Things I Used to Do – A Day With Stevie Ray

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Yesterday, Dr. Joe Vitale and I went to the Austin Guitar show.

If ever there was a day to steal a vintage guitar, this was it. Joe found a ’39 Gibson treasure… it just walked up to him. I’m looking for a couple of specific things- a D’Aquisto “cat-eye” F-hole guitar and a boutique amp. I found the amp- or at least the guy who is gonna make the amp. We left behind a treasure trove of great deals.

I don’t know if the vintage guitar fetish has run its course, or if this was just a slow show- but the dealers were starving and slashing prices. There was also a vintage record show and a vintage poster show.

One guy had found his niche and was making money hand over fist, though. Craig Hopkins, who runs the Stevie Ray Vaughn fanclub, has written a very detailed book on Stevie Ray. There are pics, set-lists, stories, interviews- it’s the most complete and best researched book I’ve ever seen on a celebrity.

At $75 a copy, those books were selling like donuts at a cop convention. I had to stand in line to buy mine.

Craig also owns the Stevie Ray Vaughan museum. He’s got an amazing collection of Stevie Ray stuff. His book reminds me of a college text-book. It’s heavy, thick, indexed, and full of arcane trivia. If you’re into Stevie Ray Vaughan, you’re gonna want this book. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Later, Joe, Bill Hibbler, and I met up for dinner, cigars and conversation at our local secure and undisclosed location. Bill and I both grew up in the Rock and Roll world, and we tried to explain to Joe, and Bruce Collie, who joined us, about Austin in the 70’s.

Bill knows “the deal,” ’cause he was managing Steve Marriot and other rock stars at the time. He told stories about parties on the bus, life on the road, and tales of the reality of the fantasy of rock and roll at that time.

I was a minor rock star in Austin when Stevie Ray was coming up. Joe and Bruce looked at us kinda funny as we tried to explain that, at the time, Stevie Ray was just one of many great guitar players based out of Texas. A lot of people claim that they knew at the time that Stevie Ray was gonna go all the way.

That’s bull.

It could’a been Derek O’Brien. It could’a been Van Wilks- and almost was. It should have been Marc Benno. That guy from Point Blank… what’s his name? Bugs Henderson, Rocky Hill, that guy from Beaumont whose name I never can remember… It could have been me.

We ALL knew Eric Johnson would “make it,” but Eric is a mutant alien from the guitar planet and was playing like a god when he was a teenager. Check out a copy of the ElectroMagnets album, if you can find one. Your jaw will hit the ground.

Back in “the day,” I was in a band called “Fools,” and we were managed by Bill Ham, who also managed ZZ Top, Eric Johnson (ask Eric about it sometime, LOL), Point Blank… we practiced at the Austin Rehearsal complex (ARC- as in Arc-Angels) behind the Austin Opry House. Next door to our rehearsal room, Chris Geppert was working on tunes for his first album, between playing frat parties and high-school proms. You’ve heard it as Christopher Cross’ first album. Multi-platinum.

Next to him, Eric Johnson was putting together his band. Down the hall, Stevie Ray was rehearsing with Tommy Shannon (the ghost of the ARC), and Chris Layton.

There were times when I would walk down the hall and stop outside each door, thinking I was in the right place at the right time.

Occasionally, Billy Gibbons would drop by, and the guitar players would all sit in a circle and trade licks and stories, and share recreational party favors. It was magic.

After touring with Cheap Trick, Heart, ZZ Top, and several other major acts, and getting signed by Mercury Phonogram, I’d had about enough of the Bill Ham experience. I decided to be a “Fool” no more, and quit the band.

Later, my room-mate and I were out drinking at the Continental Club, and W.C. Clark’s band was playing. Their keyboard player was lame and I was drunk. I walked up to W.C. and told him he should hire me to play keys for his band. He let me sit in and I kicked ass. You don’t get many of these in a lifetime, but for once, I had “a moment.”

He immediately fired his keyboard player and hired me. That’s how it’s done in East Austin, where W.C. learned the biz.

The last time I saw this guitar case was in Antones, back when it was on Guadalupe street. I was playing with the W.C., and we played Antones regularly.

Talk about magic. We’d play Thursdays- and the bands that were going to play over the weekend would come in, slip into Clifford’s office, and kinda float out. Then they wanted to jam. I got to play with a lot of my heroes through the years, including Hubert Sumlin and B.B. King.

One night, Chris was sitting in with us on drums- our regular drummer, Frosty, was off with Delbert McClinton that night. At the end of the night, Stevie Ray, who was driving the truck to Dallas for their Friday night gig, pulled up to pick up Chris and his drums. He wanted to sit in.

Tommy Shannon walked up and took Skipper’s bass.

There were maybe 12 people sitting in the darkened club. It was no big deal. “Things I used to do- A flat,” he said. Then he put his fingers on the guitar and played what looked like an “A” Chord. Confused, I had to confirm that we were actually playing in A flat. That’s when I found out that he tuned his guitar a half-step low. Duh.

Chris counted us in, and Stevie Ray played it through once. LOUD. His jaw jutted out. His eyes were closed. That’s when it became a big deal. He played as if there were 30,000 people listening. He pulled notes out of the sky, and lightning flashed from his fingers.

I’ve played with most of the great guitar players from Texas. I ain’t never heard nothin’ like that before. Or since. That was the only time I ever heard Stevie Ray play live.

After that, things happened fast. There was a live boot-leg tape that got picked up by the local radio station. Stevie Ray played on a David Bowie album, which generated a lot of buzz. After a while, the local clubs couldn’t afford him, and we didn’t see much of him. He was on the road.

Then he was just a voice- and guitar- on the radio.

Shortly after that, I had to leave Austin for “health” reasons. I didn’t have the personality or the stamina to be a rock star, and I would’a been just another casualty if I had stayed. People were just too caring and sharing with their stimulants at the time, and I was just a boy who couldn’t say no. So, I moved behind the Pine Curtain, gained a little weight, and took off on the path that- eventually- led me here.

Stevie Ray, of course, became a bigger than life rock diety. He beat the drugs. He survived the tours- the buses, the crappy hotels, the awful back-stage food, and the temptations. He was three years sober when he played Alpine Valley with Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Robert Cray…

After that show, he climbed in a helicopter for the quick ride back to the hotel- and joined Buddy Holly, Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, and the rest of the mythic heroes in that great jam session in the sky.

I was living in Huntsville at the time, and I went to the local bar that afternoon to have a beer and see what was shakin’. There was a small group of people, crying, drinking too much, and putting quarters in the juke box. Playing Stevie Ray records over and over.

I grabbed a Shiner Bock and sat alone.

Do I regret not sticking it out in Austin and taking my chances?

Nope. Not really.

There’s a world of difference between being a musician and being a rock star, and it takes a certain mentality and determination to be a rock star that I just didn’t have. Once you’re there, it can be easy street, but the cemeteries, drug rehab units, and mental hospitals are littered with the ones who didn’t have that strength and didn’t get out in time. I suspect that would’a been my story.

Leaving saved my life.

Stevie Ray had it.

Thanks for joining me on this trip down memory lane.

Rock on.

Pat O’Bryan is the CEO of Practical Metaphysics, Inc. and Director of the Milagro Research Institute. He is the author of several books on Internet Marketing, including the best-seller, “Your Portable Empire- How To Make Money From Anywhere Doing What You Love.”

Work at Home, or From Anywhere

He has taught thousands of people how to work from home, or from anywhere through his books, UnSeminars, and his coaching program.

Pat lives in Wimberley, Texas, and Terlingua, Texas.

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C-O-N-N-E-C-T-I-N-G (AB)

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“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not ready. The challenge will not wait.” ~ Paulo Coelho

“Great dreamers cannot be tamed” (gran sonadores no pueden ser domesticados) ~ Paulo Coelho

Connecting is the name of the game folks. Don’t know about you but the connections make everything else worthwhile.

The two quotes above are from an author that’s new to me. Friends shared the author’s work and now I notice the name fluttering by in the social streams.

As you read and listen, you’ll notice this blog is more about connecting than anything. At least that’s what I’m shooting for. With the exception of one banner in the sidebar, no affiliate links are laced through the text.

For me the conversations start when the connections get made. Nothing like stating the obvious.

Always Be Connecting.

30 Pound #blog30

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Still working at 30 posts by 11:59:59 pm tonight! Each one weighs a ton and I’m learning keyboarding ain’t my strong suite.

Through the 30 day blog challenge a style has emerged (it was there the whole time). Connie Green brings a keen ability to do the basics, keep it fun and do it all over and over and over again. she knows what it takes to make money with Internet Marketing.

Thanks for letting me play Connie!

When the time is available there were some superstars involved in #blog30 on Twitter that deserve a tip of the hat and a huge thank you for going above and beyond. You are each an inspiring, dedicated example of tenacity and fearlessness.

Though I would like to jump in for June, I’ll have to sit the next one out. Best to everyone! Keep your fingers limber and your powder dry!

Comments are welcomed.

WLBBG The End?

Now you’ve seen (and heard) what the future holds (in my opinion only. thank you).

Let’s look back at what the “Little Black Book of Internet Marketing Predictions 2010? has to shown us.

Feeling a little stuck from where you started in January 2010 is okay. If we don’t feel stuck sometimes then I have to wonder how effective we really are.

As we traveled through the series we bumped into a lot of low hanging branches about our social marketing thingys, getting totally focused… maybe, and Internet Marketing Pie.

We covered Info Products on a couple of fronts, spoke a little spanish (with help), and dove deeper into seasonal opportunities and the eCommerce IM segment.

Is this your year to get everything you deserve rounded us out along with what is working and a quick what’s not.

And finally what it really means (at least to me) when coaching and consulting make you money in both directions.

Here’s to the low hanging fruit on all those low hanging branches — go pick it and enjoy! 2010 still has the potential to be filled with never ending possibilities!

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Bottom Line Coaching/Consulting

Learning the marketing ropes on the Internet has evolved from advice shared in forums to the development of “How To” guides people could consume in private.

Lately, there’s huge momentum toward the “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” training model with direct one-on-one interaction between student and teacher.

Just like at the beginning of 2010, only the deep pocketed among us can afford or even entertain the high-priced coaching/consulting opportunities top of mind marketers offer.

But here’s the good news…

You can invest in coaching like you’re climbing a ladder – move up one rung at a time until you’ve advanced enough and are ready to pay for the next rung.

For example, let’s say right now you know nothing – you’re clueless about how to choose a niche, you don’t know what keywords even are and when it comes to launching a blog, website or membership space you would rather run screaming into the night (and likely you already have).

You can get by with hiring an affordable coach/consultant to start. You’ll want someone who knows one more thing than you do, who’s already making money online, but who isn’t priced so high you would have to hock your best jewelry just to be in the same room with them.

When you search for an Internet Marketing mentor for the rest of 2010, look for someone who does not use a one-size fits all approach to teaching. Look for someone who can focus on you and your business for the time it takes to help you move forward. They should also be strong enough to kick you out of the nest when that time comes.

Bottom line is this. If you don’t have a coach involved with you as you work on your business, you’re doomed to go down paths that are easily and best avoided.

And if you do not have a coaching/consulting element built into your own business as a profit center you’re missing out on an income stream that will see you through the toughest money crunch times you’ll ever face.

There’s still time to change the 2010 path you’re on.

Click on the ” >” below to listen in:

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What’s Working – What’s Not

Get rich quick schemes kind of evaporated in 2009. In 2010 and especially from this month forward, it’s all about building your business from the ground floor.

That includes looking at your online efforts from the perspective of a brick and mortar entrepreneur.

1) You want to know which titles you’ll wear in the business – will you just manage everyone working for you (meaning freelancers and service providers)?

2) Will you have a hands on approach to the graphics or content?

3) Will you oversee the marketing and advertising development for your products and let outsourced professionals handle all the rest?

You need a plan, and part of that plan is to evaluate each of your opportunities to see which business model would best suit your personal preferences and your financial needs.

It might be info product creator, software developer, service provider, membership site coordinator – there are many options for you to consider.

For the rest of 2010, you’ll want to look at things a bit differently.

Rules are being implemented left and right online and off that were never part of an earlier model.

So everything you do needs to be above the board.

Start with a niche that won’t get you into trouble.

Yes, some of them stand to help you make a fortune, but is it something where you’ll have a lot of trouble posting content online?

Then move on to what you can learn – and from whom.

1) Are there available resources to teach you about this marketing strategy?

2) Do the marketers teaching it have good reputations or will they be instructing you to “Do as I say and not as I do.”?

Go after something that’s ethical, provides you with enough happiness to get by on and the financial success you’re after.

Remember, it’s not all about the money.

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The Year You Finally Get Everything You Deserve?

Is The Year 2010 The Year You’ll Finally Succeed as an Internet Marketer?

What obstacles have been holding you back from achieving the kind of success you’ve always dreamed about for the last five months?

Do you even know what’s hurting your financial success? Not everyone does.

New marketers can tend to spin their wheels forever, running out of money in the process until one day they quit trying and leave the IM business frustrated and broke.

What I want you to do before this month is over is to slow down, reassess strategy and move cautiously for a few days. Now STOP trying any and all get rich quick schemes. Let go of them now or everything your working for will disappear.

If you’re still working a job, don’t quit until your Internet Marketing business is flourishing. That way you won’t be dealing with the stress of money and then grasp at straws as a last resort.

If now is the time to re-focus for where you want to be with your business at the end of 2010, start with a couple of questions similar to these…

Q: Do you love working one on one with people?

Q: Are you fond of writing and research?

Keep asking yourself questions to drill deeper in on what you really want.

Now as you learn, take baby steps to build your business the right way. Don’t go too fast or you may skip an important component that could make the difference between success and failure.

Click on the ” > ” below to listen in:

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