Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Well, we're almost done.
A few finishing touches, some clean-up, and as Marna would say, "another gee-gaw or two" and we'll be ready to really show off the new facility. I must admit to being extremely proud of how it's come together. But as much as I appreciate the compliments about how beautiful it looks, how comfortable it is, and how we've managed to update the entire facility while maintaining the homey welcoming vibe, I think the thing that pleases me the most are all the thanks and accolades I get for my optimism.
People just seem to be amazed that in these times someone is willing to take a risk and expand. As Forrest Gump would say in his Alabama drawl, "It seems to give people hope. Now I don't know about that, but..." to be fair, I'm sure that some of these compliments are veiled comments on my sanity. And occasionally, someone is honest enough to ask, "Why the Hell are you investing in Michigan? This place is dead, the pie is gone!" Let's face it, most in our business are simply not in a place where expansion and capital expenditures of this type make a lot of sense. The fact is, neither were we. But it had to be done.
It wasn't just that our place needed a face-lift; the entire audio industry in this town needed one, so we took the leap of faith and went first. If that makes me crazy, so be it. I love my clients, even the ones that are a pain in the ass (and you know who you are) and I have always wanted them and my staff to not only have a place to go to work, but feel at home. It makes for happier people and better results. I also believe that this town still has so much amazing music to offer and that these artists deserve a world-class, comfortable and yes, affordable place to make it. Yup, it's world-class. A great collection of modern and vintage microphones and pre amps, just about every recording, mixing and mastering tool you could ever need, incredible sounding rooms, even a custom designed computerized balanced power unit that controls the flow of electricity in and out of every room perfectly. And if you know our staff, then you already know why people like it here. If you don't, you're in for a treat.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
As we continue our build out process I realize how fortunate we are to have such a great group of contractors available to us right here in Metro Detroit. Turner-Brooks, the best stud and dry wall people in the business, Sendak Painting, Eagle Electric, Albaugh Masonry, Richmond Interiors, Interior Environments, Memtech, Brown Mechanical, Michigan Lighting and Chandelier and many others, including our own Marna Hamilton masterfully managing the whole show.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Yup, after all the talk, all the planning, all the waiting…the new RMS Sound Studios has finally broken ground. I feel so…dusty. Actually, all the dust is currently contained in the new space. 3,200 square feet previously occupied by Classic Country Antiques (Betty has moved her operation just up the street) now an empty box, but soon to contain 2 new, extra large control rooms each with a roomy voice-over booth, a big ole live tracking room and, yes, a new restroom. (I know how much everyone liked the old ones, so we’ll bear that in mind as we decorate). I’ll tell you later about all the state-of-the-art this and world-class that. For now, I’m just happy to be moving forward. Strange and exciting times here in Birmingham. Stay tuned.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
You have probably heard of St. Therese of Lisieux aka "The Little Flower". It's said that when one asks for her help in prayer that they or the person they are praying for will, as an acknowledgment that the prayers have been heard, in some way come in contact with roses. St. Therese has been quoted as saying...
"I will let fall a shower of roses. I will spend my heaven, doing good on earth."
In the winter of 1991 I thought my life sucked. I had had my first heart attack two years earlier, my business was going nowhere, we we're broke, my marriage was shaky, my infant son was not well, throwing up everything he ate, and so far, it had been a cold winter. Seeing all this, my mother-in-law, without my or my wife's knowledge, began a nine day long prayer, called a novena, to St. Therese on our behalf. Remember, no one other than my mother-in-law is aware that this prayer has begun. On Jackie's birthday, Dec 30th I sent her flowers...a dozen red roses. My aunt Laura also sent her flowers...a dozen white roses. This is where it gets interesting. Several days later, a winter storm dumped about 6 to 10 inches snow on the ground. I was trudging through it to the shed in our backyard to get a snow shovel when I smelled them. So sweet and strong I stopped dead in my tracks to see every one of the rose bushes we had planted the previous spring in full bloom! The red, pink, a peach colors of the petals and the green of the leaves a shocking contrast to the pure white of the snow that surrounded them. I called Jackie out of the house and we both just stood there in amazement. It is without a doubt one of the most surreal things I have ever seen. When Jackie called her mom to tell her, she responded flatly "I'm not surprised, I've been saying a novena to St. Therese for you guys". Did it work? Well, we'll be married 20 years in October. RMS is expanding again after more than 20 years in business. My Son? A senior at Shrine of the Little Flower High School (yeah, same saint) and doing just fine thank you. And I became Catholic a year later in 1992, (I think my mother-in-law sneaked that prayer in) and we are parishioners at the National Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak. And the story goes on...
A few weeks ago, Jackie passed a kidney stone (ouch). She had several tests that also revealed a 3.5 cm mass on her kidney. Without telling me or anyone else she began the novena. On Friday, before the dreaded appointment with the surgeon, she received 4 dozen beautiful roses from my staff (thanks ever so much, guys). The prognosis? Excellent. While about 80 percent of these tumors are malignant, this one was caught early, is small enough to be removed using robotics and very small incisions. No chemo, no radiation and she gets to keep her kidney. As I say, take from it what you will. Thank you, St. Therese.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I remind him that everything is cyclical, clients come and go, relationships come and go and that, ultimately, things work themselves out. Easy enough to say but for some, especially now, believing it is another matter. I'm sure my friend asks me for this occasional reminder because it gives him comfort. But it's temporary. Stress builds, situations change and the universe seems to pile it on, to the point where he needs another reminder. Just about the time I get the call, things for him seem to quiet down, work comes in, checks come in and I'm again proven right. See...cyclical.
I know that for many of us times have never been tougher or scarier. But it can't last forever. It can and will get better. Jobs will come back, the economy will improve, our industry will grow and this town, this state will recover.
Now, you may be saying "Mound, please remove your enormous head from your ass and look around!" And if you are saying this, I know who you are.
Everything is gonna be okay.
I do not believe there is such a thing as a "mid-life crisis". And even if there is, I'm not having one.
Of course, I've been told that I do exhibit all of the classic symptoms. The motorcycle, the tattoos (got a new one on Sunday), the earrings, the goatee. The whole "biker" vibe. To me, these are just fun transportation and decoration. To some, they are outward signs that there is something wrong with me. There isn't. Yes, I'll be 50 in October and I suppose that does qualify as "middle age", but that isn't a crisis. In fact, it's anything but! I've managed to survive half a century on this planet and I feel pretty blessed to have made it that long. I've had multiple "close calls" and sometimes lived a little too close to the edge, but for reasons unknown to me, I'm still here. Every day, every moment is a gift to be enjoyed. So that's what I'm doing. It's only a crisis if there's a problem. Other than the beard being itchy, my ears being hairy, tattoos being painful and life being too short...no problem.