Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I just wanted to know how the endorsers here got the oppurtunity to represent a particular company, and how to approach getting endorsed (besides practice, practice, practice.)
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Columnist and Saxophonistic Art
Joined
·
6,260 Posts
I just wanted to know how the endorsers here got the oppurtunity to represent a particular company, and how to approach getting endorsed (besides practice, practice, practice.)
Evan- Good question. I bet every sax player, legit or rock/jazz will have a different story. I'll try to make this as helpful & interesting as I can.

- My 1st endorsement was with Dave Guardala. At that point, Dave sent me mouthpieces to try to get a feel on new ideas etc. Then I helped him with his Guardala Reeds via the MacAfferi company. Being that I play double reeds, and studied reeds making also with Kal Opperman, Dave was getting me and Mike Brecker at the Mac plant to play test. That meant being in the same room with Brecker, who was a friend from 1972 on, playing, clowning around playing each others saxes and having fun with Mr MacAfferi. Long story short on this part- I started to do clinics with Dave/Mike and Dave was VERY kind to me. People within the industry that DID know me, KNEW I knifed the reeds to get profiles and Brecker made it known as well. RICO...was very aware of this! ( Remember I said that)

As time went- I got a Keilwerth endorsement to play the Keilwerth Straight alto sax. EG-STRITCH which Ernie Watts knew I was into. Ernie made them aware of that I used the horn already. They approached me, I cut my Guardala ties as THAT climate changed rapidly, and the Keilwerth Co made me a special straight alto/ set up by my buddy Mike Smith. That lead to some fun school workshops and hookin' up with Nick Brignola too on concerts. ( Great memory's with Nick to where we played 1 TUNE an entire set!! haha)

As time went, I was in Seattle doing a college concert with Doc Severinson. A guy came up to me that was the CEO with Selmer. He intro'd himself- said he just got off the phone with Patrick Selmer and they want me to try the SERIE 3 tenor and join the company as a Selmer artist. I thought I was dreaming...3 days later Fed X brought my silver Selmer to my door. Other goodies followed, and most importantly a friendship with Patrick who told me they were watching me since I was in Berklee as a teenager! ( He told me about a concert I did when I was 20 with Charlie Mariano, and a Berklee ensemble dubbed " The Wierd Band". It had 3 drummers, electric vibes, and all. Patrick Selmer also recited a Gary Burton concert he saw that I was in, that was all music of Carla Bley- where we all wore Robes like Catholic Priests called cassocks, also known as a soutane. ( I was pissed then kinda because I couldn't keep mine for other gigs!! ha:bluewink:ha- Burton and I still laugh about THAT! BTW- That was about 1971 or so- I could of walked the streets of Boston then- and nobody would of noticed!! LOL )
SO, Via that and the fact I was writing in Sax Journal for over 20 years, I was in the SELMER radar. I had NO idea! I am VERY proud of that endorsement! As you can imagine.

NOW- Rico Reeds was based on the SELMER and that all the Rico people knew me from doing the profiles/etc for Guardala. Conversations developed, they
liked my playing and writing. I started to endorse them-do some educators events, product development and...my weekly RICO REEDS BLOGS which a couple thousand people subscribe to via the net/twitter etc.

I never asked SELMER...or RICO, and Theo and DeJacque. I was asked by them, and damn glad for it. Very glad and PROUD.

Like wise with my friend Theo Wanne and Hope DeJacques. Hope was going to repair a strap of mine and after the phone call she calls me back and said would I like to try a new strap too- that had heavy jaws. I loved it-sent her a demo CD of bassoon stuff of mine- and we started having 2 hour phone talks about Boulez and 20th century music. ( She is a killer classical violinist BTW ) Theo, and I always were tight. It's a Philly connect. A few years ago- I wanted to change to metal, and I called him and it started. Also with Theo, we do a lot of A &R and talking about sounds. He is a close friend for over 20 years and, one of the greatest. His mind set and life pursuits I have learned a lot from. I AM LUCKY.

SO....Evan there you go. You know the expression Rome wasn't built in a day. Well- I'm still kinda reeling that I was so lucky.

#1- I was out there. People knew whatI was doing. I was playing, writing and all that. FOR DECADES. Only in the last 20 years most of this came my way.

#2- I made myself available, but trying to offer more than just wanting something for free or to that extent. I HAD SOMETHING TO OFFER. Maybe I didn't know it then- but the endorsements sure made me aware of it.

TALK ABOUT A LONG STRANGE TRIP?:)

Hope this helps. This is just my story-G' luck to you in your quest.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Columnist and Saxophonistic Art
Joined
·
6,260 Posts
EVAN ; Also a solid after thought...In all seriousness. THIS IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANY ENDORSEMENT OK.

- Get yourself some quality and dependable health insurance. NOW.

If you are in it for the long haul, YOU NEED THIS. Make sure you got a primary care doctor and dentist and eye doctor. They keep a blue print of you ON FILE IN CASE THE SHEEET HITS THE FAN HEALTH WISE.

Get some health coverage. More important than anything. Trust me- I've been out here for years- and this advice is vital. HTH.
 

·
Forum Contributor 2016, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
12,793 Posts
EVAN ; Also a solid after thought...In all seriousness. THIS IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANY ENDORSEMENT OK.

- Get yourself some quality and dependable health insurance. NOW.

If you are in it for the long haul, YOU NEED THIS. Make sure you got a primary care doctor and dentist and eye doctor. They keep a blue print of you ON FILE IN CASE THE SHEEET HITS THE FAN HEALTH WISE.

Get some health coverage. More important than anything. Trust me- I've been out here for years- and this advice is vital. HTH.
Tim, How can you tell he doesn't have life insurance from his post? I'm just curious.

Also on that topic..........I am a huge supporter of musicians getting health insurance! I was a full time musician with no insurance in the early 90's. I started having these weird things happening with me. Around that time I happened to take a job as a store manager for some extra cash. I got insurance in the deal and a month afterwards found out I had a brain tumor. I have no idea what would have happened if I didn't have insurance. Since then I have probably had at least million dollars in medical procedures. Don't gamble........get insurance. Ok. Back to being an endorser. Sorry for the interruption. Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for sharing the story Tim, I really appreciate it. The subject has always been one that has intrigued me. I have never really heard a full story on how it really happens. So it looks like the way to do it is to put yourself out there. For me, pondering free shiny stuff is always motivation for practice. Being a teenager, I have never thought about any sort of health risk, but i'll definitely look further into it, it has just never crossed my mind. Once again, thanks for the advice
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Columnist and Saxophonistic Art
Joined
·
6,260 Posts
Tim, How can you tell he doesn't have life insurance from his post? I'm just curious.

Also on that topic..........I am a huge supporter of musicians getting health insurance! I was a full time musician with no insurance in the early 90's. I started having these weird things happening with me. Around that time I happened to take a job as a store manager for some extra cash. I got insurance in the deal and a month afterwards found out I had a brain tumor. I have no idea what would have happened if I didn't have insurance. Since then I have probably had at least million dollars in medical procedures. Don't gamble........get insurance. Ok. Back to being an endorser. Sorry for the interruption. Steve


Steve- Heath insurance...I think you meant that. Like the medical kind.

These young cats gotta know this stuff. If a guy breaks a tooth, or gets a hospital visit, he's up that famous creek. That's why I tell guys- make sure you got HEALTH INSURANCE.

1.hAVE A PRIMARY CARE DOCTOR THAT KNOWS YOUR DEAL And a dentist and eye doc. This is life stuff that every year you need.

HEALTH INSURANCE..... :mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Columnist and Saxophonistic Art
Joined
·
6,260 Posts
Well, that's only a part of it.
Yes and no....there are great players I tried to get endorsements and it never stuck.

Guys that are fantastic- play rings around major players too. Players who would drop jaws if they were exposed properly. Players who are KNOWN....and recorded in a great way. EITHER CASE....It never stuck. Go figure.

If your playing music to get free stuff....that's pretty crazy. The only free stuff you might get is a headache, depression or if your lucky a warm beer. lol.

You play music, to play music.

I play- BECAUSE I HAVE TO. I had no other choice...it was either music or
nothing. I'd gladly drive a truck if it came to that. Thank god, things are good. Not great, good.

ENDORSEMENTS... are all different. What have you got to offer? Popularity might be an in road- if you got a major pop gig- but those are few and far. Each player vary s as I said.
Sometimes it's like a horse race...you never know why or how.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Columnist and Saxophonistic Art
Joined
·
6,260 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,525 Posts
I've never been endorsed, nor will I be, but I do own a business so here's my perspective. Look at it from the perspective of the business owner/executives, they aren't going to put your picture in their ads and link your reputation to theirs unless they have evidence that you are going to be positive for them. Tim has a great record in this regard and I think it has at least as much to do with his attitude and his ability to communicate his enthusiasm for the music and his instrument. The musical ability is just the first piece of the puzzle, the rest is what you do with it off the bandstand.
 

·
Forum Contributor 2017
Joined
·
7,488 Posts
That statement about insurance is right on the money! Bad health means no playing. Marry a Doctor. :)
 

·
Forum Contributor 2016, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
12,793 Posts
Steve- Heath insurance...I think you meant that. Like the medical kind.

These young cats gotta know this stuff. If a guy breaks a tooth, or gets a hospital visit, he's up that famous creek. That's why I tell guys- make sure you got HEALTH INSURANCE.

1.hAVE A PRIMARY CARE DOCTOR THAT KNOWS YOUR DEAL And a dentist and eye doc. This is life stuff that every year you need.

HEALTH INSURANCE..... :mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:
Whoops. Yes, I meant health insurance. Sorry.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Columnist and Saxophonistic Art
Joined
·
6,260 Posts
I've never been endorsed, nor will I be, but I do own a business so here's my perspective. Look at it from the perspective of the business owner/executives, they aren't going to put your picture in their ads and link your reputation to theirs unless they have evidence that you are going to be positive for them. Tim has a great record in this regard and I think it has at least as much to do with his attitude and his ability to communicate his enthusiasm for the music and his instrument. The musical ability is just the first piece of the puzzle, the rest is what you do with it off the bandstand.
YUP- My thing aside from the playing...is to propagate an art form. To talk about what is REAL and also needs to be heard/ studied and dealt with. If you dig what I'm doing cool- if not cool too. I'm there for something different, not everyone is- I am.

Rico Reeds digs that...and they tell me to do weekly blogs and WRITE WHAT I WANT. One time I figured I'd test them and put a Christmas cookie recipe on my blog- and next thing I know everyone loved it- and I'm getting guys wives STILL telling me they use that recipe at the holidays! < It had booze it it!! >
That also said, I also let a bunch of the managers and staff there (and wives) copy my travel Ipod!! Which has everything from Dexter to poets reading with the Grateful Dead ( I got the dubs from Bob Weir) to 10 hours of Bird! They were into it. Hence- mission accomplished in a mini-way.

That said, I also turned down a major major company because I did not feel the need to leave SELMER. They wanted me to endorse a bassoon- and had boot-legs of my bassoon jazz in their company- I could of walked into it easy- Plus it's an honor to know Patrick Selmer as a friend too. My loyalty to SELMER was there and also- I have a bassoon made by MOOSEMAN. To step away from that, would be like telling Sharon Stone forget it honey- I'm going to call a dating service. hahaha-Ya know?
 

·
Moderator
Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
Joined
·
28,919 Posts
I just wanted to know how the endorsers here got the oppurtunity to represent a particular company, and how to approach getting endorsed (besides practice, practice, practice.)
Apart from being a good player (or instead of in some cases, mine possibly), you need to have some public profile. Endorsement deals I've had or been offered have always been connected with me being seen by a reasonably large audience. In my case the deals were either negotiated by a manager or I was approached directly.

If you don't have a manager it really helps to be an outgoing person, as there may not always be a manager to do the schlepping around. What you ned to imagine is picking up the phone to a company, or walking up to them at a trade show, and asking if they will sponsor you to endorse their product. Do you have the front to do that? And do you have a good answer when they ask you why they should give you a free horn or mouthpiece? What's in it for them?

Occasionally they may take a risk on an unknown young player who plays really well, and has a chance of becoming known. However (as with record deals) this is becoming less common, they usually want someone already established.

Some companies don't actually give you a free instrument, but they may pay you in other ways, e.g by giving you publicity, subsiding gigs etc.

But, there are some companies that will also sponsor a teacher with many students. In that case they don't necessarily need to be a famous (or semi famous) performer, but would need to show that they can represent the company to their students, and shift some product that way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
[If your playing music to get free stuff....that's pretty crazy. The only free stuff you might get is a headache, depression or if your lucky a warm beer. lol.

I play because I love performing, but I find that any extra motivation helps.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009
Joined
·
3,286 Posts
I was endorsed as an athlete (racquetball) a million years ago, briefly. The thing that Tim said that was key to my experience in a different field was the WORK he put into being endorsed. Don't assume its free stuff and cash, period. Tim just told you about a blog, workshops, seminars, trade shows, etc etc.

It was the same with r-ball. I got it because I was a good player, but also because I was running tournaments, clinics, etc, and was willing to do trade show stuff for them, product demos, and the like. Convincing them that you could be an effective spokesman in such situations, and showing you're willing to work hard to promote them, is probably at least as important as your skills (again, if my experience says anything). There were better players than me, but few more articulate or hard working.

Think like a businessman for a minute, who would you want to endorse your gear -- its a balance of playing skills, low drama, hard working, articulate, etc. -- and all of those things can probably balance each other, within reasonable limits.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top