Later this month, Tucker Publishing Group leaders will join our peers in Chicago for the City and Regional Magazine Association’s 35th annual conference. This will be the 10th straight year for us to attend, and I am proud to represent the small market segment of CRMA by serving on the national board of directors for the third year. We are particularly pleased to be members of this association because of the very stringent set of journalistic and publishing criteria that must be constantly maintained.
We also are very gratified this year to be finalists — determined by judges from such luminaries as the Wall Street Journal, Esquire, National Geographic Magazine, and others — in two very important award categories: Community Service Project for the 2010 Evansville Living Downtown Idea Home (in which we partnered with the city of Evansville and Indiana Landmarks) and something I am equally proud of, Best Ancillary Publication for Evansville Business. We already are one of the smallest cities to have a lifestyle publication with Evansville Living, but to see the success and continued growth of Evansville Business in such a small market has been very gratifying. I thank the readers, advertisers, and supporters who help make this possible. Let me assure you that the support is appreciated. We will let you know how we fared.
As with most professions, there occasionally are some nice perks associated with publishing magazines. One of the best ever was afforded to me just last week. Several months ago, when I first heard about legendary E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg coming to play and lecture at the University of Evansville’s Snyder Concert & Lecture Series, I was borderline incredulous at Evansville’s and my good fortune as a “borderline” but very passionate drummer. Max (along with Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones) is my longtime drumming idol.
Fortunately, as an alum, friend, and publisher, I was able to wrangle an invite to the pre-show dinner. Pretty cool to walk into an intimate dining space and converse with someone you literally grew up listening to and seeing live — several (!) times. Then it was onto the show at the Victory Theatre, where I was able to ensconce myself less than 30 feet from the man himself on the stage. The UE Jazz Ensemble definitely was jumpin’, and watching Max “do his thing” and obviously enjoy doing it was quite a thrill. It was very apparent from audience interaction that I wasn’t the only one.
But the best was yet to come. Since Max had an early morning commitment in Nashville the next morning, I was able to hang out for 90 minutes or so after the show with him and then drive him to Nashville. As we drove through the night, having a good time and interesting conversation, it really reminded me that in many ways, a famous rock star is not that different than you and me — it’s just that he occasionally talks about his friend Bruce and reflects on playing the Super Bowl halftime show!
As always, I look forward to hearing from you.
Todd A. Tucker