Dolly Set the Bar!
I believe that many times when we are in the midst of something it is very hard to stand back from the work or endeavor and gauge where we are and how we are or aren’t progressing. The Rock & Review interviews could to be a joy for me as I am able to engage musicians of different musical genres and talk to them about their current musical project, movie, book etc. and also about some of their favorite music gear and guitars! When I first launch the concept here in Nashville I wanted to fill a avoid by discussing new and innovative music gear, which was obviously of deep interest to me and my friends from attending numerous Namm shows and guitar shows. But one of my directors for the show suggested it would be cool if I invited guests on to interact with. After some consideration, I decided to bring on musicians and sidemen for the stars to talk about their favorite instruments. As the years went by things kept evolving with the Rock & Review and I’m not sure which interview was the turning point but suddenly bigger and bigger names started wanting to come on the show and have a fun conversation about their current passion project. Then I became bolder and I started reaching out to artists and PR people through their websites and social media. I figured the worst they could do was tell me No and I would move on the next artist. What I didn’t count on was that artists who appeared on the Rock & Review enjoying it so much that they told their peers and one their friends to come on also! One of these memorable cases was when Country Music Icon TG Shepard calls me while I’m on the elliptical machine at the gym working out, but when TG calls you stop and take the call. TG says, “I hear from Kelly (Lang his wife and a great singer songwriter as well) you’d like to have our friend Paul Shaffer on your show?” I said yes sir I’m a big fan of his music and of course his appearance in Spinal Tap. Shepard says, “I’m going to hand the phone over to Kelly and she is going to hook you up with Paul’s PR gal – have fun.” The rest is Rock N Roll history as I was able to meet Paul Shaffer at the Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville and interview him on location with my crew. Paul’s PR lady called and thanked me and said it was one of Shaffer’s favorite interviews. Acts of kindness like this have helped me achieve other artists to interview too. Around the same time as Paul we also locked down Charlie Pride and Kenny Rogers which were just amazing artists to talk with and highlight not only their new projects butt their hobbies too! A major turning point was when I received a call from a PR firm asking if I could bring a crew on location on short notice and interview Dolly Parton for ten minutes about her new children’s album. Of course, I said yes and then I began my research and preparation for the interview which involved hundreds of pages and listening to the full album in its’ entirety. Dolly was gracious, smart and kind during the interview. She even gave me a few compliments after we recorded our chat and took a picture to tease the interview when her PR person had said she didn’t have time. Dolly stated, “We have time for Eric.” And that warmed my heart. What I didn’t realize at that instance was that having Dolly on the Rock & Review was a turning point for the show. Friends outside of the TV business had to explain it to me that Dolly set the bar as a high point of the artists that have come on the show. And this would kind of make since because after having Dolly on we went from twenty artist/band requests a month to come on the Rock & Review to twenty or more per day. After the Dolly appearance, we went on to interview Garth, Trisha and Brad Paisley. This year some of the high-water marks have included Joe Bonamassa and the Bacon Brothers. But I’ll be honest I personally enjoy and give the same attention to every artist that comes on the show. Whether they are an up & comer, a legend, newbie or an A-Lister, they’re all treated the same and I do the same amount homework and preparation for each. The next time I get to speak with Dolly I’m going to thank her for setting the bar for my show, making more people aware of it and making more artists want to appear on it. In our lives and careers, we all have “Dolly” moments but we don’t recognize them or appreciate them for what they are. It takes confidants, friends and family to remind us to look back and see those moments for what they are. If you’re like me I’m always looking forward and I forget to look back and be thankful, which I should more often. I hope that whoever or whatever your Dolly moment is, it has a positive influence on you and maybe sets your bar a little bit higher for the future!