This is my ninth Beatles convention in a little over two years. Its not the easiest thing to do standing behind a display all day telling people your story over and over again. I’m not complaining. Just saying that there is an element of exhaustion to it, especially if you want to stay up late, see some music and have a few drinks. (which I most often do). I am not a born salesman– i don’t like people giving me a hard pitch on anything. I like facts, not sales talk. So I cant do the carnival barker thing… besides I’d rather be talking to someone who really gets what it takes to create these products and who really enjoys it.
What i have learned (and it seems obvious now) is that there is a very broad group of Beatles fans (must be the broadest group for any musical artist). There is even a very broad group of Beatles fans who go to Beatles fans conventions. The Beatles are accessible and appeal on so many different levels that you cant generalize all that easily about who the fan is. People come to these festivals for many different reasons– a large number do not even collect music. So i know, and found out quickly at my first convention, that although I am staying in a hotel with over 5000 of them milling around right now, only 25% are likely to have anything more than a passing interest in my products.
But the great part is those people who have much more than a passing interest. The ones who love my products. I like to think that I am not driven by ego. But I have to admit that I love hearing how excited people are to tell me how they bought the BoV last year, still love it, gave it to a bunch of friends for the holidays. And they actually thank me. Thats cool. How often do you get to be face to face with someone who tells you they like what you did. (In all my years working in an office, the rare times someone said something like that to me I got nervous!). Yesterday I had a lot of those people come up to me. I wish i could have filmed them to use as a commercial. The problem with these collections is you really have to see them in person to really get how nice they are and how much work and care goes into them.
One of the people who came up to me and bought one from me yesterday was Andy Babiuk (I hope its okay I relate this in print Andy!) who wrote the book Beatles Gear a highly respected book, well loved by musicians. What was great about this for me was that someone who had done so much research and who had put so much care into his book, was talking about how he had heard (from a number of other musicians) how great the BoV was and a “must have” book. That makes it all worth it to me. I can work two extra days when I have an experience like that.
Yesterday I got to show off the first complete sample copies of the John Lennon BoV, which arrived here from China hours before the convention started. I am hugely relieved it looks as good as I remembered while they were printing it a few weeks ago. And the response has been great. I love the people who rub their hands over it like they are touching a small child’s head. So many people who bought the Beatles one telling me they have already pre-ordered Lennon, and cant wait to get theirs. As someone who tires real easily of his new toys, its incredibly gratifying that people still feel so strongly about the Beatels BoV a year later and can’t wait to get the new one.
So… to the Dylan fans out there (i know you are there– my blog hits skyrocket every time i mention Bob Dylan)– where can I go to show off the Bob Dylan collection when it is ready. It is over the top gorgeous. I am excited about it as I have been over anything. But again, you need to see it and feel it to really understand…. Please let me know (email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)