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🥵 One of the craziest weeks of my life!

🥵 One of the craziest weeks of my life!

Hey,

I hope you’re doing well! I’m presently in my London hotel room drinking a very hot coffee enjoying a nice view of the Central London skyline from my Southwark hotel location. I really love this city, and every time I have the privilege to step foot in this historically, artistically and culturally rich place, I can’t stop listening to my favorite British bands, which have influenced and transformed me over the years! I’m currently delighted by my favorite British band of all time, Pink Floyd, listening to one of my favorite songs of all time from the Meddle album (1971) called Echoes! Great day ahead!!!!

It makes me remember that I asked you a great question last time I was in London, which was “What does music mean to you?” and I still remember some of your answers: No Music No Life!

I wanted to share what the last few days have been like for Alex and me recently, since, for another time this year, nothing went according to plan, but in a good way this time! I wanted to share this with you, as you’ll understand a little more how Alex and I are around some decision-making process, and also, following several messages from you, why The Club packages have been shipped a week earlier than originally planned! Great question!

It all started as I came back home, in Drummondville, last Sunday after an exhausting trip to the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg. This has been a quite fruitful trip since, as I hope you noticed, Alex already started announcing 2024 festival appearances last week and there will be many more to come! I was sitting on my outdoor porch catching my breath, but also looking at another music conference occuring in London, which started on Tuesday (last Tuesday), and where every festival representative in Europe gathers for 3 days in the Southwark district. Many people I met in Hamburg told me I should go there, as this was THE place to be!

I’m looking at the sun going down on the city taking notes of every challenge my departure would encounter.

  1. I need to write down hundreds of postcards to every member of The Club. (I had none written at that time since shipping was in 7 days at that point).
  2. The shipping. I had no idea where the team was at, and to change it 7 days prior to what we originally planned can bring massive complications and mistakes - speaking by experience here).
  3. This is an invitation-only festival and I obviously haven’t received any as I am not a booking agent nor a festival either.
  4. I don’t know if I can move my flight to London to Tuesday instead of the following Sunday. Alex and I have been invited to a conference called Ireland Music Week in Dublin and we had to stop in London on the way to ship the packages, then go to Dublin for a week.
  5. I don’t have a hotel, I won’t have much time to send emails for meetings – if ever I’m invited – so clearly, I’m not ready.
  6. My phone rings. It’s Alex!


“Hey brother, how was your week?! You never called and gave minimum news, you’re a terrible friend!” Typical start to a conversation between Alex and I after a week away. Then he goes, “You’re going to tell me you were busy, but in reality, you only spent countless hours talking with people, checking out bands, and enjoying a few drinks! You call that working?! I was at home working while you were having fun!” How blessed am I to have such a friend who missed me that much?

And I said “Yes! Exactly! And I also think I should leave for London this Tuesday for a festival conference as I think it could be beneficial for us regarding next year!”

As you also read Alex’s journal and heard last week’s open Conversation, his boy MacKaye – don’t call him a dog – is very sick with cancer, and I’m trying to keep Alex’s focus somewhere else, more exciting, and more overwhelming, as I know we’ll have to talk about it, so, great news or great projects first!

Alex goes right away into the 5 points enumerated above and adds “Let’s do it! Let’s gather the entire team on a call and see how we can get this done! Coffee is on me!!!”

I then hear knocking on my door and go “Someone’s here, let me call you back”. And Alex says, “I’ll stay here waiting (knowing what was about to happen)!” I went to the door, all my friends and family were waiting for me with food and drinks, wanting to celebrate me coming back from Germany! How funny! Alex and I are so good at turning what was supposed to be a party into a meeting! I love it! Friendship and entrepreneurship at its best! So here I was, with a glass of gin tonic in hand, explaining to everyone what the idea was, what its challenges were, and wondering if we could make it happen as a team! After 45 minutes, well, the answer was yes!!!

Since they brought amazing food, I decided it was a great idea to share dinner even if I was jet lagged and my entire body and mind were screaming at me to go to bed. We spent the next hour planning everything properly! While they were finishing the conversations and of course, the dishes, I called Alex back and we went through every flight, hotel, and budget details together! I then told him that I needed an invitation, and that we should do this tomorrow. He said,”Good luck with that, this is your challenge now!” He probably meant my problem…Ha! I didn’t need any more coffee afterwards, my lovely friend and life partner we call stress invited himself to the party and kicked in! I went to bed at 1am that night!
 

6am, Monday Morning

I see postcards running in my head and get out of bed in a heartbeat! First things first: I need an invitation! I’m not sure if it’s a good idea for me to share every detail of how I got the invitation, since the saying goes that writings live forever, so I’d rather only tell you that I managed to be invited! Thank God! So now, postcards party!
 

3am, Tuesday Morning

I literally spent the entire day, until 3am, writing to you all, which is a yearly treat to me, even if it does obviously take a lot of time! I then started at 7am the next day, departure day, as I had to finish at 12pm in order for the team to finalize the packages as I was leaving at 4pm! I don’t have a hotel booked, I don’t have any luggage packed at that point! Stress level is to the roof! I kinda regret that crazy idea which is on the verge of turning into a stupid idea. But it’s a little too late! I got my invitation, the flight has been changed, pretty much no one slept since Sunday evening: I gotta deliver!
 

4pm, Tuesday Afternoon

The 4pm bell rings! I’m rushing to reach the warehouse with my luggage, I’m 10 minutes late, and I learned that I have too much clothes, my suitcase is too heavy, I need to downsize my wardrobe by half, and I’m leaving for 2 weeks! I’m too tired to argue, much less convince, so, I comply! Carry-on luggage for two weeks! It was definitely a stupid idea! Ah, and of course, I booked my hotel in the car on my way to the airport!
 

6pm, Tuesday Evening

At the airport, check in was complicated since the boxes were almost too big – more stress! – but it worked out in the end! I wanted to arrive a little early, so I could call Alex and also send a few emails, hoping to get a few meetings with festivals prior to arriving at the conference. Alex was so excited and on fire, it was beautiful to hear! We had such an inspiring and soulful conversation about this spirit of ours that should never leave us, or even be downsized! We made a toast, and were very emotional! Must be the jet lag or the lack of sleep, or, of course, the stress! I then started sending emails before reaching my gate to learn that… Guess what? Flight delayed for 3 hours! Stress is back like never before…! I can’t not leave!

I decided to listen to loads of punk rock sitting at the gate while sending emails, transferring all my angriest vibes and the words I want to scream into a nice and polite headbanging gesture... You know, the cool one being publicly accepted. But deep within, I’m in a room with Air Canada’s President and it’s not pretty!
 

2am, Wednesday Morning

Plane leaves…! I can’t tell you how happy I am! I asked the flight attendant for a scotch, then I fell asleep, since a huge amount of stress left me all at once! But the great news was that I could send all my emails – 89 of them!

It’s been the best music conference I attended thus far, and trust me, I did far too many over the years! I’m very glad about this idea in the end! Next trip, Dublin on Monday for another week of talking, drinking and watching bands, not necessarily in that order!!! :)

I’m already receiving great pictures of you and your beautiful packages! I simply wanted to let you know that the song on the vinyl is also available for free download on The Club website.

Alex and I were supposed to travel to Dublin together, but due to MacKaye's health situation, he decided it was better for him to stay closer to him in case something happens. I’m sharing this with you as I planned an open Conversation with him while in Dublin but I’ll send him a Q&A instead around the song, the vinyl, and what it’s all about – as I know you all have thousands of questions around that!

Nothing goes as planned a lot of the time in Alex’s and my world...! Sometimes, for the better, sometimes, for the worse! We’re in a great season of our lives now and it’s just getting started! Life is so rich and we’re both so grateful!

Enjoy the new music in the meantime!

Let’s be great to one another!

Your Host and Friend,
Jeff

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