I came across a picture over the weekend which inspired this blog. It was taken in 2001, my last Summer in radio.
My classic rock station (BIG 101.5 in Gilford NH) had created a massive concert and fireworks show, along with the other stations in our radio family.
Fifteen thousand people showed up.
Headlining the show that year was BeatleJuice, a tribute comprised of Brad Delp (legendary singer of the band Boston), along with Steve Baker on keyboards, Bob Squire on guitar, Joe Holoday (of Fools fame) on bass and Muzz (Farrenheit, etc) on drums.
Thanks to my dear radio friend Lisa Garvey, I’d gotten to hang with the band many times over the years. They were always so great to us, with handshakes, high-fives and hugs each time my then-wife and I saw them.
One thing that always knocked me out was Brad’s commitment to speaking with people after every show. He would lean against the stage, or sit on it with his feet dangling, for what seemed like forever.
Anyone who wanted to talk, he talked.
Anyone who wanted something autographed, he signed it.
Anyone who wanted to pose with him for a picture, he smiled the same ‘real’ smile for each and every one.
Brad made time for all, and he was the same kind, gentle soul after every show.
He appreciated every fan who took the time to share their appreciation for the joy he provided in their lives.
Some fans could have been going through the worst times in their lives, having a bad day, or were just tired and needed some really great music to, as Billy Joel would say, ‘forget about life for a while’.
It didn’t matter.
Brad, and the band, gave 100% every night.
He was as ‘real’ on-stage as he was off-stage.
My favorite memory: years ago during a shopping trip to Best Buy in Salem NH, I got out of my car to see Brad a few cars away. I waved and he smiled, called my name (remembering me from my friend Lisa), gave me a pat on the shoulder and we chatted for a minute.
That means a lot to a fan.
Sadly, Brad is no longer with us.
The lesson, however, will live forever…if we make it happen.
How appreciative are we, each and every day, to those who inspire us? Those who make our lives better? Those who pay for our products and services so that we can pay our bills?
As a professional speaker, part of my mission is to speak with people who are dealing with unemployment. I try to remember, at each event, to close by saying that we all need to be our authentic selves. We need to be the same on-stage, in job interviews and with our families as we are on the street to strangers, every day.
We need to appreciate those who make our lives better.
I often joke with my audiences that I am the same on-stage as I am on the street as I am in the grocery store cereal aisle…buying my favorite Crunch Berry cereal (even though it used to shred the skin on the roof of my mouth)!
If you see me out there, please say hello.
I’ll appreciate it.