It has been a long time since I’ve written a letter from the president; life has been very busy! In some ways, things have been very difficult. The tragic loss of so many and so much from disasters; be they natural or otherwise (or a combination thereof). The incomprehensible justifications this species conjures for its barbarous atrocities all over the world – what difference does difference really make? A sunny July afternoon day blasted apart by the sound of hate; a prelude to the truly senseless deaths of too many innocents. For me, this was a stark recalling of a sunny September day 11 years ago. Being so close on both those days has forever altered my perception of the fragility of life. I want to shout it from the rooftops: EVERY MINUTE COUNTS! Embrace it! Enjoy it!
In many, many more ways, things have been very (in some ways, VERY) good.
There are so many unhappy people in the world, and I have always considered myself extremely fortunate to be doing what I love: Living and working in a fabulous place, with wonderful people, representing incredible music. And what music! There’s not a day go by that I’m not honored and amazed to represent so much of the music that has been my life’s passion and inspiration. And to think that my little company, born in a cramped little “office” tucked away in the corner of my bedroom in my Lower East Side apartment in New York City in 1989 now represents over 1.25 million copyrights – including some of the biggest hits and best-known songs in the world. My late partner Ron would have been thrilled… astonished… astounded…just as I am each and every day.
As the oft-repeated phrase goes, with such an opportunity comes tremendous responsibility: To my colleagues, partners, associates and friends (many of whom fall in more than one of those categories): To conduct myself with honesty, acknowledge my errors, correct my mistakes; to act with integrity, listen with compassion and help us to become so much more than the sum of our parts. To the thousands of writers and artists, both now and throughout the decades: To be passionate in the promotion and fierce in the protection of your works and your legacies. And finally to myself: Work hard (but be OK with taking a day or two off every now and then). Be understanding (but always have the ability to go New York on those that act with malice against me and mine). Be patient (but understand when it’s best for both sides to walk away). Be joyful (but never be embarrassed to shed a tear – or 20 – when my heart is moved).
I guess the immortal bard said it best (his works are public domain, so I’m not breaking any copyright laws):
To thine own self be true.