miley bieber herald

Life is about, “The Climb”

As the air that I breathe is mostly surrounded by musical notes, I find that as I get older, I appreciate more and more outside of my musical comfort zone. Of course, Rock, R&B and Radio Hits will be my foundation, but Country (especially Classic Country) will always have a place in my heart.

My appreciation of World Music has been intensified by virtue of the many ethnic groups that I have worked with over the years. I have learned to enjoy the essence of Jazz and feel the emotion of the Blues. My Florentine mother taught me how to allow Classical Music to penetrate my bones, and my World War II hero-father showed me the magic of Sinatra and Glenn Miller.

More recently, I have been trying to become a bit more acquiesced to the current musical trends of today. I can honestly say that it is virtually impossible to get a true sense of what’s happening out there just because of the countless platforms and many sources music is coming from. But that’s just me.

I have had experiences with two of the biggest contemporaries out there today, Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus. That gave me cause to foray into their lyrics. I was surprised to find, especially in Miley’s case, that there were words and music that really hit home.

A few years back, I received a call from the mother of a nine-year-old girl stricken with Muscular Dystrophy. Her heart-throb Justin Bieber was coming to the United Center and she wanted nothing else but to meet him. I did not know Justin personally, however I did know his manager. But with those types of things at that level, it is beyond challenging to make those experiences happen. You can only imagine the calls I received when Taylor Swift came to town!

But when I learned of her story, that she was wheelchair bound, I said I would try. My friend, his manager, told me to go two hours before the show, give them my name, and I would be escorted in. The impossible just became possible!

I met the little girl in person at the Michael Jordan statue in front of the United Center. She brought another little girl with her, also in a wheelchair. They both had these cute hats on, colorfully dressed and filled with excitement.

We entered the arena, and noticed about two hundred other little girls in line who paid an exorbitant amount to get into the meet and greet. Once I gave the coordinator my name, she put us off to the side. Hosting these meet and greets myself for countless entertainers, I know how these things work. This was probably going to be two hours of waiting and a quick, emotionless picture and out we go. Still an exciting experience for two little girls who would not let physical challenges get in the way of being cool little girls!

The moment for Justin to enter the room came. Hundreds of phones shot up for photos and there he stood, evaluating this monstrous task of meeting and greeting hundreds of crazed fans. As he walked towards the throbbing crowd, he looked over at us and made a sharp detour. He came up to me and gave me a warm bro-hug. Then he knelt down to the little girls and spent ten minutes with them, which seemed like a lifetime to these little bright-faced fans. Unrushed and sincere, he gave them a lasting memory and more importantly, made them feel that those wheelchairs were merely

pieces of metal, unimportant and almost non-existent. Regardless of what is said in the press, I will always be a Justin fan because of the gift he gave to those two little giants.

I met Miley at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. I was there as a guest of Joan Jett who was getting inducted that night. She happened to be sitting at my table and we began a conversation because I had worked with her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus on several occasions. She was at a more controversial time in her career and when I said that my young daughter idolized her. She responded, “DON’T let your daughter follow me, I am not what you would call a positive influence,”. Pretty profound.

But then I see her develop into a more complex superstar with some really great performances. And her song, “The Climb” holds probably one of the most inspirational messages in contemporary music today.

“There’s always gonna be another mountain

I’m always gonna wanna make it move

Always gonna be an uphill battle

Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose

Ain’t about how fast I get there

Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side

It’s the climb.”

It’s a song that tells the youth of today not to focus as much on the destination, it’s about life’s journey. And it’s going to be tough, but worth it.

And when the time comes for these mega-superstars to play 1000-seat venues like mine as it has for Arena acts of yesterday, I will welcome them and thank them for the positive effect they had on the youth. These days they don’t get that compliment very much.

I wonder what Taylor Swift will be like in her 60s when SHE headlines The Arcada!