By Kenny Kerner
I’ve been screening tapes and CDs for TAXI since they opened their doors a little over eleven years ago. [No, I’m not going to reveal my screener identification number!]. Additionally, I’ve been the Editor of the company’s newsletter—The Meter—since its inception over seven years ago. If TAXI wasn’t the most honest, sincere, committed and cutting edge company in the music business, I would not have been part of it.

I preface this particular Passenger Profile with a personal remark because this month’s member has two remarkable topics to discuss: firstly, he is 50 years old and, more successful now than ever before in his life. Second, that he joined TAXI ten years ago—right after they opened their doors for business. So, we both have a lot in common. Although most people believe I’m not a day over 20!

“I saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show and they just blew me away. That performance gave me a real desire to become a musician. I wanted to write songs like them. I wanted to write excellent songs but I didn’t really know who I was” says Lacey. Like millions of others watching that historic Sunday evening, we, too, wanted to be like the Beatles. Lacey plays guitar and keyboards. Both his mother and sister played piano and sang, but Lacey developed his craft singing in church.

Roland fooled around with the guitar in his junior high and high school days playing cover songs in local bands. Upon graduation, he signed on with as personal manager who, to put it kindly, steered him in the wrong direction. “I was thinking very seriously about a career in music in my last year of high school” Lacey said, “It was a really bad management contract so even though he received signing offers for me from both MCA and Arista, I chose to drop out of music rather than get involved any further.”

When he finally decided to get back into music, Lacey involved himself with church singing and started a project called Saturday night Live which grew into a very strong musical network of other bands and new churches. “Within a few years, we had over 2000 people involved in this so we went into the studio and decided to do an album. For about the next 10 years, we played live concerts and recorded albums.”

With a following, several albums under his belt and years of experience, Lacey now decided to concentrate on his original material. “I went to an open mic night in Georgetown and this guy heard my stuff and suggested that this new company called TAXI might be able to help me get my music out there. I checked them out and found them to be everything they said they were and I joined. Now, at 50 years old, my songs were placed in the films Serving Sara and Backflash and the TV shows Felicity and the Osbournes. My deal with MasterSource was for some Christmas songs and because of that deal I decided to do an entire album of original Christmas songs.”

Lacey Roland will never be a rock star or a teen idol, but he will have a nice career in the music business writing original songs and collecting royalties and licensing fees for his efforts. In other words, he will be generating an income doing what he loves to do! And how many of us can say that?

With regard to his being a TAXI member for over 10 years, I thought it would be interesting to have him relate some of his experiences and share his thoughts with us about how the company has grown and whether or not they are still as authentic as when he first joined. Here are Lacey’s unedited remarks:

“I found TAXI to be incredibly helpful. I read every article that was printed in the TAXI Meter. I read a lot of the books that were recommended. The information that they’ve been giving out has been steadily getting better and better. They’ve also been making more and more contacts with people in the industry and that means more contacts for me. Also, because of TAXI I’ve been able to get in touch with other musicians and writers in my area.

“What has remained the same has been the quality of commitment from all of the people at TAXI. I was always impressed with how they approached the business—they were always on the side of the writers and artists. TAXI gives me a good perspective of the recording industry as a whole and how it operates. It’s hard for newcomers to figure out where to start and how to even get into the business. TAXI helped me figure these things out.

“When I first joined 10 years ago, like everyone else, I was skeptical. But I spent about a half hour on the phone and they were very genuine, very matter of fact and down to earth. They had a great idea and it wasn’t a lot of money to invest in my career. So, I gave it a shot and I’m really glad I did. And you don’t have to spend tens of thousands of dollars putting your recordings together. My first recordings were on Tascam 4-track cassette decks.

“If you’re not willing to take a chance on your career, then nobody else will be willing, either. TAXI is a fabulous vehicle for getting what you do out there to others. It’s a no-brainer!”

Great story, Lacey. And do you know what? You’re not getting older, you’re getting better! Congratulations on your 10-year anniversary as a TAXI member.

See How TAXI Works

"Getting all these critques in the mail is encouraging and instructive as well. Thanks for your help!"
— Lisa Knouse,
TAXI Member

"The TAXI rally was one of the most wonderful experiences I have had in our business."
— Alan Abrahams,
TAXI Member

"Atlantic records is keeping my tape for further consideration . . . others have claimed to have 'connections,' you are the only ones to deliver."
— Rob Goodman,
TAXI Member

"I recently got my first deal as a result of a submission to TAXI! I'm very excited to see that this actually works!"
— George Leverett,
TAXI Member