Flossie Gateman

Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to make friends along my musical journey.  Some of them have seen me play often at my concerts and others I have befriended me via the internet as far back as MySpace yet we still haven’t met.
When I was cycling through Japan on a training ride I was reflecting at how lucky I am and how supportive so many have been over the years to help me chase my dream.  I truly am blessed.  Some have given so much for the simple act of enjoying my music.  I want to acknowledge those people.  My idea here is to share with you those that have helped me out.  I won’t be able to get them all in and I apologize now if I miss you along the way.
Everyone, from the person who flew 1000’s of miles to see my show, you who shook my hand and said they enjoyed the concert, to the critic who gave me something important to think about and grow from and of course all of you in between, THANK YOU.


FLOSSIE GATEMAN.  
Living in Calgary Canada.

Every musician needs friends who believe in their music and offers friendship, encouraging words, and support.
Flossie Gateman is that and more.
I’ve never personally met her despite feeling like I know her and have become her friend for over 5 years. She is a team supporter for the great Canadian band Jo Hikk and they introduced us. She helped rally a large community of people to vote for me in an international contest that I was in with my album FUEL. Thanks to her and many others, I won.

Flossie is a passionate music lover with a big heart and she is highly motivated. She has done some very unselfish acts to help promote those musicians she believes in. I feel fortunate to consider her a friend and I want you all to know.

Thank you Flossie!

You’re friendship is not taken lightly.

20 year old song gets new life.

Anyone remember these?

Anyone remember these?

Back in the 90’s when I was busking every day at the seabus and going to University I wrote a song with a woman named Kate MacColl.  I had this chord progression I kept playing but that was it.  She came back the next day with these lyrics and moving melody.  We recorded the song on my guitar and her vocals at a studio just to “have it”.  I really never thought about it much until 20 years later when she contacted me to tell me she entered it in a contest and it got runner up.  I went to her website and had a listen.  It’s still got legs all these years later.  You never know in the music business when your songs will finally mean something to someone.

Use to busk at the terminal. The seabus departed every 15 min. & we would make some serious money.

Use to busk at the terminal. The seabus departed every 15 min. & we would make some serious money.

You can here the song here if you wish.

Kelly

Lyrics Lyrics Lyrics!

Lyrics lyrics lyrics!

It's still blank!

It’s still blank!

Why is it I find it so hard to find them!  My life is full of stuff happening all around me yet I can’t seem to write about it.  I decided to just start jotting down anything that comes to mind in this book and then start pulling out the parts that mean something to me.  Last album I was staying up all night the last days before recording because of the same problem.  This time I want some leeway so I can refine and rewrite a few more times.

I best get away from this blog and back to that area of my brain where the creativity sits.  Just have to find it first!

I Lost the Fight with TREK – Part 3

The 3rd and final episode of the ongoing saga regarding my TREK replacement frame ended with the protagonist getting a pump shoved in his front wheel by TREK and sliding on pavement with road cherries.

My baby.  We've been through a lot of miles together.

The non Hollywood story is much more anticlimactic with a simple email from TREK Japan that reads:

Hello Kelly,

We are sorry to keep you waiting.

This past week the US customer service manager, APAC customer service manager, sales rep and I discussed and concluded that we cannot replace this frame.

The reason is that the store sold the custom painted frame, and then it was taken home.

However, we are working with the shop on options to help you on their behalf.

The store mentioned that they would like to contact you but have had difficulty contacted your cell phone.

Could we tell them your email address?

We appreciate your patience in working through this!

 

Regards,

XXXX

So, I’m left with the new frame.   I don’t mind it. I would have preferred a different color.  But my friends tell me they like it.  What do you think?

The new Frame colors.  Not ugly at all.  But not what I wanted.

The new Frame colors. Not ugly at all. But not what I wanted.

10562531_686656801420931_7810367393120019470_o 1795270_691953967557881_5183402139455113107_o

 

Haruna Hill Climb – May 19th 2013

Feel the pain in the thighs.

Great day. Got up at 3 am and met friends at Numata Inta at 4 am. From there we drove to the race in separate cars. Over 4500 people participated so you can imagine the ordeal with organization. But I must say everything was done flawlessly. There were almost as many volunteers as racers! I found my parking area and got myself together (including the unfortunate pre-race poop.

Haruna course

Where is everyone?
No chance of getting in a warm up with that many riders. My group (the 4000 numbers) were the 3rd set to go but we waited an hour sharing nervous small talk before the count down.
Once underway, the course started up relatively easy. Just a small grade for the 1st 3 km until it started to present its toughness. I was worried of going too hard at the beginning and having nothing left near the end so I paced myself accordingly. My legs were heavy right off the bat because of lack of warm up. People were passing me and I thought “dang”, this isn’t what I wanted. But I stuck with my gut and as the race progressed I started to see that there were no more “4000” numbers and I slowly passed the 3000 group, the 2000 group and ended up finishing surrounded by the very first group to leave! Now I do realize that those in front that were faster were long gone but to toot my own horn no one from behind passed me.

High Ho, A climbng we will go.
The last 4 km was very steep and I passed a lot of people there. I took the inside lanes which were steeper but faster if you have the legs. The race was only 15 km and before I knew it, I was sprinting for the last 100 meters.
I started my Garmin 500 from the parking lot so it was off mark. I was hoping for a sub 50 minutes but was doubtful after seeing others results. When I got mine it was 47.12.12 minutes. 3 minutes faster than I expected.

47 mintues!

The overall results are pleasantly surprising.  I was 21st out of 989 40-50 year olds. If my math is right, I believe out of 4500 plus participants I was 61st overall. I suppose living in the mountains has really helped my training.  And I’m sure being 10 kilo’s (22 lbs) lighter is a major bonus, too.

Me and my friend Yukiya desending after race.

Doing well has motivated me to train even harder for the rest of the season.

Haruna placement

Making an Album is Sadly a Fond Memory

There is something ironically sad about looking back on fond memories.  They were so wonderful that you want to relive them.  But you can’t.  So you file them into a happy place and visit them from time to time.

I would love to jump on a plane bound for Australia again and say hello to the guys that made my 5th CD “THESE DAYS” a reality.  I’d like to walk down the same beaches that helped inspire lyrical ideas, or swap trivial stories with the locals, stare out the window of the downtown trams at the passer-by’s and of course, step back into the studio with the blokes who helped create the album.  Fond memories are usually moments you would love to experience again.

I could sing any lyrics and you wouldn't know!

I could sing any lyrics and you wouldn’t know!

Perhaps that’s one of the reasons making a CD is something I absolutely love.  It’s not just about the song.  It’s about the whole journey.  It’s about the hard work, the goal of making this dream a reality, the great friends that share the same interests, the challenges, the small details, the life long memories, and ultimately the final product.  Then you have it. All wrapped up and stored onto a compact disk in the palm on my hands.

That’s what’s left.

For me, “These Days”, isn’t just an album of tunes.  It’s a chapter in my life.  A challenge set out and completed.  It’s an idea that started with a chord on a guitar, a melody in my head, or a lyric stolen from a street sign. It’s a search for a cheap airplane ticket, it’s hotel rooms, a new city, new friends and a common goal.

Shibuya, Tokyo.  Promo pic.

Shibuya, Tokyo. Promo pic.

I see a million small tasks that I must do for my dream to finally become reality.   I see the inspiration of family and friends and above all, I see myself doing something that gives me a sense of self-accomplishment.   When it’s finally done, there is an immense satisfaction I hold but at the same time a yearning begins to do it all over again.  An addiction to the whole process.  A desire to be better.  The drugs have kicked in and I’ve started new memories.  I’ll be recording the newest CD in Nashville come August 2013.

Live at the Bunkakaikan

Live at the Bunkakaikan

Organizing Your Own Concert

kelly's concert 048

As I get older and pick up more responsibility, I find myself working harder to secure a good life. This involves hours of implementing and employing new marketing strategies to make money as an independent musician.

One of the new ideas I have turned into reality has been organizing my own concert and drumming up people to come and watch.

As opposed to getting hired to play a gig somewhere (which can still pay well), I wanted to set the bar higher and take control of the whole concept.

Thanks to some great advice on the internet and support from friends and fans, I have successfully done this 2 times now.

Here is a stripped down version of some of the major details required to hold a live concert.

1) Find a great place to hold it.

You need to find somewhere convenient and make sure it has the acoustics for great sound. I chose a local community theatre here in Japan that has an amazing stage already equipped with lighting, speakers, and all that jazz. It’s also relatively cheap since it belongs to the community.

2) Design the tickets.

I made sure to design some tickets that look professional. The cheaper they look, the less professional you appear also. Do these properly and people will feel like they’re going to watch the real deal when they pay for one.

3) Getting the word out.

This is probably the most important and most difficult part of the whole process. You must do everything in your power to find people to come to the event if you want a successful show. Here are some things that I did.

a) make colour flyers

b) make posters

c) make small pass-outs

d) ask for a radio interview. I went into the local radio station with two other members and performed live.

e) Make an audio commercial about 30 seconds long that you can use on the radio (if you want to pay a small fee for air time) and also you can burn it onto a CD rom with three songs from your CD and pass them out. This was quite successful. I passed out a lot of CD’s as PR and with three free songs and a quick spiel on the upcoming show.

f) Get a street team together. Ask band members and friends to help out. I promised some fans they could come for free if they help sell tickets. You’ll be surprised what a lot of fans will do because they believe in you. I also promised the band two different guarantees. I told them I’d pay them “X” amount of money more, if we sold over 80% of the tickets we made. I was really surprised at the effort they put into helping out.

g) Make sure you start the campaigning a good 2 months in advance. People need time to plan and spread the vibe of the event.

h) Talk about it all the time. Don’t push it in peoples faces but there are ways of talking about the event that don’t come across as sales. “I went to bed late last night because I was rehearsing with the band”. You never asked anyone to come but you refreshed their memory that you’re working hard towards the gig.

i) Offer prizes like t-shirts (if you have them), or free CD’s.

j) Ask local shops if you can put a poster on their window.

k) Play at local CD stores for free.

4) How can you make the show unique?

In other words, how can you justify charging people to come to your show? For me, since this was my second time doing this, I wanted to step up the game and make it better than the first time. The first concert I held on my own consisted of 4 band members. This time, I invited two friends (who are pro musicians) to come spend some time with me in Japan and do the gig making it a 6 piece band. They wanted the holiday/experience and the Japanese were thrilled to have two professional foreign musicians adding heaps of colour to the show. I should point out that I held this concert in a relatively rural area. This was to my advantage because more of the local people don’t normally get an opportunity to see a rock concert so close by. It was easier to convince people that they’re about to see something normally held in Tokyo.

5) Practice.

Let’s face it, if you want to impress your fans and make them leave the concert feeling they spent their money wisely, practice hard and make the band tight!

_MG_5020

6) Please those around you first!

If you want to do this again in the future then your name is important. Don’t get too greedy and try to keep every single penny you made from the gig. You might want to do this because you worked 99% harder than anyone else did to make this happen. However, paying the right people and doing it fairly is good business. They will be willing to do more for you next time and you’ll even find more doors opening for you.

7) Make a to do list.

Organization is key to everything running smoothly. I had several lists and still found it hard to keep everything running well.

"There must be someway out of here said the ~".

“There must be someway out of here said the ~”.

8) Day of the gig.

Check your lists. Be prepared for things to go wrong. Try to stay calm and don’t snap at anyone. If you’re going to have a moment, find a place to chill for a minute.

9) Showtime!

Get out on that stage and play like there’s no tomorrow. Do your thing and do it as best you can. Don’t leave anything behind because this is your moment to prove that you’re worthy to be there!

10) Sell CD’s.

Sell them at a low price and come out into the lobby with the band and sign them. Chat and take pictures and be personable! Leave a sheet they can sign with their email address and contact info. This is really important for future contact.

kelly-on-marque-copyweb

11) Next day.

You’re still not done. Now, you have lots of thank you’s, and last minute payouts and things to do. Don’t just leave your fans forgotten. They are your bread and butter so personally thank as many as you can!

I’m sure there are other things that I’ve forgotten to mention but in general these are the basics. For me, the key to success is not leaving it all to the last minute and more importantly, making sure that everyone is happy.

Go get ‘em!

Aw man, is my fly undone?

Aw man, is my fly undone?