As we quickly approach 2014, we can’t help but reflect on 2013 and how there have been so many changes for VenturaRocks.com over the past year. For almost three and a half years we only posted on our website. We took photos from time to time and did some editorials and stories about Ventura’s music scene, but we mostly were behind the scenes.
But this past year, we became proactive by going out and introducing ourselves and finding out what is needed and wanted. We meet venue owners, many of which have become great friends. We’ve gotten to know many of the bands and solo artists listening to their concerns. We attended meetings and council member forums to help keep our finger on the pulse of Ventura’s music scene.
We had a party for our four-year anniversary last March at Bombay’s on St Patrick’s day, and although the band nearly ruined it (I’ll tell you about it someday), Diego’s hospitality and all the music lovers who came out enjoying the day and celebrating with us made it quite the event to remember.
We had a booth at several of the music festivals and events this past year where we were able to shake hands, kiss babies and sell a VenturaRocks.com t-shirt from time to time. We started with Roadshow Revival’s Tribute to the Music of Johnny Cash. We followed that up with Ventura Music Week, Surf Rodeo, Aloha Festival and Blues at the Beach. We loved meeting new people and telling them all about VenturaRocks.com.
Speaking of Ventura Music Week, OMIGOD! What work, but what fun!! There were only 6 or 7 of us who met on a handful of occasions, but somehow we managed to pull it off. We’re so looking forward to this next year’s event! 100 bands – 10 days – 1 city!!
Kat Merrick invited us to join her on the Totally Local VC float for a couple of City parades. Loved walking the parade route up and down Main Street while Dan Grimm and Ian McFadyen rocked it on the back of the float.
We did a number of really interesting interviews with not only local artists, but with national touring acts and posted them:
Scotty Morris of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Dean Dinning of Toad the Wet SprocketWe also did a number of CD reviews of local artists including reviews for Shawn Jones, Shaky Feelin’, Spencer the Gardener and 50 Sticks of Dynamite.
And sometimes we got a “bee in our bonnet” and we just had something to say so we wrote editorials regarding our music scene. We wrote about what we feel it means to be an artist, should it be venues vs artists? We talked about the taking and posting of artists photos, and we wrote one called, “A Call to all Artist: What is Your Worth?”. So, we offered some interesting reading material. Oh! And we can’t forget to acknowledge Charles and Christine Law for giving me my rock ‘n’ roll debut! I mentioned in passing one day that I always wanted to play a song with other musicians (I’ve just messed around on my acoustic for years), and before I knew it I was playing with the Laws and Tommy Marsh at Bombay’s in front of a live audience. What a freakin’ rush!!And what an honor to be asked to be a writer for the Ventura Breeze! Sheldon Brown approached me to see if I would be interested on covering Ventura’s music scene. He didn’t have to ask twice!
And it was a privilege to help on the Heart and Soul benefit for Polly Hoganson of Zoey’s. With only less than a month to prepare, we helped to pull off the event of the year as the music community came together to help this amazing woman who needed some assistance at a critical time in her life, especially just after she and her husband Steve made the hard decision to close Zoey’s doors. It was truly inspirational to witness the love and support for this woman.
We made our debut appearance on the Tom and Sandy 805 radio show on KVTA, and we even crashed in Spencer in the Morning doing a quickie appearance with Timmy Curran on The Vibe 103.3. But VenturaRocks.com also lost the help of Eve. She had ruthlessly hunted down music schedules from our local venues for over four years, a key component to what we do here. She gave ample notice and handed over all her contact information and notes…I know she’s going to miss it. Okay, maybe not. It’s hard work!
And of course we welcomed Polly Hoganson on board as a guest writer. We’re getting great feedback on her column, Polly Hoganson, MusicMuse and we’re looking forward to hearing from her on a consistent basis.
I had a vision almost five years ago of creating a one-stop music resource for Ventura. A place to read about the music scene and to find out what the venues have to offer on any given day.
No one asked us to do this. No one hired us to do this. We do this as a labor of love to help our local economy, to help our local venues, but more importantly to help build our music scene. If the truth be known, it’s our way of giving back to the artists for what they do. They deserve this kind of support.
VenturaRocks.com has been my baby from day one and my vision and this commitment remains steadfast. There are changes still coming, several minor adjustments to be made and some possible expansions on the horizon.
Stay tuned, because Ventura will continue to Rock well into 2014!!!
Happy New Year
and may you flourish and prosper!