By: Josh Noll
Wow!! just like that a year has passed and I now have 12 issues under my belt. Seems small in comparison to the 30 some years that my parents have been doing this. Countless hours spent typing away late at night wondering what the next day will bring. Will you make the press in time? Will the truck make it to the press to get the papers? Will the printer have the paper done in time? Will I make it through delivery?… and so on and so on. Until I finally deliver my last spot, only then does my mind ease and I can start to relax. Thinking I have weeks until I have to go through all that again but those weeks turn to just a few days, and then just a few hours, and once again my mind is racing thinking about how the hell am I going to do all that again. Ok, I know, how hard can it be? Really nothing in life is really as hard as our minds make us think it is. We spend hours stressing over something in our minds when the best thing to do is not think about the process, just do the process. Take each step one at a time and before you know it, you’re done.
I couldn’t have made it through the last year without all the people that help the magazine and there are so many that help us deliver the papers that it is hard to mention them all. The core of the paper is of course still Robin/ my mom. Although “semi-retired” she still helps me out in her “free time”. Its really a labor of love with her and without all the lessons and reminders there is no way I could be doing this.
Next of course is Rachel Rocks! Sure, she wanted to hang it up a year ago but deep down inside I knew she wasn’t ready to hang it up, just yet. How she does it I don’t know, but she can talk an ear off during a show while taking pics and talking to almost everyone in the room. It’s pretty amazing watching her work and I love all the help she gives me. For those that still don’t know, Rachel is my little sister, always was always will be so it really is a family affair around here and we like to keep that feeling going with the paper. If you’re part of the paper then you are part of the family weather you’re a writer, an advertiser or a reader we consider you all as part of our tribe.
The third person on the list, and going on his 33rd year of writing for us, is The Professor Jim Price. I’m not sure what I would do without Jim. If you have never met him then I feel bad for you. He is some kind of superhero and that is no exaggeration. Mild, mannered college professor by day, superhero DJ/writer/artist/musician/wildlife photographer/delivery/all round great guy by night. I left MMC beat and had to drive 30 minutes to get home Jim had to journey back up to Altoona and before he made it home he stopped again to see some more bands. I don’t know where he finds the time or energy to fit as much in as he does. We are thankful and love his dedication to the paper and the local music scene. Be sure to shake his hand and tell him thank you for all his hard years supporting local music.
Next up is Eric Hoffman, another music lover and PA Musician lover at heart. A lot of people may not know this but Eric is our archivist, or however you say that. He has collected all the old back issue we had and added them to his collection, amassing what I am sure, is one of the most complete sets of PA Musicians in existence (Jim Price says he has them all hidden away somewhere as well). Last time I talked to him he was missing 4 issues. Eric does our National column and keeps our babies safe and sound. One day he hopes to have them somewhere the public could check them out. So if you have some really old issues and don’t know what to do with them please contact Eric to see if its some of the lost missing issues.
Another long time supporter/helper is Meredith Kaminek she is a great photographer and has shot so many covers that we have lost count. She is our regular “go to” for the cover shots including this months, and we love her work and the fact that she always makes time to fit our cover shoot into her schedule (even when we are on a time crunch and heading towards the deadline.) She loves local music and shooting bands so if you need some band photos look her up.
The new comers to the scene are next on my list and that is the team of Michele Kelley and Chris Rider. I have known Chris most of my life going to school with him and his brother so when I started seeing him at shows taking pics I asked him to send some over for me to check out. Of course they were all great pics and I really loved how he really enjoyed the music and talked to the bands and the people around him. Then I met Michele and I could see something happening there. I wasn’t real sure at the time but the next day or so Michele messaged me about something random and I just threw it out there. Hey, why don’t you and Chris take on writing for the paper it’s a volunteer gig and you get to see bands and work for free! They were a little nervous at first, and so was I, but the stars really aligned on that one and I got some great music lovers for the paper and Chris’s pics keep getting more amazing all the time and Michele is doing an awesome job writing about the bands and working with venues and promoters so they catch all the great shows.
Next is the delivery people; Jim Price has a list so long it’s amazing and that is how we reach the northwestern part of our territory. We also have Sterling Koch who takes care of the Reading area for us. He somehow always makes himself available to come grab the papers when I text him while flying up 81 that I will be there in 30 mins. He is another true music lover always playing a gig or teaching a lesson somewhere. SPACE (Eric Dengler) is next. He takes papers to places that Rachel Rocks can’t get to so everyone in and around Harrisburg can find a paper. Then there is the old timer he hides in the shadows now days running sound somewhere bitching about guys fucking up his cords or turning up amps after he has his levels set and that is of course, Keith Hummel. Whitey always said the best place to stand is next to the sound guy if you really want to hear the band. Just don’t do it with a full beer or when you’re super drunk, sound guys hate that. Keith has been around since day 1 and has just been sort of an uncle that I get to help carry speakers or roll up cords for on occasion. He still delivers papers for us and when I asked if he wanted me to do it for him he said “NO, just drop me my papers every month,” was his response.
Last and certainly not least is Whitey the Mighty! Without the old man none of us would have met, and none of this would be here. He had a dream of doing his own thing and thought, “hey there are local magazines for fishing, for cars, for knitting. Why don’t we have a local music magazine?” So he started his dream and with no computers, or internet, or ways of connecting with people other than the old fashion phone service, he set out driving the 78 Dodge van around to all the shows to talk to bands and venues and convince them that they needed the PA Musician Magazine and they need it now. It’s pretty amazing and I remember the first issue coming out and unloading the van and stacking them in the house. Sorta crazy to think about starting something of this scale from scratch but If you know Whitey then you know that once he sets his mind to something he makes it happen no matter what. That’s why we love him. Thanks Dad love you.
Also a big THANK YOU to all the advertisers of the paper without them the paper would not exist or function so if you enjoy the paper please support the advertisers they are all a big part of what makes up the local music scene and without them there would be no scene for you to enjoy. So here’s to another year of great local music and if you want to be part of our family just give me a ring, shoot me an email, or send a facebook message. It’s way easier then you think; no credit checks, no contracts, just you joining the family. To find out what is going on this month please read the paper front to back, back to front!