When I hire a new employee, whether it is a musician, a crew member or a driver, several factors come into play.
Of course, in the case of a musician, the first thing I consider is how well they play, how their style of playing goes with the band's music, and their stage presence.
Another important factor for somebody becoming a member of The CDB is the respect they have for the heritage and reputation of a band that has been around for over forty years.
And, of almost equal importance is, if necessary, can you ride on a bus for 24 hours at a stretch with a bunch of guys and get along with everybody? Can you take an early morning plane flight, arrive in a city tired and worn out and go on stage and entertain the people who have spent their hard earned money to see you play?
If you're a road crew member, can you sleep three hours and make a 7 AM stage call, stay at the venue all day and be ready to load out and do it again the next day?
If you're a driver, can you drive the extra three hundred miles to get us where we need to be when we need to be there?
And no, we don't ask our people to stretch out like that every day, but the scenario does pop up from time to time and if you can't take the pressure you have no place in my pressure cooker.
My people have 401k plans, medical insurance and job security, I don't come home for Christmas break and fire everybody for the holidays. My paychecks come the first and the fifteenth, and they don't bounce.
In return, when push comes to shove and making a show on time means extra effort, I expect it and get it. All the culls get weeded out pretty quickly around here and most of the rest have been with me for decades.
I guess that's why, when I see downright sloth and people who do no more than show up and do the smallest amount of work they can possibly get away with, it really bothers me.
It is my fervent beliefs that, if you can’t get what you want, take what you can get and make what you want out of it.
If you have to start out with a job you don't like, do such good work that your employer wants to keep you. Make yourself worth something and you'll get something out of it at the same time you're developing a work ethic that will take you where you want to go.
If you wait tables, be the most efficient and friendly waiter in the place. Take care of your customers, don’t let the water glass get empty, keep the dirty dishes off the table, learn their names. Be special and they will start requesting your tables - and the boss can't help but notice because you're making him money.
If you're digging ditches, dig it straight and deep; if you're chopping wood, have the biggest woodpile at the end of the day.
In other words, whatever you do, if you'll do it better than everybody else and get along with your co-workers, not complain, be the first one to get there and the last one to leave, then brother, sister, somebody is going to notice you and put you at the head of the line.
Moving up in the world means shouldering responsibility and responsibility means doing whatever you do to the best of your ability and when you prove you can handle it, you are going to move up in the world because there are so few people these days who are willing to go the extra mile.
If a medium-talented, nearsighted kid from rural North Carolina can make something out of his life, you can too.
That's the name of the game.
Pray for our troops.
What do you think?
God bless America