lived in South Florida for ten years. In many ways those were some of
the best years of my life. I started a family. I made some great friends,
many of whom have become life-long friends. The very best kind. And
I got my first real job in the music business working at the now legendary
last few years of my tenure there, I discovered salt-water fishing.
Forget bass fishing! Been there. Done that. I grew up in the midwest
catching catfish, carp and bass. Better than not fishing at all, but
not nearly as challenging as the salt-water variety.
I became addicted
to fishing while in Miami. I'd come home from sessions at four in the
morning, spray myself with insect repellent and head to the canal behind
my condo to fish. I'd hang out at the Pompano pier with the crusty old
salts all night long picking their booze-riddled brains for fishing
It got so bad
that I called Neil Young at home on several occasions and told him I
was too sick to work the next day because I heard the kingfish were
running hot. Of course, my malady was miraculously cured if I caught
fish! Sorry, Neil. If Fishaholics Anonymous existed, I would have been
a charter member.
I had the extremely good fortune to join Interscope VP of A&R, Tony
Ferguson, and legendary producer Tony Bongiovi (yes, he's Bon Jovi's
cousin) for a fishing/business trip to South Florida. It's a tough gig,
but somebody's got to do it.
As we pulled
out of the marina, I reveled in the morning sun and the smell of diesel
fumes wafting back over the boat's transom. I was in my glory. Mr. Ferguson
on the other hand, was doing his level best not to toss his breakfast
overboard from sea sickness. He looks good in green. But to his credit,
he hung tough and didn't hurl.
Oh, did I mention
that our first mate was a dead ringer for Bill Murray's character in
"Caddyshack"? Sweet as he was, it was obvious that he'd been out in
the sun too long and a couple of his oars were no longer in the water,
if you catch my drift.
As we criss-crossed
the ocean looking for the "big one," I realized that fishing is very
much like trying to get a record deal. To improve your odds, it's best
to be very well educated on the subject. You need to know everything
you can find out about your target. Where they hang out, what they like
to bite on, what conditions are best to stimulate them, and which baits
are the most alluring to them.
hooked a nice-sized barracuda and the line began to sing out of the
reel. He quickly forgot he was seasick when he jumped in the fighting
chair and battled his fish. By the way, we released everything we caughtokay,
so we scared the hell out them first, but we did release them. That
too is not unlike the music business!
digress. As Tony was reeling in his 'cuda, it struck me that it's not
enough just to know how to find and attract the fish. Once you find
and entice them, you have to hook them, and hook them well or they'll
spit the hook. And once they're hooked is when the really hard work
Give a little
line, take it back when you can. It's back breaking work if it's a big
fish. Most of all, it requires finesse. Hold your rod tip high. Drop
and reel, then slowly pump the rod tip back up. Drop and reel again.
All the while being careful not to break the line.
you gang, it's just like the record biz. Once you've got them hooked,
the only thing between you and that deal you've always wanted is just
one thin lineand you better not break it.
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