BOHP_2005-05-19_AVega Chapter 13
FB: Other than being a pianist you also had to have your business chops together, too. AV: Well I was fortunate that a lot of my friends were into advertising and the PR thing so I picked their brains. FB: You mean how to promote yourself? AV: Yeah how to promote and how to get publicity. You know I always kept in touch with you, you had a radio show [WMBR-FM, 1990-2002]. I’d do that show, do anything I could. FB: Call the DJ's while they're on the air. AV: I let everybody know we were doing that stuff. FB: Get those little fliers out, those postcards. AV: Yeah I always did that. If I took a vacation to Bermuda I'd send a postcard to Ron [della Chiesa, WGBH-FM] or you guys to say I'll be back. And Ron was on five days a week and he hadn't mentioned me when I was at the Hilton, he didn't want to say Al Vega everyday, but he had to say Rebecca Parris is at the Hilton tonight with Al Vega. Donna Byrne, every night he'd say somebody else so I was getting mentioned by hook or by crook. He mentioned the artist, even the showcase. People would call him up and say, “I'm singing with Al Vega tonight” and he'd mention people, all the people that are working now. They were on my talent show, I mean they went up to the level of the other ones so I didn't hire them. In the talent show you know you had to wait in line to go on that, it wasn't every week. You were lucky if you got on once a month. FB: And you know, having a good rotation of people, even if they weren't the greatest, they'd pack the house with their friends. AV: Like I'd say come back in four or five weeks, because there's one kid that came in with 50 people, I'd say we'll make an exception and bring you back next week. I wasn't stupid. But after awhile they came in with their own groups even. They came in with a steel band, they had like four or five singers from a college, vocal groups, it was amazing. And they were all screened so it wasn't an open mic like some places do. See I can't do that now because I'm just working like one night at Remington’s, so I'll just have to have an open mic. At the airport, if somebody talked to me and I could tell they didn't know what they were doing, they didn't sound too good talking to them. I'd say well wait until 12:30 we'll put you on. And then I'd say you're not ready for the show yet come back in a month and try again. So the show was actually a schedule. It was a pretty good show. FB: Sure beats the pants off karaoke! AV: Yeah, oh yeah. Nothing worse than a bunch of drunks singing that stuff.