CelebrityMagic is all about the magic that celebrities weave when they dedicate their time and energies to give back to the world. If you’re looking for celebrity gossip, you won’t find it here. You will discover many interesting facts about what inspires celebrities and emerging celebrities to step up and improve the world as they what is usually an exceptionally private side of their lives.
The book will be published in 2014, but parts of it are available as they are written.
The published edition (2014) of Celebrity Magic will contain interviews, insights that come from interviewing a wide variety of celebrities, a list of resources and other material. Prior to publication, you may listen to selected interviews and, you may download the interviews and read parts of the book by becoming a member of this site..
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Celebrities truly have a golden opportunity to improve the world. Within days of a celebrity endorsing a cause, worthwhile organizations can raise tens of thousands of dollars. It’s common for a celebrity, or a number of celebrities, to raise millions of dollars to fight against a disease. When a disaster strikes and celebrities band together for a benefit concert, hundreds of millions of dollars are raised. In 1985, Live Aid raised $245 million for famine relief in Ethiopia. In January of 2010, George Clooney and musician Wyclef Jean organized the Hope for Haiti Now concert. It was a huge success, raising $57+ million for organizations including Oxfam America, the Red Cross and UNICEF.
Celebrity Magic: Celebrities, their Causes and the Magic they Weave takes you behind the scenes with celebrities. Discover why celebrities endorse the causes in which they believe. Learn what they have done to make the world a better place, and how they have accomplished this.
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Nick Chavez is known as the “Hairdresser to the Stars.” He has many high-profile clients, including Maria Shriver. In this interview we explore Nick’s considerable philanthropy, especially his efforts to cure Cancer. You’ll discover, many interesting facts about his early childhood, including how his relationship with Caesar Chavez (who started the United Farm Workers) affected his life. Did you know that Nick started out grooming horses? It’s a fascinating interview of a rags-to-riches story that reveals a usually private side of a celebrity’s life. You can listen to an excerpt of the interview by clicking on the VCR-style button.
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Here, is one of the many videos that are available on Nick’s web site, http://www.NickChavezBeverlyHills.com.
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Alan Jordan: Hello, this is Alan Jordan with Celebrity Magic, and I am pleased to have with me my guest today, Nick Chavez. Welcome Nick.
Nick Chavez: Hey Mr. Alan, how are you doing today?
Alan: Good, Nick. I am sure that the majority of people who will be listening to this are very much aware of your abilities and [that] you had a modeling career. You have been out there developing your own product line of care, [and] hair care services, and they really will be very interested and knowledgeable about what you have done. I realize that people will know about you, but in your own words [please] describe yourself else, as a person. [Please share] your concept of yourself as it relates to giving in charities, and then we will get in some questions. . .
Following is a web-based presentation. For full formatting and pictures, please download the .pdf file above. Some of the formatting is lost on the web.
Unassuming Nick Chavez:
An Annotated Interview with a Quiet Philanthropist
Credit: Google Image Search 12/24/2010. Click to see a dynamic search.
“I think one of the greatest things is just giving and serving. If you really can find it in your heart to give back or you don’t have to be a celebrity …” (Link)
I am really, really blessed to have some wonderful clients, and who do, to this day, give back. I think one thing that is really great about that is having these clients, we are constantly reminded all the time when we see them what we have to do, where we have to go, and what we have to give. (Link)
In this interview, Nick discusses his aunt and her foundation.
Interviewed by Alan H. Jordan for
Celebrity Magic: Celebrities, their Causes and the Magic they Weave
Alan Jordan is the author of hundreds of magazine articles, six business books, four audio books for children and The Monster on Top of the Bed, a picture book for children ages 2-7 that allows children to banish monsters at will and models The Golden Rule.
Male Announcer: TalkShoe. Recorded live.
Alan Jordan: Hello, this is Alan Jordan with Celebrity Magic, and I am pleased to have with me my guest today, Nick Chavez. Welcome Nick.
Nick Chavez: Hey Mr. Alan, how are you doing today?
Alan: Good, Nick I am sure that the majority of people who will be listening to this are very much aware of your abilities and [that] you had a modeling career. You have been out there developing your own product line of care, [and] hair care services, and they really will be very interested and knowledgeable about what you have done. I realize that people will know about you, but in your own words [please] describe yourself else, as a person. [Please share] your concept of yourself as it relates to giving in charities, and then we will get in some questions.
Nick: Okay, it all started out. First of all, I am Latino and Indian, so I am the – my uncle is Caesar Chavez with the United Farm Workers, so coming from a Mexican American background and Indian background, I created a hair care line, which is Nick Chavez, and that hair care line is all based on, you know, the Aloe Vera ancient tradition mixed with modern technology.
So what I decided to do is create a hair care line, which I now sell all over the world on QVC; Japan, Germany, we sell in Canada, we are starting Italy and France. So it is pretty much an international hair care line that has been on QVC for 17 years. And it all started basically in my backyard, you know combing the manes and tails of the horses for all the wealthy kids, so I can make an extra buck, so that I could show my horses. So I learned to cut the manes and tails of the horses, then I thought well if I can do the manes and tails of these horse tails, I can do people’s hair. And that is how it all started, so then I moved to Los Angeles and I became this hair dresser that started doing the celebrities at a very young age. And then from there what I went on to doing was modeling all over the world, and you know, TV shows, like I used to be on the West List, Hollywood Detective, Moonlighting, those shows.
Ed Carmine was on there and many many national commercials and I travelled back and forth to Europe when I was modeling. And then I came back and I decided well let me put together a hair care line. Well that hair care line started the whole Nick Chavez branding, and since then you know, for 17 years. I really I’m happy to say that I absolutely love what I do, and because of all these you know, and when you have a platform you do want to give back, and that is how all these started.
You come across some of the most amazing, you meet some of the most amazing people, and it all started out with, you know I have a lot of charities that I give to, which I absolutely love. Like the Race to End MS, I also support the children’s Diabetes and the Carousel of Hope by Barbara Davis and Nancy Davis. Her daughter does the Race to End MS, Make-A-Wish Foundation, the United Farm Workers, American Cancer Foundation for Cancer Research. I also work with Maria Shriver on The Woman’s Conference, Dolores Huerta Foundation, YMCA, The Cedar-Sinai Medical Center, American Red Cross, Team Fox for Parkinson’s Research, MALDEF, the Los Angeles County Canine Association, Salvation Army, Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter, and the California Organization of Police and Sheriffs.
The reason I am so involved in so much is because I have so many wonderful clients, throughout my years I have been doing hair for over 30 years as a hair dresser. And you come across, some of these clients that have been with me for many many years, and they tell me about their foundation or what they are doing or – it has affected me because of their children, or either of themselves. So I really believe that it is really important that we give back, and one of my most favorite foundations that I give to is The Race to End MS, founded by Nancy Davis, who is a client and dear friend, and that started in 1993. Multiple Sclerosis attacks the brain and the spinal code, and it is a disease that is triggered by genetics, environment or an infection.
My niece was 17 years old when she was diagnosed, and that was in 1997. Consequently I had started giving to this foundation in 1993, because of my dear friend Nancy Davis. When my niece was talking about numbness and the feeling of the clumsiness, tripping her legs and hands were very numbness out of, how apropos, you know I had been already involved in this and now giving back, so it’s been a real blessing because it affected me, my family, which is my niece. And the blessing on that is just to give back and to make people aware, and to be a part of it, to use some of my celebrityship, and make a difference.
Alan: What a blessing! What a pleasure to know that something you’ve already been supporting is actually going on, to help out with people that you love.
Nick: Exactly, and you know Nancy has been a very good friend of mine, her and her mom and their whole family. You know Marvin and Barbara Davis have the Diabetes for the Carousel of Hope, with Nancy when she was diagnosed in 1993, and I have been doing her hair for many many years, and to let me know about what was going on with that, and I just said God let me be a part of that with you. You are such a wonderful person; you are always giving, giving, giving and giving. I became involved with the MS and when my niece got this, I was just like wow! God has just sent me a lifeline for my niece.
Alan: Still so many people, when there is someone in their family who is affected by an illness, feel hopeless, there is nothing they can do to help, and that is just marvelous that you actually have been doing something upfront, you are ahead of the curve.
Nick: It is kind of pretty much have been that way all my life, I have always been one of those people that has just always moved forward and really opened my eyes, and I don’t go through life with blinders on. It gets really great that when you aware of your surroundings and people, to listen to what people have to say, and I have learned so much from so many of my clients. You feel their ups and downs and their illnesses, you go through their deaths in the family and all that, and having a huge clientele like I have, you really feel a lot. And one of the great thing is, because I am in Beverly Hills, my clientele is really really amazing, people who are in positions that can help or give information or to help other people with doctors etcetera.
Alan: That is good. You know, I have a series of questions to ask you but …
Alan: … but before I get into ask you, there is just one thing that you said earlier that is really, I’ve been just standing here pumping it in, waiting to ask you this question, which is you started out doing the manes of horses.
Alan: Just as you can do people, which is harder and why?
Nick: Well, the great thing is, horses don’t talk back to you. You know, the only thing they can do is give you a swart with their tail, and you know that is the best part of it. But you know, most of my education I really feel about worldly experiences, you know other than my traveling. My clients have a [plethora]of information, it is really amazing what you can learn being a hairdresser, and then what you can in turn give back, you become like a therapist.
So you know one thing, those horses were really great with us on the ranch. [Dynamic Google Search for Horses on a Ranch.] You know the seven brothers and sisters. And we didn’t have very much money and I loved riding horses, I really wanted to be a horse trainer. And the only way that I could afford to, because you know my parents didn’t have the money to give me to show my horse, is get groom all the other kids’ horses for them before they showed, and then I would get up very early to do that. But I’m grateful my mom had a little pair of scissors then I would use them because I didn’t have electric shavers. And I learned to bevel, and I learned to trim up the manes and tails, and cut the nozzle and the ears and everything, and it looked like it was done with electric scissors, I mean electric shaver.
Alan: An electric shaver, a lot of stylists would look down on that like, “Oh, I would never use an electric shaver.”
Nick: Well you know what; it is amazing how resourceful you can be when you don’t have a dime.
Alan: That is true. Okay.
Nick: And I think a lot of us need to go back to just understanding you know what, it is all good, we can all be good if we just put our mind to be creative, and quite worrying about, how to get there, you know. The two things I think about success that freaks people out is, how am I going to get there? Where am I going to get the money? What are people going to think about me? Or the other way that they ruin everything is ego aging got out.
Alan: So true, but tell me something, your uncle was Caesar Chavez.
Alan: And I know from doing a little bit of research on Caesar from other things, that you know, he had a pretty rough life in the beginning as far as finance wasn’t just easy for him.
Alan: And I am wondering, how did being related to Caesar and seeing him start that union affect your attitude towards life, and how it might have even affected your attitude later towards philanthropy?
Nick: Well I think what it is, is you learn to be tenacious, You, we have a foundation it is like when you breed horses, because I have horses and I show them. They have this breeding in them; if you have a horse that is a runner, it’s been breed into them. So the work ethic was probably one of the greatest, greatest things, that was instilled into our whole family. We all work very, very hard. Where today everybody is like, “Aah mañana.” No.
My father would get us up at 5:00 in the morning, we would have to feed the animals, and one of the great things is when you do the same thing over and over again, you just become conditioned, the brain becomes conditioned to get up to go to work and to be the best you can. And having a very supportive mother who was always, you can do it, you can do it. But when you watch what Caesar did, Caesar did that, you know, it was to serve, doing God’s work. He was serving the people. He realized how important it was to again give back, and that is what he did. And, my aunt is Dolores Huerta, who is married to Caesar’s brother Richard Travis. She is out there still to this day grass roots, out there fighting for Proposition 1070; this is one of the most amazing women.
Figure 3: Richard Travis, with Humphrey Bogart in The Big Shot ImageCredit.
As with Caesar, one of the busy men, a lot of people compared to him to as a Gandhi because he really had that kind of a persona. When you really learn to share and to give back like that, I think that is one of the greatest things. So, I think when you look at getting back as a pedigree, the people – you could say people have one, it goes back to that. It is in our lines; we are this kind of people that give and support and do, like the Kennedy’s, look how great they are.
Alan: Oh yeah.
I am really, really blessed to have some wonderful clients, and who do, to this day, give back. I think one thing that is really great about that, is having these clients, we are constantly reminded all the time when we see them what we have to do, where we have to go, and what we have to give.
Nick: And Maria Shriver who has been a client of mine for over 18 years, and her mother Eunice Shriver when she was alive I used to do her hair also. I am really, really blessed to have some wonderful clients, and who do, to this day, give back. I think one thing that is really great about that, is having these clients, we are constantly reminded all the time when we see them what we have to do, where we have to go, and what we have to give.
Alan: Now, some people will be listening to this interview later and I thought may be you might want to give a plug for your aunt’s website. You happen to remember [the] URL for that [is it] on top of your head?
Nick: Oh, which one is that?
Alan: The one for your aunt.
Figure 4: Maria Shriver is one of
Nick’s Clients, and her hair looks great.
Nick: No, do you have Dolores Huerta’s website?
Alan: I heard it before, I should have kept it up. I was closing down all these windows; we will come back to it in a minute or so.
Nick: Yeah, it is DoloresHuerta.org
Alan: [For] anybody is listening, feel free to go visit it; it is a very interesting website. If you want to learn about activism, this is one of the places to go, a little bit of a plug there for her.
I think that with any foundations, or any kind of gift that we can give from the heart and the soul, to inspire people, to feel good about themselves, and also to give back, it is a blessing.
Nick: She is pretty amazing, and also they are really great. It is like Maria Shriver, I mean she has you know The Woman’s Conference, and she has a great website right now, and I am not sure what it is, I think it is Mariashriverthewoman’sconference. [Editor’s Note: It is http://www.womensconference.org/] You know, this is a woman who also gives back and really inspires women to be the best that they can be.I think that is really important and I think that with any foundation or any kind of gift that we can give from the heart and the soul, to inspire people, to feel good about themselves, and also to give back, it is a blessing.
Alan: Superb. There was a period of your life where you were into what I would call heavy duty modeling.
Alan: You were working with designers from runways, you worked with Dior, you worked with [Dior, Richard Tyler, Jean Paul Gautier, Ferre, Yves St. Laurent, Versace, Yohji Yamamoto, Armani, Claude Montana, Thierry Mugler, and Valentino], a whole slew of celebrities.
Alan: When you did that, how did that modeling aspect of your career affect your philanthropic interest today?
Nick: Well I think what it is, is you really – when I was doing – you know, when I was modeling because I was the Swatch watch guy. When I first came out I was Audemars Piguet guy. Not only did I do the runway but I was also photographed all over the world. I had a billboard in Time Square; I had a fridge in Air for Jeff Hamilton. And what you really realize is, there is a superficial part of that. And, you really start to see how the world sees the beauty, and you are consistently on a platform being judged or whatever, but really make me realize that I am more that just what I look like.
I was so gifted being Latino and Indian, and how I looked all over the world, they bought it. So I was able to build that part of the confidence on myself. And when you have confidence, you really feel good about who you are, and it is just, it is that journey. I think what it is, is just a journey that has gotten me to where I am. that you really can give back in a way that other than just having the door bell.
Because a lot of people take that in a way where they become that person, and they eat, drink and sleep it that they lose the concept of who they are, they lose themselves. But, I think that one thing, it builds a lot of confidence in yourself, at least for myself I should be speaking for myself, that it did build the confidence in me to realize wow, what I can do here now is use some of my celebrityship and really go out and make a difference. Do those red carpets, speak, give interviews. Really help other people who are less fortunate.
Somebody always wants to meet a celebrity, or somebody wants to be able to speak with one. And if you can get out there and speak at the schools or help in any way you can, I mean that is the gift because what that really does, it shows that you are using your showmanship, your sportsmanship and love for what you are doing,and because I was so gifted being Latino and Indian, and had a look, all over the world, they bought it. So I was able to build that part of the confidence on myself. And when you have confidence, you really feel good about who you are, and it is just, it is that journey. I think what it is, is just a journey that has gotten me to where I am, today that you really can give back in a way that other than just having the dollar bill.
Or, somebody always wants to meet a celebrity, or somebody wants to be able to speak with one. And if you can get out there and speak at the schools or help in any way you can, I mean that is the gift because what that really does, it shows that you are using your showmanship, your sportsmanship and love for what you are doing, because I was so gifted being Latino and Indian, and had a look, all over the world, they bought it. So I was able to build that part of the confidence on myself. And when you have confidence, you really feel good about who you are, and it is just, it is that journey. I think what it is, is just a journey that has gotten me to where I am, today that you really can give back in a way that other than just having the dollar bill.
Alan: One of the things I noticed is that, a lot of the charities that you support relate to Cancer
Alan: Is there a personal reason why this cause is so important? Is it because so many of clients have a personal interest in it and you just love to take up there, love of supporting that particular type of …
Nick: Well it all started out with a lot of my clients and then my aunt passed away from Cancer. Cancer seems to be the big, the big “C”; it affects so many millions of people. You really start to realize wow, this can happen to anybody. And it is really amazing it becomes like family, my clients because if you come to me to get your hair done, I end up usually doing the mother, the father, the grandmother their kids’ kids, their kids, I mean it is really wonderful.
So you really start to see how it has affected so many people, and when you are doing 20, 30 people a day, you really come across a lot of people. You really do see it on such a large level, because there [are] so many people that are affected by this. And when somebody comes to me and asks me if I can help up with the charity to get products for their foundation, like my dear friend Denise Rich which has the Angel Ball, her daughter had passed from Leukemia. She is one of my dearest friends, so it is really really important that I supported her. You realize that Cancer doesn’t give a damn to what age you are.
Alan: No, and it also doesn’t really care about your income status.
Nick: Exactly, you really realize how – how big Cancer really is and you really listen to some of the most heart felt stories. You know, when they have these huge charity events for them, and you realize how this affected somebody, and the tears that are shed and of sadness of what has gone on and wonderful people who have passed on because of this disease, who have given back also themselves. So that has been a big eye opener and it really fills you to get more and to do more, and to put the word out there. It is really amazing. The tongue can pass many, many, many tongues to many people to speak on many, many, many issues with Cancer, with Leukemia or MS or Diabetes, or many of these other diseases.
Alan: Many people who have Cancer lose their hair.
Alan: Or parts of their hair. You’ve developed an entire suite of hair care products.
Alan: They are online, virtually around the world.
Alan: You became unsatisfied with the available products that were out there. What made you unhappy with the available hair care products that you had, that existed. There were thousands of hair care products before your line came out.
Alan: When I look online at some of the comments about your hair products, they are unbelievably, unbelievably affirmative. Everybody loves them, as a matter of fact, on our web page here I took one of your videos that you have on your website. I took the liberty of putting it up on ours …
Alan: … so people can see how you actually make somebody’s hair look nervously better in a matter of minutes or so.
Nick: Great, well you know what it is. I think one thing what I have done again as I am Latino and Indian, I have stack to my ancient tradition. The Aloe Vera, the Chamomile, the Aloe Vera is such a healing product, the plant and then the Chamomile, for scientific. So with every product that I do, I pretty much try to keep to that ancient tradition, of course we mix with modern technology so we can be on top of the curve, but I think by doing that, that has created these hair care products that really do work. And to be on QVC for 17 years, I think that speaks for itself that this product really that does work. There are a lot of products out there that are filled up with a lot of sulphates and a lot of water and a lot of – you know product name that you can’t pronounce literally or understand what they are trying to say. You look on my ingredient deck, you will see that they are filled up with pretty great things. The persistency and also be very tenacious, and really believing in what I am doing, and I think that that will speak the volumes of how I become who I become today, because I didn’t give up.
Alan: There comes a point and time in everybody’s life, where they look at something and say that is good but I can do better.
Alan: Not everybody’s life but anybody who successfully developed a product.
Alan: Everybody who has done that looks at something else and says, “Oh, that is good but I can do better.” What made you visualize the fact that you could do so much better with your own line of your hair care products?
Nick: Well, when I started creating my line, what I realized is I would before I created my line, I would use a product from this company, a product from that company and a product from this one and that one. And I had about six or seven different products that I used, and I said how is it that these big companies don’t go round and find out that which is the best product from each line of products, because they are obviously a whole out there.
So you have your shampoo, your conditioner, you hairspray, your spray jells, your mousse, all that. What I was doing is I just created, like I saw when I was using I looked at it, I used them all the time and I said now what I have to do is create one line of this great great product, and that is how I did it. I went to our company and I said we have to change; we need to put Aloe Vera in there because I realized that a lot of their products don’t have Aloe Vera in there.
I was the first person to come out with volumizing products, before even the big name brand names came out with it. I was the first person to come out with volumizing products or plump-and-thick with collagen, before any of the big major companies did. And I have friends who work for these major companies that said it is really interesting that your products are right on the shelf, they have been copied when you first came up with your volumizing and thickening products, so that was a big compliment.
Alan: It certainly it was!
Nick: And also I do realize most people, they are not blessed with really thick hair, so I was thinking we really need to come up with a product that is going to give a volume and thickness, we always want more, it is the society.
Alan: Of course, there [are] probably some people whose hair they feel is too thick.
Nick: Right. That is when they get those Brazilian blowouts, to make the hair lay flat.
Alan: On your website, you have a number of products that you use, and they help people to visualize how they will be every day gorgeous . . .
Nick: Exactly, like I had a client who came in, and beautiful head of hair and I hadn’t seen her for a while. And she walked in and her hair was short and I said. Rita, what’s happened? And she just pulled of her wig, and she had a few little hairs there, and her hair had starting to grow back. So I put some mousse on and I said you know what, you are not wearing that wig anymore, let me cut your hair short and blend all of this in and I put little mousse on it, and you can’t imagine what that mousse did for her.
Alan: Oh, it built self esteem.
Nick: Self esteem. And you know what, I embraced her, and I mean I love this woman. She, Rita Esquivel. Dr. Esquivel is the one who created the Foundation for the Adult Education. And it is really amazing what this woman has done, and it was to her Cancer also, and she has been a client of mine when I started doing hair when I was 19. (Dynamic Google Search for Dr. Esquivel.)
When she got Cancer, I was like whatever you want me to be a part of, however I can help you I’m going to help you. She tells a story to this day, that when she walked in and I said you have to take that wig off, we are going to cut your hair and we are going to make you look really pretty. And I put a little bit of mousse and blue on her hair do, the little bit that she had. And we both had tears in our eyes, and she cried a lot and I hugged her, and it was one of those beautiful stories. She speaks about it, when she was doing her Adult Education.
But I think what happens a lot of times is, that the adults, they give scholarships for adults who are going back to school, because we forget about the adults who didn’t go get their degree. And a lot of the kids are out there, and their parents can’t help them. So she has created this foundation to do that that has been really really a big part of what I do also, was her foundation.
Alan: When I look at the videos that you have [on http://www.NickChavezBeverlyHills.com]you’ve got tremendous energy in all of your videos about the products and there’s just a tremendous amount of energy, and you actually show people concrete details as to why the products work.
Alan: And, I think that is fascinating. There were so many videos out there that tell people fluff about things, and you can’t believe a word, but actually see the products working, it is just fascinating
Nick: Well you know as my mother always said, make sure that everybody can afford it and tell the truth.
Alan: That’s some really some good advice.
Nick: Right. We all look at products and it is always like hope in the bottle, and it is really important to me to explain to people why they need to use it. And when I am on TV, selling on QVC, it is really important that I let the people know, this is for your type of hair. If you have fine thinning hair, this will be really great for you. If you are going to wear an up to you need to wear a little extra hold hair style, which will be the Diva Extra Hold.
Now if you are somebody who doesn’t like hairspray but you get little fly wave, then you will take the angel wings. Why do we create these volumizing thickening products? What you are doing is you are explaining to them what is it it’s going to do? How it is going to do for your hair? If it is good for you hair, most of the products in the market dry your hair out. Most of the shampoos and conditioners on the market, they have a lot of sulfate in it, minor PH balance. What I’ve done is I basically tried to break it down and make it really, really easy.
Alan: Yes, in a way, what you are doing is you are giving people ability to build their own self esteem, because hair is one of the most important aspects of self esteem.
Nick: Absolutely, because what I realized, you know, in this economy especially today I told the ladies when I am on air. I said if you can’t buy that brand new bag, you are wearing that same old black dress or you can’t buy that new shoes, one thing that you can do is change your hairstyle and let that be your great accessory.
Alan: When I look at the charities that you have supported, many of them have people who might possibly be suffering from self esteem; many lose their hair to Cancer. They lose their body movement because of Parkinson’s, they could – when you are homeless, which is one of the causes you’ve supported. You are obviously your self esteem is not as good as if you are sitting in a New York mansion. When you were young, you didn’t have all that lot of cash, you were out there trimming the horses and things. Did you have to fight to keep your self esteem high, and has that affected the way that you are giving your charitable contributions?
Nick: Well I think when I give – that is an interesting question that you ask. I never really had to fight for it, I think what it was, is that I just realized I had such a passion for giving and doing. And so when you grow up that way, we were taught as we were little to take care of the animals. Taking care of the animals you are constantly, you would feed them, you would pet them. I was in 4H, and FFA, so I raised sheep and I showed cattle, and I was showing horses.
. . . you learn to be very very good with the animals, as you get older you start to realize that was building self-esteem also. It is a good feeling to go out there and know that you have at a young age to feed that animal so it can eat. Of course, you would talk to it and pet it and do all those things, and they became like your little friends.
By the young age, you learn to be very very good with the animals, as you get older you start to realize that was building self esteem also. It is a good feeling to go out there and know that you have at a young age to feed that animal so it can eat. Of course, you would talk to it and pet it and do all those things, and they became like your little friends.
Yeah, I think not knowing became the knowing, it is really interesting. It is really really interesting that it is a nice feeling, when you learn to care for an animal and then of course, sharing with so many brothers and sisters, because we didn’t have very much money or anything. So we had to share, so I had to learn, so I was really blessed.
Alan: There are some people out there who can’t have dogs, they can’t have large animals or pets, because they are allergic to them, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t get a small animal like a hamster or a mouse, that they might be able to love and share and help.
Nick: Exactly. Or the other thing I say is, get a goldfish. You have to see that everyday you know, goldfish live forever or they pass on and you just get another one. So you have your little fish to feed, I mean it sounds really crazy little things. It is really amazing with human nature and I just love the fact that people love their animals and then some people love their animals more than they love their family
Alan: Yes . . .
Nick: And is one of the things …
Alan: We won’t get into that one . . .
Nick: So we love our little cats, people love their little dogs, people love their horses and animals and I think it is just . . .
Alan: I am curious, I know you’ve done a tremendous amount to help charities directly, but have the efforts that you’ve invested in causes, help those causes to provide leverage that helps them do, spend less time doing fund-raising? Have they been able to take any of your efforts, maybe recruit other people as a result of that? Or, put something special there, a book that they might sell or stats that help them provide additional leverage?
I just realized that it is just being that man who can just give whatever I give and however I help, and along with all the millions of people in this world. All that are involved, you know, thousands of people that are involved in this charities. That kind of force is what makes a difference, such a collaborative form of so many people’s wisdom, so much people’s money, so many other people‘s intelligence, all coming together they just form – it is like a snowball, so it does help and it really does make a difference.
Nick: You know what I think it is, Alan, I think I’m just like a second universe along with all the millions of people that give, couldn’t give myself that kind of credit. I just realized that it is just being that man who can just give whatever I give and however I help, and along with all the millions of people in this world, or that are involved. You know, thousands of people that are involved in this charities. That kind of force is what makes a difference, such a collaborative form of so many people’s wisdom, so much people’s money, so many other people‘s intelligence, all coming together they just form – it is like a snowball, so it does help and it really does make a difference.
And so, if I could just give a spec, I feel like I am blessed. And I think that a lot of people would probably tell you that same thing, that it is so many of us for the cause that makes the difference.
Alan: That’s great. Coming back to your products, you trademarked a phrase, Everyday Gorgeous. Just curious, what inspired you to actually go out and trademark this phrase?
Nick: I believe that everyday you can be gorgeous, you can look good, all you have to do is comb your hair. And what it is, I remember when I was a little boy, where these came from is when I was a little boy and when my dad was on the road all the time. When my mom had her hair done and had lipstick done, my dad when he walked to the door, he was so kind to her. And when she didn’t take care of her hair and didn’t you know, look really, really pretty because she was running around taking care of all of us kids and everything, I could notice that there was a different feeling.
Every time I knew my father was coming home as a little boy, I used to say, mom comb your hair, put your lipstick on, Dad is coming, Dad is coming. And it was just at a young age I was very aware of that, so my thing to women is even if you don’t have any money, put your lips on and flick your hair back, just look neat. And it is really great, and not only will it be good for your self esteem, but you know what, people around you will feel good. And, if your children see you looking pretty, they are going to think about themselves also to look good and take care of themselves
Alan: It’s absolutely true
Nick: It is so true, and when I watch my mom and my sisters, and when I was growing up and they have their hair always combed or put in braids, they always looked neat. I think that I was able to use all of that, and I think also being brought up around women I was able to give back to other women, I think it is really good that we inspire women. I think women are like beautiful crystal and they look so good that so many of them end up collecting dust, because they are not complemented or they are forgotten.
When women come to see me it is always about them, how pretty they look, like let me do your hair to make you look beautiful and, “How are you today?” What is going on with you? It’s all about them, and I think that is really important. And it is really amazing how many people just love that feeling, and if you finish their hair a big hug and a kiss and thank them so much for coming. It is just the most beautiful thing ever, you are so filled.
Alan: My mother passed away from complications of Diabetes.
Alan: But I will never forget …
Alan: … that when she got her hair done even in the hospital, it made her feel so much …
Nick: Aah! It is magic. It’s really one of those beautiful things. And I also created these little toweletts to clean the scalp, you can’t wash them in them and I know that a lot of people a lot of times can get their hair done in the hospital. So I created these little tallets, they are quick cleansing for the scalp of the hair that will pull the oil out of the hair, so at least she will be able to comb and they won’t look like real slick
Alan: And you don’t feel horrible.
Nick: No, exactly. And I think it is really really important again, that part of taking care of the family and doing wonderful things for the family, also friends or whatever anybody can do. And I always say that it is so important that everybody should, if you can’t give a dollar, give a helping hand. Put your hand up there open the door. If you see an older woman trying to get to her car, open her car door, if she is not afraid, do you know what I am saying? Or, anything you can do to help people, I think it is really really important.
Alan: So true
Nick: Like your neighbor, if you know that you have an elderly couple. If you are stopping by the store to pick up bread or anything you need, pick up a little box of cookies and drop it by their door. Do something sweet like that because we are all going to that place and heaven one day, and if you can make a smile or put a smile on somebody’s face, we got to do it.
Alan: Well, speaking of cookies and that reminds me of cookies and milk. And when you are thinking of milk, a lot of people have just come to accept the fact they are many milk pardons, and there are pictures of people who have children who have been abducted or they are missing. And I am wondering, in a completely different way, if you have ever considered, with all the products you’ve had, having something about a particular cause on one of the products. And, I can see very very good reasons for not doing it and superb reasons for doing it, but has it ever come up where you’ve considered doing that, and if so what has been the result of your contemplating it?
Nick: Well, I think one of the things is you know, like on QVC they have Cancer awareness monthly and they have the shoe sale there on the QVC. So with that company because we are partners with him, they do let us … we have to be very you know, there is all kinds of rules. So we have to abide by those rules. We do products that can be on the show for that day, to get back to Cancer. But I have to put a …
Alan: Generally no a good idea to put anything.
Nick: Oh no, I think it is always a great idea. We just give to charities like that, because you need to be very careful to put, you know how it is.
Alan: Oh yes
Nick: I mean …
Nick: You can never do enough without having somebody put you down or, and if you did, you didn’t do it well enough, and how come you didn’t do this? And how come you didn’t do that? And you are just like, my intentions were in the goodness, why did this turn out to be so awful? Because everybody has got an opinion of what you should or could not do, or how much you should give or what you didn’t do enough or you did this, or why didn’t you get this or why didn’t …
Alan: And you ruin everybody by giving too much.
Nick: Right, I mean you probably have been there yourself. You’ve written an article, why didn’t you put this one in there and how come you didn’t do that, and that sort of thing. I noticed in that article you did and it is like whoa! Listen my intention was good for the goodness of the people. Because as you know like my dear friend Maria Shriver, I have never met the most tenacious woman in my life, who has dedicated her life to giving, giving, giving and giving, and I love to give but I also have a job, I have my horses and it’s really a lot of work.
Alan: How many people do you do nowadays?
Nick: We do like – I used to do like 35 to 40 and that is when I had two assistants, but when I started going on the road, you know it total down because you are not here to facilitate the clients, so now 10, 15.
Alan: 10 – you still do 10 to 15 a day?
Nick: Oh yes, I love it.
Alan: That is amazing.
Nick: Yeah some days they are 8, some days 15, you know, it just fluctuates back and forth. But I have a beautiful assistant, she is so wonderful, Martha. And she’s been with me for 11 years, and we really get in there and make these women’s hair look so beautiful. Well I do highlights, color anything we can that makes them look good.
Alan: That is fantastic.
Nick: Then we smack a little divine light on their head.
Alan: When I go to the web and I do a search for your products, they show up in places like Dermstore.com and Folica.com. And there are a slew of other products that these guys sell.
Alan: When people visit a website like that, where it is not your exclusive product line. Do they recall some of your charitable things, and may be that might be one of the emphasis they have for selecting your products versus somebody else’s? Or do you think it’s pretty much just, that they really love the product line and they are going …
Nick: You know what, I think that a lot of times people who give the charities or help on charities they are – it is very quiet, it is not even spoken about. If somebody happens to find you know, do – like doing diligence and getting on the computer and finding out what you’ve done. Just most of all it is like, I never talk about, this is probably the first time I’ve ever talked about the charities that I have done. I have put them all on my bio but I never really give my self this crown of glory for what I do, I think it’s just a given.
I think if anybody stumbled across and seen what I have done, you know, that is great but it is not in any way, shape or form, would I ever use that in advertisement, because it is like…
Alan: Well I don’t want you to do it in advertising …
Nick: Oh you know what I mean
Alan: … and I hope that is part of this book that we are putting out.
Alan: People will become exposed to what you’ve done and they will. They absolutely will say, well if I have a choice of products and I know that this is a good product, and the price is about what I can afford to do anyway.
Alan: And it is competing with somebody else’s, I am going to support Nick because of all the wonderful things he has done.
Nick: Ooh, you see in that respect, that is the blessing. That is the thing that comes from human nature, really seeing the good in somebody, and being a part of that. And I think it is really wonderful, Alan, that you are that man who is going out there finding those people, who really make a difference, and that is a big blessing because with that being part of your platform, you’re really putting the word out there, what it is to serve.
Alan: Well, thank you. I want to come back to something that has been floating around in the back of my mind, since you started talking about the lady that you put some of this, what? And how do you feel about styling the hair of children who have terminal illnesses? Have you ever done that? Have you ever gone out with the lady’s foundation or some place like that?
Nick: No, I’ve never you know, because by the time the kids have gone into chemo, you know a lot of their hair has gone out. It is a really emotional ride, because when these women come in, and it is always children that affect me the most, because when I see – when my nice Mandy got MS at the age of 17 years old, that was pretty traumatic. It was really traumatic and I said, “Oh my God,” it is really sad when you see somebody at the young age. But the women who come in here or the men, what we have to do is we have to shave their head, because the psychological effects of seeing that hair just fall out by handfuls, it is too much.
So if somebody comes in and they are in chemo and they are telling me, you know I am going to chemo I am going to lose all my hair, and I said well when you are ready let me know, but we will shave your head. And you will wear pretty wigs or you will wear really pretty hats or scarves, because I have been through this. I have been doing hair for over 30 years, I have seen this and it will make it so much easier for you.
Alan: If there was a way that they can discount the fact that they have lost their hair/
Alan: Because there are other opportunities out there to make them look everyday gorgeous
. . . the kids are so much more accepting. It is really interesting that an adult is always thinking about: “Oh, I’m going to look this way; I am going to look that way,” and the kid is just – they put that little smile on their face and you hand them a little teddy bear, no matter how much pain they are in.
Nick: Exactly! And we see kids that have been sick and tuff like that, but you know the kids are so much more accepting. It is really interesting that an adult is always thinking about, “Oh, I’m going to look this way; I am going to look that way,” and the kid is just – they put that little smile on their face, you hand them a little teddy bear, no matter how much pain they are in.
Alan: One of the things I have noticed Nick is that as we are having this discussion, you are very fluent, you are very literate person, you’ve managed to put together information, you’ve created product lines, you deal with people all the time. I’ve noticed that a lot of the charities that you support have an emphasis on economic disparities. Literacy is often one of the things that pull somebody out of an economic hole, so to speak. If you can’t write, if you can’t speak well, you have a really hard time succeeding in today’s world.
Alan: I am wondering if part of your background has made you interested in helping out with literacy goals, and if there is anything in your childhood that related to may be your folks or something helping you to read, that really help you succeed?
Nick: Well I think one of the most beautiful things is, and it was actually a beautiful thing is, neither one of my parents graduated
Alan: Oh really?
Nick: Right. And that was the emphasis – you know they really put emphasis on us going to school and they really wanted us to be able to make a difference, because they didn’t get to you know, finish school. My father and my mother were always like, “Just finish the 12th grade.” So we love to read, I’m very much of a show off, I looking you know, magazines and movies or listing to music and I write music and lyrics. And spiritually listening to what they to say, and we also had a very very strong foundation in the Catholic Church, and a real love for God, and I think that with all of that together, it really built my confidence and I was able to go out into the world, and like I said earlier, with blinders off, my eyes were open. And my mother and father always said that you can do whatever you want to do. So that was amazing for me, because it really opened the door that I didn’t think I could something, I always knew I could because Mom and Dad told me I could.
Alan: Goes back to self esteem, one more time
Nick: Yeah, it is really amazing and you know coming from a Latino family and Latinos aren’t supposed to whatever whatever have this or have that or you know they are just migrate workers and that was that, and mom said and dad said no, whatever you want to do go ahead and do it. I was always very inquisitive too it as a kid, I was always thinking, oh I would like to do that and I do it. Oh I can do that, I drove a car by this water to irrigate with my father and I had to drive all the tractors and stuff on the ranch, and I was being part of 4H FFA and I think a lot of kids don’t have that today. You know, because when you are brought up on a farm you really learn a lot. When I was in 4H and FFA, they have this contest every year it was an Arizona Western College. What you had to do is judge the economy according to culture, livestock all these different things having to do with farming and you would get like 4 years of college paid for, I am the only person in the history that has ever won that contest twice in a row.
Nick: And it is just one of these like, I am one of this act like a photographic memory, I can look into something and I can pretty much remember it. It has been a blessing for me, and I am very aware of detail; that was another thing, because when we would have to comb the manes and the tails of the horses everything had to blend, so everything had to be in the right place. When you had to card out the wool on the lamb it had to be even and smooth, so that everything looked right. When you were showing your cattle brush them, all the lines, the brushing had to be even. I was very aware at a young age, and I was taught this and I have that instinct also at a young age. So I think that is what has been part of the reason that I [have] become [a] success is because I am aware, I’m very intuitive, I listen I read, I watch the …
Alan: It is wonderful.
Alan: Not everybody can be a celebrity.
Alan: And most of the people who will be reading this information in the book and listening to the MP3 files that we will have available on the site, will not be celebrities. As a little bit of closing advice, if you could give somebody what a non-celebrity can do to create a golden opportunity for others, what advice would you give to people who are listening to this broadcast, reading this book who are above average but just don’t happen to be a celebrity?
Nick: I think one of the greatest things is just giving and serving. If you really can find it in your heart to give back, or you don’t have to be a celebrity, I mean if it means volunteering your time, go and do it. Just do it, like the Nike Commercial, and my mom always said, “Just do it.” It is we always like I said, we find 50 million reasons why we can’t, they are the two things as I said earlier and then any of you is why people never make it or why people they never do anything for themselves, because they are always worried what people are going to think about me and where am I going to get the money?
Nick: And I come from nothing as you just get out there, and on your website check out, if you know somebody who has been ill with something or if you feel you can go feed the homeless or you feel that you can be a part of helping this world, do it, so important it is only time that is all we have and time is free.
Alan: Well, it seems to me your advice may be summarized as, “Forget the 50 million reasons why you can’t do it, find the one reason why you can.”
Nick: Why you can
Alan: And make a difference
Nick: And make a difference, I mean it is so easy. I mean we find 50 million reasons like you said, and it is just so nice and wonderful when you can get out there and do what you are supposed to do, and that is to serve. I really believe that God gave us all a gift here for whatever reason. You know, everybody has their own religious beliefs, but at the end of the day give back, do something nice for somebody, and it doesn’t cost money.
Alan: Excellent. Is there anything else that may be you wanted to say that I haven’t asked you?
Nick: No, actually like I am pretty good with everything. I feel really good about this interview and I think it is really wonderful and anybody who is listening to this really make a difference, even if you are not talking to your family members or friends or anything call them up and check and see how they are doing, I think that is great. Sometimes a phone call away is such a blessing. Do you know there are so many people go on, oh I’m not talking to my brother or I am not talking to my mom and I go, you know what call them up and just tell them you love them, you don’t have to explain anything, just. “I love you.”
Alan: Thank you so much for participating on our show and for being one of the people who have been included in the book, Celebrity Magic. I know you have a million things to do, we have to keep you on a schedule, so we will wrap up now and one more time, just thanks for visiting.
Nick: Well, thank you very very much. I really really appreciate it, and with all the blessings to you, okay.
Alan: Thank you.
Nick: Take care.
Alan: Bye for now.
Nick: God bless you. Bye bye.
 Author’s note: Here is an interesting article, Her Crowning Glory: When Women Lose their Hair, that appeared in Psychology Today, July 18. 2008.
I recently interviewed Montel Williams about Fisher House. Fisher House has 58 locations near Veterans Hospitals. Veteran’s families are invited to stay in Fisher House free while their loved ones are recuperating.
Learn why Montel is motivated to help this Charity Navigator 4-star rated organization in this interview.
This interview provides an intimate look into the motivations of a rock legend with regard to his philanthropy. He reveals himself as a person with well-rounded interests who cares deeply about making a difference locally and globally.
On March 1, 2011 Ian and I discussed his diverse charitable interests which include support of small wild cats and churches and cathedrals as important historic, cultural and spiritual places.
Some of the points covered in the interview are his:
- Support for local and global charities,
- Ian donates the proceeds from two albums to charity each year
- Ian pays all of the bills when he does a concert for charity, lest they not make any money at all;
- How and why cats have had a strong influence on four of his over 300 songs.
We discussed some of the criteria that Ian uses in selecting a charitable cause. Toward the end of the interview we also discussed the Aqualung tour. You may listen to the audio interview by clicking on this VCR-style player. The audio will be enhanced, and available for download to members later.
Following is a transcript that is available for Crystal Plus members
The following copy is still undergoing proofreading:
Ian Anderson: …the last few years I’ve done quite a few benefit concerts in churches and Cathedrals not because I am a Christian and trying to get people to sign up to religion but just because I like the buildings and the protection and the maintenance of those buildings and the fact that they are there for people to come together, they are places of social gathering, places of worship for some but for others just a place as a refuge, a roof over their head on a cold day or just a time to go and contemplate maybe your navel, or the Universe or the person sitting on the pew next to you. It’s something that I’ve found quite attractive in the last few years as the way of doing some positive things and that’s one of the things that I’m engaged upon from time to time, getting together concerts for our great medieval and ancient cathedrals and for those coming up. In fact, I’ve got a meeting with one of the people at Manchester Cathedral tomorrow and we’re
in Manchester and Salisbury Cathedral–one of the famous cathedrals this coming Christmas and last year I did Canterbury cathedral, a year before that Exter Cathedral. It’s a way I think to bring
Figure 1: Exter Cathedral Source: http://www.exeter-cathedral.org.uk/
people into a greater awareness of the heritage of these buildings and whether or not they count themselves as being Christians. I think more people should be supporting our great churches and cathedrals because they won’t be making any more of them–that is guaranteed. The cost of maintaining them is bad enough let alone trying to construct a new one given that most of them took you know, anything from 50 to a couple of hundred years to complete. It’s definitely a foregone conclusion–they will not be making anymore, hence for that reason alone perhaps we should be protecting that great architecture and doing our bit for them.
But yes social media is kind of interesting although I would doubt whether at the moment at any rate with a lot of the regular church-going fraternity in my country anyway are used to the broader implications of the internet, let alone the reaching out to them through the Facebooks and Twitters of this world but we’ll give it a go, why not?
Alan Jordan: There’s a possibility of integrating a conference, like a teleconference, that could be sponsored by the cathedral that you wanted to support. People could come to that teleconference, they could ask questions, learn about the cathedral, you might be able to be a part of that, ask questions and explain your feelings and parts of it and that could be very effective if promoted through Facebook or Twitter or whatever. It could have a vast number of people who could come and there could be places where they could click on “donations;” that might be something to explore.
Ian: Well, it might be but I think what happens given that there are a lot of churches in need of support and help, whether they’re a thousand years old or ten years old. In all the counties of England all the states of America and all points in between. It’s very much a community thing, and I think you reach out to your local community first because that’s where the whole points of those buildings as a working and a living and breathing edifices, that they’re there to serve the community interest. They’re not just there as tourist sites to for people to come from far off lands and hold up their wretched mobile phone cameras, snapping away at ancient pillars and roof timbers.
It’s actually about, you know, being part of today’s world, serving a local community that’s first and foremost what they’re about. So, in a way I think most of these ways of fundraising and attention seeking is really directed from inwards out. You’ve really got to start making it a bit of a mission on the doorstep of those buildings because a lot of people who live in towns where there are beautiful churches or cathedrals will pass them every day and just don’t see them. They blank them; they take it for granted, and I know that because I’ve done the same. I mean there’s a particular abbey not too many miles from here that I’ve never been inside and it’s only today I noticed there was something on that interested me to make a point of trying to get on there sometime soon. We all tend to do that, it’s on my doorstep and we just get so used to it that we just somehow don’t really see it anymore and I know that’s very much the case in some of the places I have played. The local folks who come to a concert that I’m doing in a cathedral are people who live in the town but have possibly never been in the cathedral in their lives or really ever bothered to give it a second glance even though they might walk down the street past it every second day.
I think that’s rather important to do, to remind people that the community, essential community value of people coming together whether it’s in a state of , a true belief and faith or whether it’s just a sort of vaguely spiritual moment that they’re not – perhaps able to quite understand, but recognize there is something within them that is in a way released and brought out by being in such a place whether it’s to come see me do a secular concert that doesn’t necessarily have much to do with Christian religion, it may have a little bit to do with it but not a busting event.
You know, whether they go to a regular Sunday morning church service sadly of course most people don’t because our churches are very often virtually empty on a Sunday morning whereas fifty years or one hundred years ago they would have been chuck-about full and that’s the – that we see because we don’t all live in the bible belt of America where evangelical Christianity is on the rise and then very strong in most of Europe; it’s very much on the wane and continuing in that general direction.
I think in a way we want to try and arrest that even though if like me you’re not a true Christian, you can still see the value of giving support to a cause which brings people together in a peaceful and harmonious way, and so that’s really why I do that.
Alan: Is there one piece of music that you have written that helps you to advance that philosophy?
Ian: There are several pieces of music in which there’s elements, of contemplations, there’s elements of something, you know, more spiritual which come out. As a rule, I would try not to make them whole pieces of music. I think there are elements within songs and tunes that I’ve written without wanting to make them overall appear as if they were written for a church service. Although having said that, I did an album a few years for EMI’s Classical Division of kind of cross over classical music, an album called Divinities which was kind of a look at the musical spirituality of different countries and different musical styles as essentially flute music but with orchestral instruments. And so when we did that, we did it in a way that was really try to find that sort of essentially spiritual kind of reference without it being too heavy handed and you know, one piece I put on that album which is quite English and quite churchy sounding is a piece called In Defense Of Faiths, in plural, and you know, it is one of those pieces that does I suppose pack them back to my early years as a schoolboy, as a set kind of musical references for church music. Like many people one of my first musical influences was the music of The Church. That’s what I heard the first time I opened my in song it was probably to sing a school hymn and so you know, religious music and folk music, Big Band, American Jazz, these are all things at the age of you know, six or seven or eight I started to hear and formed my earliest musical references from but, yeh, church music is kind of in there with all the rest of it, without it taking over my musical life in any way.
Alan: Interesting. When I was into Rupee’s Dance for example, that has a very spiritual quality to me. I, it’s not anything that the average person I think would call religious but it does refer to me as a spiritual type of song, and also there are elements in your albums that deal with– The Secret Language Of Birds [AJ1] that have that spiritual element where I can go off and listen to the music, partially hear the words at times but I’m primarily listening to the music and having a spiritual experience. But, I’m a Unitarian Universalist; I may not have the same type of value structure as an evangelical Christian would have.
Ian: Well, I mean what you’re saying is it’s very much in line with what I just said to you that there are elements within the music that I would have occasionally will engender that kind of slightly more spiritual response but I try as a rule just to make it a component part of songs and music rather than it being a whole message because I don’t really feel qualified to be doing that. Umm, it’s actually a very difficult thing to do umm, to rupee music but it is umm, designed for worship or spiritual kind of experience because, you know, it has to be pretty simple so actually people are going to sing along to it and it has to be, it has to fit in with certain kinds of pre-conceptions, you know, in musical terms and also it’s going to be performed in a church which acoustically is usually something of a challenge. It can’t really have any crash-bang stuff going on, and it’s got to be light on rhythm and repetition; it’s got to be quite legato, quite smooth and it’s got to be music that’s can be played by instruments that are not percussive because they tend to be unsuited to big reverberant churches and cathedrals. So, it’s quite a challenge to write that kind of music and I’m sure that I’m not quite up to it but to just say if we can find this little way here and there into what I write and then, I think it plays a fitting part in some things. I don’t think, for a minute, that I could sit down and write an album of spiritual music. I don’t think I’m up to the task, frankly.
Alan: I don’t know if it does support it maybe more important that all these elements are actually there within your music that different people take up on in different ways and that convey the spirituality that you have; it’s just my own personal opinion. When I listen to your songs, when I listen to your music the flute has an independent spirit about it. Do you see any relationship between the power that you imbue into a flute when you play it and your love for cathedrals?
Ian: Umm, I think the best thing that I can do as an individual is to try to find a way of pragmatically earning a living doing something that I love doing which of course involves a lot of travel, a lot of planning, booking flights, hotels and organizational things and doing rehearsals. And to combine that with be more altruistic and the sort of, I suppose the finer aspects of humanity that you are aware that you’re involved in sharing and giving something to an audience on some level at any rate and perhaps a different level for each person is there I don’t think there is anyone common, uniform way of listening to and enjoying a music concert but, you know, you’re aware that you’re there to share a moment with people and to communicate to them and with them.
That’s something that in itself is quite a heavy mixture of emotions. When you overlay that with the essence of what your songs are about, and what you might be singing, sometimes it’s not happy, cheerful sharing stuff, it can be quite aggressive, it can be quite angry, it can be quite, or maybe quite intellectual, it may be quite heart-on-sleeve and emotional, but whatever it is you’re doing, at the end of it all you’ve go make sure the sound system works, you got to make sure that, you will change the batteries in your radio transmitters and in your monitors and you got to make sure that everything is properly rehearsed. There’s pragmatism about it which keeps you very grounded.
I suppose in some ways maybe it’s like being a Formula One racing driver, you’re sitting in, in the midst of all this technology and incredibly advanced automotive engineering and computer based technology and research and development and multi-million pound investment. Even race to race, you’re sitting in the middle of all these incredibly high-tech world but what you’re actually doing is using incredibly fine tuned senses to control and steer ahh, a rocket ship around a race track in the company of a lot of other young men trying to kill you [laughter]. And, I rather like the idea that in a way music is not similar, you know, it has this, it’s rather refined, this altruistic essence about it. But, at the same time you’re living in the midst of quite a technological world, and a world in which you have some very basic and pragmatic requirements upon you as a person. You know, to get in and out of airplanes on time, and check in and out of hotels on time, and it’s all a mixture of two rather opposite ways of life in a sense. I find that rather rewarding.
Of course, doing as those of us who are fortunate enough economically to be able to do. I can do a few things that are for benefit or charity and it’s nice to do that a few times a year, and so I do. I mean I–I think probably one of the things that I find the hardest, because I have a couple of albums that I set aside from long time ago to use the royalties, all of the ahh, the records and recording and the publishing royalties from two albums to give to charity and every year, you know, I just sit down and go through all of that and there’s a certain amount of money in there and it has to be spent and it’s really, really hard to do it because if all I ever did was give, you know, the chunk of money to the same two or three charities every year or the same one charity every year because I know there are lots of people who just spend all of their lives supporting one particular charity and that’s what they do and I can understand that, that may have a very special meaning for individuals umm, but for me it’s not like that. I’m constantly looking around thinking, what is it that, you know, feels like it actually does need some bit of support from me that maybe it can’t get somewhere else? Today, for example, it was again just something I heard about in the news today that a local church near here, in the company with very many of British churches, had the lead stolen off the roof by thieves who use it to sell to the scrap metal merchants for cash and it’s costing the church, something like 30 million pounds a year in stolen, usually lead that they take from the roof and you come to our local church it’s been raided three times in the last year and is now facing an enormous bill and can’t get the money back on insurance.
And so one of the things I’ve resolved to do today was to give some money to that nearby church because I know it will be very difficult within the community to raise the amount of money they’re looking for. So, that’s just a one off, that’s not something I’m going to keep doing year after year but you know, when you hear about a particular problem and you think well, now is the time to do my little bit in helping along with that and that’s what I do. But it’s quite chore every year because there are just a million and one things out there that you could be devoting your charitable efforts towards and you have to make choices and they’re very difficult. But I would rather force myself to make those difficult choices than just keep my head in the sand or keep it kind of blinkered to the point where I only have a work with one particular charity and ignore everything else. So, I do tend to look around a little bit and, you know, try and mix-and-match the things that I would do and perhaps not ever do again. I mean when I was in Israel recently and I gave my share of the concert income from doing three concerts in Israel to local Palestinian and non-government charities that were supporting Israeli, Palestinians, Jews and Christians in schooling and living together, you know, as children, which I think is an important in that troubled country to encourage the idea that not to try and do away with the differences, and the culture and religious differences, opposed as they so often are but to accept that they exist and to give a better understanding to people of different backgrounds and views by living and working alongside people who have those difference and sometimes opposing views and to have that, to learn to grow up with the respect and in a sense to celebrate those differences because that’s what makes us who we are even if it’s only by birth right. And so, at that time it was a fitting thing to do but the idea of making it my life’s mission to now direct all of my efforts towards umm, Israeli, Palestinian and Jewish and Christian children schooling together would be something that I’m, you know, not really prepared to do because it would just take me over.
I mean the more you get into these things the more you can easily be seduced into just doing that and nothing else and I’d rather feel that I should be continuing to look outwards to find other things that I can play my small part in helping rather than just getting locked down and seduced by one particular very needy and challenging and important form of charity giving, but I understand why the people do it and it’s good that they do it.
Alan: It’s actually pretty common from the people I have been speaking with, where they support a wide variety of charities.
Alan: For example, Nick Chavez is an international hair dresser, he must have a list of them that’s longer than an 8-1/2 by 11 inch piece of paper.
Ian: My . . .
Alan: There’s at least 30 or 40 of them. His favorite one is Race to Erase MS but he has a lot of other things. People who will be reading the book will wonder, they’ll wonder if there’s any special criteria that you might have when selecting an organization to support, have you given any thought to that?
Ian: The process is two fold really, it’s partly because there are people who as charities reach out and you know, come to me or people like me, and I will always give that some time of day, I wouldn’t necessarily always decide that yes I’m going to help them out because of course you can be inundated sometimes with those requests. But there are those people who reach out to me and then there are other things that I find out about either by being in a certain country or would have a certain problem or by being concerned with issues to do with conservation and the environments or matters of health, matters of artistic endeavor. I mean, various things that I’ve found just found along the way that have given me the sense of it being a suitable outlet for, you know, where you can actually see you’re going to make a mark because they aren’t necessarily big charities, sometimes they’re quite small hence that they really don’t have a lot of supporters but they are of value and, you know, they’re – quite often they could be about issues such education and I one thing – and you have to accept as well sometimes it doesn’t turn out, sometimes you support something and it just goes down the hole, it doesn’t work and you’ve wasted your money and a lot of people’s time. That can happen, but I think it’s still better to try, I know that a few years ago I supported a young girl’s school in Bangladesh and donated some money essentially to buy computer equipment for a girls school because as you know of course in many parts of the world girls don’t necessarily get the opportunity to be educated and one of the problems facing the planet is the fact that overall young females in many countries are simply not given education at all and find it very difficult to get a start. We know of course that when they are educated, they very often become much better learners than the boys and they take their place in society, and with education and with literacy and an awareness of the outside world often comes benefits to health, reduction in the birth rate, lots of positive benefits for` the planet as a whole not just the individuals. I’m very much pro the idea of young females in education, in a global sense.
But, this particular school that I’ve donated some money to, it struggled along for a year or two and then just hit the skids because there wasn’t ultimately enough support for it locally, and they ran out of money. Sadly, something that is many thousands of miles away from me is difficult to support. There are locations when I know I’ve supported other charities and for instance in India where, you know, I really have no idea if they’re still even alive and kicking and making any progress but it’s something you do at the time because you hope that within a short term it can make a difference to some people umm.
But sometimes it doesn’t work out and I think you have to accept that than any form of charitable giving there will be either a failure through a variety of causes and also sometimes a huge wastage of money through overly bureaucratic charitable organizations that simply eat up most of the money generated in bureaucracy, and very little that goes to the area that’s been publicized as the targeted area. And, that’s very much been the case of a lot of charitable concerts that have been held from large scale charitable concerts that have been held and you know, it’s virtually nothing left after all the artists, have had their dressing room demands met and their transport and, their first five star back and quit backstage and you know, the whole thing cost so much to do because of the attitude of a lot of pop stars doing charity events. They just seem to think that it’s business as usual and they need to be treated like stars although it costs a lot of money and there ends up being very little left over to give to charity once all the bills are paid.
I mean, I did a concert recently and that was last year in the UK not to go into any real detail about it but it was a charitable event and it was at the end of it all and I warned them that this was going to happen many weeks before the event took place because I could just see they were financially just completely nuts. They really just didn’t have any idea of what things were going to cost and indeed they ended up making a spectacular loss and without the intervention of some Russian oligarch to pay the bill I mean not only would it have not generated any money for charity, it would have bankrupted a few people along the way. You know, sometimes people do these things and they just haven’t really got a clue of what they’re doing.
Which is why, when I do my charitable concerts for instance in the cathedrals, I underwrite the even myself, I pay the bills so that, you know, the ticket money is all going to the charity. And that’s the only way it can make sense. Not only do I give my services for nothing but I actually pay all the bills, I pay for the sound and the lights and the hotels and the band and the crew and all the cost that are involved because if I don’t do it then this is got to come out of the ticket money and reduce dramatically the amount of money available for the charity. It’s my way of ensuring that we do make these things worthwhile, the way I do them. But, I know other artists are not so willing. Indeed a couple that I’ve contacted recently about stepping into my shoes in some cathedrals during this year umm, as soon as they find out that they’ve actually got to pay for themselves to go and play there they suddenly stop answering the emails and the phone calls umm, which is kind of sad but you know, I think for some people they just think that somehow it’s business as usual, they just don’t get a fee but someone has to pay all the bills. The people who provide sound and lights don’t do it for nothing, neither do the cleaning ladies or the hotel proprietors or the trained companies or the, airlines or anybody else involved. It’s business as usual; you’ve got to pay the bills. Somebody has to do it, which is why and if it’s my turn I do it and we make sure the ticket money all goes to the charity.
But, other people obviously don’t feel the same about that, or maybe they don’t feel wealthy enough to afford it. I can understand why, there would be some difficulties. It depends where people set their sites. If I’m doing those kind of concerts, I get on the train. We all just get in the back of the van, we load ourselves we don’t take all of our crew, you know, we do it as cheaply and as low key as possible and we get a sandwich from round the corner. We don’t expect to be fed and watered and given a luxurious dressing room facilities, not that such things exist anyway in the cathedrals it’s usually some absolutely freezing room somewhere in the crypt or wherever we have to get changed; it’s kind of fun. No room for rock stars and prima donnas doing churches, that’s for sure.
Alan: [Laughter]. You mentioned before…
Ian: It’s been great talking to you but we’re really kind of running out of time and I’ve got to get on to my next thing because I’m about 10 minutes late already.
Alan: Okay, well let me just ask you one quick question.
Alan: … and then we’ll wrap up which deals with how your anniversary tour, you want to just tell us a little bit about that and what you’re going to be doing on that?
Ian: Anniversary meaning the Jethro Tull anniversary?
Ian: As opposed to my wedding anniversary, which is in fact tomorrow, but okay.
Alan: The Aqualung 40th Anniversary.
Ian: Yeah, the Aqualung 40th Anniversary. Well, Aqualung for me is, two things it’s probably Jethro Tull’s most famous and biggest selling album ever; didn’t sell spectacularly well at the point of release, but just over the years it’s continued to be played on radio, continued to sell and it’s clocked up, you know, a lot of sales over the years. You know, some I don’t know, 12, 13, 14 million sales by now. And, so it is from a conspicuous point of view an important album, at least a Jethro Tull important album. For me as an individual and as a song writer it’s quite an important album because it was one where I made quite a step that I hadn’t dared take before to perform in the studio certain songs on my own. Just playing acoustic guitar and singing and then maybe adding a few more instruments. So, it’s an album which consists of a lot of dynamic changes, you know, it has a lot of acoustic section, acoustic passages alongside some big rock rifts and more, you know, more generic rock music.
So, it’s an album of contrasts, a lot of light and shade, and I think from that perspective it’s one that I’m quite happy to be celebrating this 40th anniversary and playing live on stage in some of the upcoming concerts this year. And of course, we always play a few songs from the Aqualung album every concert, there’s going to be two or three songs from the Aqualung album but to actually play up all of them, is–we’ve done it once before about five years ago, we did a few shows we played all of the Aqualung album on stage but this is an opportunity I supposed to kind of slightly redefine that moment given that it is 40 years ago that it was released. And, of course, the year after is the anniversary of The Thick as a Brick album. So, we have some more figures of brick related activities in 2012 and I think after that I would have wrapped up my anniversary good frame of mind, I think after that I shall definitely not be revisiting with any sense of nostalgia on that sort of scale again but 71 and 72 are kind of quite pivotal years in our early careers. So, I guess it’s fair enough for a couple of years to give a little emphasis to revisiting that year and that music.
Alan: Okay, so one last question and then I know you have a million things to do and you’ll be on your way, which is, is there anything that you could suggest to our readers, or the people who may listen to this if they listen to it as an audio broadcast, that they can do right now to make a difference in the world? You told you’re fairly wealthy, you’ve got a major presence but you’ve been around and you’ve worked with many charities, both large and small. Is there an impression or some advice you might give to somebody who’s listening who’s not a celebrity, as to what they can do to help improve the world and is there any particular cause that you’d urge them to do that for?
Ian: Yeah, I would say if you’ve got a $20 bill in your pocket, then split it in half. Then, look out across the world somewhere where that $10 is going to go and make a difference, you know, it’s going to put food on the table for a week for a family in India or Africa or Bangladesh or wherever it might be or Afghanistan they may help buy some school books for some young girl in Afghanistan that’s finally getting a chance to get an education. I mean, if our soldiers are out there dying for a cause then I guess we should be thinking about, you know, putting a few bucks away of what it’s all about which is giving young Afghanis the chance to have a life, which they would never get under the previous regime or certainly under the Taliban. I guess you could take that $20 bill and send 10 of it, you know to a girl school in Afghanistan.
The other $10 I would say, just step outside of your house and look around, you know, within probably two or 300 yards of where all of us live, we will find somebody, or some cause, that would really benefit from the other $10Whether it’s some poor person living in poverty or a bereaved person who’s living alone–their family gone, who would benefit from a good steak. [Laughter] That would be my feeling, to look out far-and-wide across the world with some sense of giving, and kind of look really on your door step to give to something that’s really close to you and your community, because that’s in a way where charity starts. And, I think [it’s] good to think in terms of local community. So, you know, $10 is going to make a difference to some little girl 10,000 miles away, it’s going to make a difference to some little lady who’s lost her husband and living alone in a house, in a street near you. Umm, if that makes sense then that would be my suggestion to somebody who’s wanting to do something like that.
Alan: Well, thank you very much for suggesting both global and local support.
Alan: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today, I really appreciate it.
Ian: Okay, I pleasantly do that and I look forward to being in your part of the world in a few months time. Brilliant, good to talk to you. Thanks a lot. Bye, bye now.
Alan: Take care now. Bye, bye.
Male Speaker: Copyright 2011 by Alan H Jordan & LB Creative LLC. All Rights Reserved. Thank you for being a CelebrityMagic.org listener
You may listen to Tull worldwide 24-hours-a-day commercial free. Click on the widget at the bottom of this web page. The entire Tull/Anderson catalog plus some songs from Barre are included…plus some rare tracks.
As I researched the interview, I discovered that Ian is passionate about preserving wild small cats like the Andean Mountain cat and Bengal cats. There are currently 36 species of wild cat, big and small. Ian points out that small wild cats across the world are displaced from their natural territories as a result of commercial ventures, the cats, must hunt near and in our ever-expanding habitat. Many are killed as pests or for their fur, and others for food.
He is passionately interested in all the cats, lap-tops and loners, fat cats and scavengers, small and big.
Here are some of the questions asked an answered in the interview:
It appears, from listening to the lyrics of your songs, particularly Rupi’s Dance, that cats provide an inspiration for them. Would you agree? If so, could you briefly explain why? (Might it be because you feel that cats represent the epitome of a free spirit?)
- Would you please fill us in on the Aqualung 40th Anniversary Tour?
- Is there anything that I’ve missed that you’d like to say, or is there a call to action that you’d like to share with our readers–something they can do right now to make a difference in the world?
Now you can listen to Tull worldwide 24-hours a day commercial free via your web browser, Blackberry®, iPhone®, TiVo® and even your car via Live365®. The entire Tull/Anderson catalog plus some songs from Barre are included...plus some rare tracks.
Please transcribe this article on getting publicity. Holly Million interviews James David, PR expert, who will share his secrets for building relationships with media contacts and scoring free coverage.
Forget list fundraising. We will empower you to raise funds. I’ve assembled a team of people who are committed to helping non-profit organizations, schools and libraries prosper despite the current economic environment. These include specialists in web design, public relations experts, marketing people and more.
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We provide you with books and a wide variety of customized assets that will help you to raise funds. Before we design these tools, we have a detailed conversation with you to learn about your objectives and the things that you do to motivate people to support you. If you went to an advertising agency to get these assets, you’d easily spend over $1,000, and you’d have to pay them whether or not the campaign worked. But, I’m not just selling ideas. I’m selling books, and if you buy 1,000 to 10,000 books, I can make some money from that. That’s why we provide a set of tools that will empower you to sell lots of book. Some of the tools we provide include:
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- In some instances, introductions to national and international celebrities who are willing to support your cause. Honestly, unless you have connections, you probably can’t buy this at any price. I can make these introductions because I am interviewing celebrities for my forthcoming book Celebrity Magic: Celebrities, Their Causes and the Magic that they Weave. For example, I’ve recently interviewed Ian Anderson of the Jethro Tull Band and Nick Chavez, of Nick Chavez Beverly Hills as well as a number of regional celebrities. Bring up the Celebrity Magic web site in a separate window.
You don’t have to invest any money up front to determine if this opportunity makes sense for you. Read the executive summaries for details.
This page focuses on a children’s book, The Monster on Top of the Bed, but other options are also available. These include Reaching Out, a book of poetry written to artwork to which teenagers relate and Personal Success Through Self Motivation, I Feel Thankful and other Feel Good Words, and a series of interviews with celebrities that are available for purchase before my forthcoming book, Celebrity Magic is published in 2013.
Or, if you’re read enough and are ready to proceed, click the button below.