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First Ever Facebook Live Q and A – Zach Bair, CEO of VNUE

Dear VNUE, fans, investors, followers, musicians, and music lovers:

On May 1st, at 7PM Eastern/6 Central, I will be doing my first ever Facebook Live Q&A session about the company I run and I am so passionate about, VNUE, Inc.

Music is my life. Literally, every facet of what I do is about music. Since I was a little kid, driving my mother nuts on the piano, and even to this day, I still play and record music. Along the way, I have been very fortunate enough to combine two things I love very much – technology and music – and the goal in mind has always been to empower artists and to create new revenue streams in music. Three years ago I took the helm of VNUE and brought in the team and technology to *really* realize that dream to the fullest.

Many of you no doubt follow VNUE’s press releases, and our rather dry and mundane corporate filings with the SEC. Yes, we are a publicly traded company (OTC:VNUE – clever symbol, right?).

What many if not most of you do not know, however, is the story behind VNUE, and the passionate and small group of guys and gals behind this company. Most of us are musicians (some platinum-selling), and many of us have had successful companies valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars. We are normal people, not “suits,” who have come together because of our passion in this space. Normal, yet experienced and driven.

Yet we are all here and grounded because, even though VNUE is small and under-valued (hint: great time to invest), we believe that VNUE has tremendous potential, and we are in it for the long haul. What drives us is the desire to change the “status quo” and move the needle forward in an industry (music) that is reluctant to change. We have the team, desire, technology, guts and fortitude to make that happen. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to be leading this charge, and how proud I am to have this amazing team around me.

This LIVE Q and A will give me the opportunity to tell you about VNUE, our people, and our products, and how much we believe in what we are doing, with our set.fm and disclive.net “instant live” recorded products, and importantly, our Soundstr.com “music recognition technology,” and how we hope to reshape the music licensing world and to ensure each and every rights holder gets paid for their work. I want to share this passion with you, and I hope to take some of the mystery out of what it is that we actually do.

So, on May 1st, at 6PM Central time/7PM Eastern, please join me for my first ever Facebook Live broadcast, on the VNUE page, at the end of which I will take a few questions. In the meantime I will encourage you to visit www.vnue.com, and our brands www.set.fm and www.disclive.net.   And please, don’t forget to stream Rutherford Drive from your favorite steaming service:  http://fanlink.to/ZachBair!

Pleas visit http://www.facebook.com/VNUEINC/ for the LIVE broadcast!

Respectfully,

Zach

Rutherford Drive – New Single out 3/1/19

I am so, so very happy to let you know that for the first time in *many* years, I have new music coming out.  “Rutherford Drive,” which is being released to radio and streaming services on March 1st, 2019, is the new single from my forthcoming full-length CD of the same name.

Rutherford Drive is a song very dear to my heart.  In fact, most songs are – because it takes me so long to write them (ha).  But seriously – this is a song based on fact, on my childhood, when I was a wee little kid.

My mom and dad were going through what I would later find out was the precursor to their divorce a year or two later.  Of course, me being very young, I didn’t really understand this.  What I doremember was seeing my parents fight, the tension, and me being tense as well, even though I was too young to understand.

Rutherford Drive is about these distant memories of an innocent child, eventually coming into adulthood and starting to understand what had happened; and the eventual acceptance of parents being normal human beings super humans.  It is very much a reflective song, and I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.

It will be available on all major streaming services, including Apple and Spotify.  Here is my artist page for both:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/zach-bair/1438515357

https://open.spotify.com/artist/3xSNVe5gjQtIkFu8vbvm3j

Thank you for your support – and thanks for reading my blog!

Stand Up, Speak Up for Domestic Abuse Victims

The below was originally published in The Commercial Appeal, Dec 4th, 2018.

You see her walk in. You say hello to her, and as you do she immediately averts her eyes while saying a muffled “hello” in response.

As she tries to breeze past you as quickly as possible, you can’t help but notice the bruises on her arms, or the slight discoloration around her eye.

Concerned, you take her aside and ask if she is OK. She replies that she is, that it was just her nephew who accidentally hit her with a toy, or that she tripped and fell, or any number of other plausible explanations.

The problem, however, is that you are acutely aware that she is covering up the fact that someone close to her – an adult, usually a spouse or significant other – has abused her. Such abuse is extremely common.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, domestic violence is one of the most chronically under-reported crimes. Only 25% of all physical assaults, 20% of rapes, and 50% of stalking cases perpetrated against females by their partners are reported to the police.

Victims who actually do report do so after they have been assaulted by her partner (or ex-partner) an average of 35 times. Thirty-five times. Think about that.

The reasons for not reporting are wide and varied. It could be because the victims are embarrassed, or they could be deathly afraid of retaliation, or perhaps because of economic dependency.

No matter the reason, this must change and society must embrace the fact that a lot more of this goes on than we may want to admit, and it cannot be swept under the rug.

As the owner of two music venues and restaurants in Memphis, I have known numerous people who have been victims of this type of abuse. It is always a cycle.

The ones who will open up and talk to you about it about it tend to go back to the same abusive person, because in part there isn’t enough support around them to enable them to break the cycle.

Unfortunately, over the past five years, I’ve come to know customers and employees both who have been victims of abuse.  Some of them tragically lost their lives, and it is heartbreaking.

Recently I found out about an important organization in Memphis called the Family Safety Center of Memphis and Shelby County (familysafetycenter.org). Its mission is to provide assistance to the victims of domestic abuse by helping them find and access the many civil, criminal, health and social services for victims of violence.

It’s a mission we all should support.

We cannot sit back and ignore this problem and pretend it does not exist. We have to let victims know there are people who truly care about them and want to help, and there are resources available to help protect them and provide services they need.

And remember, if you need help now, please call the FSC 24-hour Crisis Line at 901-249-7611.

The first “Rockin’ for Hope” was held Dec. 8 at RockHouse Live Memphis, 5709 Raleigh LaGrange. Proceeds from ticket sales will go directly to the Family Safety Center of Memphis and Shelby County. For more information visit  rockhouselive.com.

Zach Bair is owner of both RockHouse Live locations in Memphis, and the CEO & Chairman of VNUE, Inc., a music technology company based in New York.

Nothing is Easy. Part II

Hey folks.  It has been a while since I have posted anything, but I thought compelled to revisit a subject I have written about before, namely, work ethic.  Or, lack thereof.  People never cease to amaze me.

As part of my various ventures involving my love of music, I own a couple of venues which also happen to be restaurants and bars.  I opened the first one about five years ago; the second, four years ago.  I did so not because I truly love music and enjoy making people happy.  Either through food – which I am indeed a foodie – or through entertainment; or simply an environment where people can call home.  I did not open these places thinking I was going to get rich (far from the case).   I did so because I wanted to provide a place where musicians could put their talent on stage, and where people with smiles would hopefully come see said musicians.

What I have learned in the course of five years is that there is a sense of entitlement like I have never seen before when it comes to service industry employees, and least around here.  I don’t know if it is the industry, the location, or the generation(s).  But in all honesty, I have never seen such a consistent lack of motivation; a lazy, complacent attitude, and people needing consistent needling (i.e. “staying on their ass”) just to do the very basic aspects of their jobs.  And I mean these are easy jobs.  Don’t get me wrong.  They are not all like that.  But there are a lot who are.  Many, many.  Let’s not forget thieving, dishonest people too.  There are a lot of those as well.

Let me provide a few examples.  I have had employees ask for a raise after showing up late every single day for months on end.  I’ve had them ask for a raise, simply because they actually showed up to begin with.  I have had folks simply not show up at all, then show up the next day expecting to still have a job.  Then there are the ones that you give chance after chance, and try and coach them into performing their jobs better – who then quit without notice, and publicly spew on social media about how it was not their fault and that their boss is an ogre.

I’ve had people change their electronic times sheets (thinking they are smarter than me – a computer geek) – just to straight-faced deny it when they are called to the carpet and then (again) publicly bash the business that they were screwing.  I’ve had other people who have decided that the alcohol that I pay for is their property to do as they please.  Give it away, drink it, not ring it up and pocket the money, and on and on.  Food too.  Oh yes, lets not forget that.  I mean – it is utterly dumbfounding.  And they will still claim innocence when caught red-handed by the video cameras that record non-stop.  Say wha?

What I cannot fathom for the life of me is why people work so incredibly hard at being dishonest and lazy and bad, when, in actuality, if they worked hard and focused on their actual jobs, then they world would be their oyster, as they say.

And not only that, a job – a chance that someone has extended to them – is not important to them and they move from job to job on a whim, rationalizing that it was the “big bad boss’ fault”, and that they did nothing wrong in the first place.  They move on, incorrectly assuming that it won’t catch up with them.  They are wrong.  Remember what “assuming” does.

Maybe it is just me, but I have always believed if you work really hard and you are ethical, then you will get ahead.  I will never, ever believe anything different either.  Unfortunately, there are those people who are constantly trying to take advantage of people who want to take the high road. Trying to take the short cut.  To cheat.  That’s life, and that is the way it is.  However, I do believe in “do unto others,” and I think that if people stay focused on the good, eventually, the good will come back to them.  Karma.

I’ve said it before.  There are NO short cuts in life.

None.  Zip.  Nada.

Those folks who continually look for the easy way out are going to end up destitute, lonely and without anyone supporting them.  The reason for this is because entrepreneurs like myself look for people who are self-motivated, honest, hardworking and above all, with good work ethic (and ethical in general).  If you screw up, just take the blame for it, learn and move on.  Don’t blame it on your co-workers or make excuses.  Own up to your own shortcomings.  Lord knows, I have.  There have been many mistakes I’ve made along the way.  Still do.  That’s called being human.

But the one thing I can say is that from my very first job, I was not lazy. I took pride in my little carhop job at Sonic when I was fourteen years old (no I did not wear skates).  So much pride in fact that I was promoted to the kitchen, and then night manager, before I even hit sixteen years old.  I have always been ambitious, and never asked for anything that I could not earn myself.  I’ve worked hard to show my bosses over the years that I have ambition and I am smart, and will learn and grow.  In my earlier years, I got fired from a few jobs because I thought I was smarter than the boss (I was – haha – but at that time I didn’t understand how politics of business worked and how to utilize that to legitimately get ahead; I didn’t know how the world worked).  Chain of command.  You dig?

I started my own business(es) because, in all honesty, I got tired of getting fired because I knew of a better way of doing things and my supervisors wouldn’t even entertain the idea for fear of being outsmarted.

But unlike my past bosses in those case – I personally look for employees that are indeed smart and have great ideas.  I may not execute on every idea presented, but the sum of the total is better than the mind of the (one).  I like the idea of surrounding myself with people who are smarter and more creative than myself.  I want them to be motivated to do amazing things – because then my company can do amazing things.

It is important to note – before I got too big for my breeches, so to speak, I was very, very good at performing the basic requirements of the job.  This is key to anything and it is one of the first things I learned in the Air Force.

In basic training, we had to fold our underwear in six inch squares.  No kidding.  I thought, at the time, “this is idiotic.”  But in hindsight, it was all about following direction.

This is key.  To everything.

If you as an employee cannot follow direction, and follow through, then you won’t stand a chance.  This was by far one of the most important things I learned.  Once I figured it out, I was a geeky rock star by the time I got into technology.  I would zing through my basic job – whatever it may be – and then make the extra effort that would afford me the opportunity to get ahead.  And I got promoted.  Repeatedly.  Not because I just showed up and happened to be a warm body.  I knew damn well that I was not entitled.

And herein is the basic difference in the mentality.  If you cannot do your basic job, yet you want to impress someone with your various ideas and try to take the quick way to  get ahead, I can tell you now, it ain’t gonna happen (imagine please my mother rolling in grave because I am using the word “ain’t”).  No supervisor – no real boss, no owner or CEO, wants to hear you tell them how good you are when the basic elements of job performance are not getting done while you are making excuses all along the way.

My simple message – again – is that there are no short cuts.

Again.

THERE ARE NO SHORT CUTS.

You have to work hard for what you want in life.  Guys and gals like me, well, we notice that hard work.  Most people in business will too.  Sure, every now and then you get someone who may not. But myself, growing up basically and entrepreneur since day one, we get it.  We thrive on innovation and ideas, and not having to worry about the basic stuff being done.  I take comfort that I can indeed be creative because I can rely on people to hold up the foundation.  If you are unreliable and inconsistent, forget it.  You could be a rocket scientist and on the cover of Rolling Stone every day of the week,  but if you are unreliable, forget it.

I digress, however.  Not everyone is like that.  I’m fortunate to have a few good people around me in my endeavors that are ethical and who know what it takes.  Folks who have been around for quite a long time, because the do get it.

In the restaurant and bar business – just like music, or ANY business – work hard, live clean, be honest, earn your keep, and don’t think you can just impress people with your shining personality.  We can see through you in half a heartbeat.  If you want to change the world, it is super simple.  Work hard, and prove it.

Peace.

 

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