music business that I have never experience before. I was was able to connect with people on a personal level and I have much more respect for the business, the life and the toll it takes on the simple things that I take for granted. I can only imagine how life must be when you have a certain level of success and the amount of pure BS that you have to wade through to have the most simple things happen. If I ever have the chance, I'm buying! I am very proud to be called Pete's Buddy Dan. I am proud to call him my friend and I am proud of the incredible professional that he has become. So if you see me at a show where Pete is performing, say hello. I am Pete's buddy Dan.

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