Greg Kramer always knew he wanted to make music; it just took a while before he was able to make the transition from part-time singer/songwriter to full-time musician. Before making the leap, Greg was a Journeyman Newspaper Pressman for 40 years and spent the last 17 years working for The Wall Street Journal until he was laid off.
At the time, Greg had already begun to put together a recording studio but no one would have guessed that being laid off was blessing in disguise and would help Greg achieve his dream rather than hinder him:
“I built my recording studio about 6 years ago and had always planned on making the transition into music full-time. As I was preparing to do this, my former boss (Rupert Murdoch, of News Corp fame), kind of “helped me along” on my journey last September (9-11-09!!) when he decided to close my plant in Riverside, CA. Utilizing the severance package I received from Dow Jones/ News Corp as “seed money,” I gladly left the newspaper world to pursue my lifelong passion of making music. Although, the initial transition was difficult (losing one’s main source of income, etc), I saw it as an opportunity, not a negative thing.” Not only was the time right financially, (well, sort of) but Greg noticed that his skills were sharper than ever and that his creativity was booming.
“I find not only my songwriting, but, ALL aspects of my skills (singing, arrangement, recording, production, playing) are ALL flourishing in middle age. I have been blessed to work with many wonderful players, engineers and producers over the years, all of whom, have taught me valuable skills and tricks, in making music. I`ve never had greater opportunity, than at this time in my life!”
Drawing on influences such as The Beatles, Tom Petty, The Bryds and Bruce Springsteen, Greg put together The Greg Kramer Band about a year ago. Right now, the band is working on putting together their first album and moving beyond The Cask ‘n’ Cleaver Steakhouse in San Dimas, which they’ve come to outgrow.
Greg Kramer is out to prove that just because the industry ignores older artists, doesn’t mean that bands like his can’t be successful. “It’s unfortunate. The Industry’s obsession with youth is misguided, in my opinion. Other demographics are largely forgotten, and, written off as not viable ($$). “Baby Boomers” are such a large portion of the population, it’s stupid to ignore them (look at all the success of ”Classic Rock” acts, on tour, CD`s, etc). There is a lot of revenue in the “baby boomer” generation! This misguided view the Industry has, is what has put them in dire straits. Yea, no kidding Greg. With all of the DIY artists and producers out there making their own dreams come true, it won’t be long before record labels have any say in who makes it and who doesn’t. That’ll be the day, won’t it? For all you out there thinking about taking the leap of faith, wondering about whether or not they can do it, and hoping to leave their job for something better, Greg has some words for you:
“I would just say, follow your heart, follow your passion. Be optimistic about what you CAN do, what you CAN accomplish. Don’t believe in the “so-called” odds against your success. If I listened to all the naysayers over the years, I would have given up a long time ago! BELIEVE in yourself and your abilities. I love the old adage I’ve known for years: “You can hear a thousand no’s, it only takes one YES!”
It’s never too late, you’re never too broke, and you need a little push, here it is…your first YES.