Dream, dream, dream...22 Sep 2021Dream, dream, dream... I had this dream.A band wanted to play at their local pub, so the singer goes along and tries to persuade the landlord.You bring a crowd?Yeah, we're very popular.You on Lemonrock?No.Well you're not playing, then. How's everyone going to know that the gig's on if you don't advertise it in the place where everyone looks?It was a good dream.___Mac, not dreaming at all
What On Earth?12 Sep 2021What On Earth? Back in 2000, I was 40 years old. I needed a break. I had been working as a software engineer on a big mobile phone project.I was a good engineer, but I didn't want to work for anyone else any more. I was ready to start my own business.So - and regular blog readers will know this already - I registered a domain name, learned how to program in HTML, and set up a brand new web site called "Lemonrock".I had no idea what I was doing.All I knew was that I wanted to get into the fascinating world of the Web. I was already a programmer and an engineer, and I was sure that my background would help me to create something new. But what?Over the next few months, I read many books on web design. Eventually, I garnered the courage to write a few web pages, and published them online in June 2000.During these first months, I would chat with my Dad on the phone."What are you up to, son?" he would ask me. He didn't really understand what I was doing with my life."I'm working on Lemonrock," I would reply. "I'm trying to make it easier for people to find out what's going on in their local area. It's interesting, and it's fun."And then, after a few seconds' silence, my Dad would say something about maybe getting another job, another contract, something to keep the income flowing. And I would deflect his doubt and say something like "Well, we'll see how it goes, Dad."I stuck to my guns, and my Dad probably stuck to his doubts for some years afterwards. A few years later, when Lemonrock had started charging for memberships, but still wasn't making much money, we had another conversation, up in Scotland, at his home."It's going OK," I said, "but it's not working out the way I wanted.""So," he said, "what are you going to do?"And I thought about what I should do. Give up this badly-paid entrepreneurial website nonsense, and get a well-paid job as a software engineer, or continue with this mad, foolish, unprofitable business called Lemonrock.Three days ago, my lovely Dad passed away.A couple of months ago, on one of my more frequent trips to Scotland, my Dad and I were sitting on the sofa, late evening. Mum had already gone to bed. I told Dad about how Lemonrock was going, and how much money it had made over the years. I think he was impressed. I know that he had really wanted me to be a professional golfer, or a successful sportsman of some kind... or something that was relevant or meaningful to him. I don't think he ever understood the world that I had inhabited... software, programming, music venues, live bands...We were quite different, but in a way, also very similar. Perhaps if he hadn't questioned my sanity in the beginning, I may have abandoned the totally stupid idea of setting up a new type of gig guide...Here's to the memory of my father, Allan Jardine Dickson MacLaren, 1934 - 2021. In a way, a co-founder of Lemonrock (but he never knew it...)___Mac, Allan's boy
Count Yourself Lucky3 Sep 2021Count Yourself Lucky I've been waiting for this.Our visitor numbers have reached 1 million again, during the last month.This isn't just great news for live music lovers, bands and venues; it's also an indication that the economy - at least in areas lucky enough to have live music venues - is recovering.As am I.I had COVID-19 for 2 weeks in August. I'm double-jabbed of course (ouch, ouch, my arm hurts a bit, in case any of you anti-social types are wondering). Oh, and I fell asleep at my desk for two hours, two days after the first jab. Big deal. I didn't have to go to hospital. I saved that bed for someone else who needed it.If you are still muttering under your breath, and have a few moments to spare (possibly fewer moments left than those of us who have been vaccinated), take a look at the WHO's excellent COVID19 Mythbusters.Then, after you've had your FREE late vaccinations and want to come out and see live music, and not die, and not deprive an older, frailer person of your hospital bed, we will all rejoice with you in time to the music, as you may well be our 1,000,001 (breathing) visitor.___Mac, Double-Jabbed, only occasionally Single-MindedPic: Mike Thompson, USA Today
Gizza Job6 Aug 2021Gizza Job IE : Irrepressible EntrepreneurCA : Career AdviserIE: Good morning, I'd like a job, please.CA: Certainly, sir. What did you have in mind?IE: Well, I want to help people enjoy their lives. With music, I think.CA: Music, sir?IE: Yes, you know, live music. Connecting people with local gigs so that they can meet like-minded people, enjoy their favourite songs, chat about music, have a drink, maybe even date someone once in a while. There must be a way of connecting people with live music.CA: Hmm, very interesting, sir... have you thought about starting a web site?IE: A web site? No.CA: I'm wondering if a web site might be the best way to advertise local gigs to people, sir. You could get bands and venues to sign up and post their own gigs. If you wrote a good database, I'm sure that music-loving people, wherever they were in the country, could easily find out about local gigs.IE: Hmm, a web site. Yes, that sounds plausible. I don't know anything about web sites, but I'm happy to learn. I just want people to gather in large numbers, get to know each other, enjoy being together, in close contact with others who they might not know yet. I mean, there's nothing wrong about wanting to meet new people in a small intimate space, where music is the thing. People singing their hearts out, directly to audiences they've never met, having a great time, maybe a bit of audience participation, share the microphone, have a laugh, hugs and kisses all round.CA: My friend, I think you've seen the future. I'm going to recommend that you meet with our Social Hub Interaction Team to work out the business details. It would be fantastic to get lots of people together and bond through local live music events, as you've just described. I can't think of any reason that your new business shouldn't be an incredible success. I think we're ticking all the right boxes here.---Some years later...Intense social interaction, enclosed spaces, singing, dancing, close proximity to strangers...What was it that I didn't see?___Mac, irrepressible socialite with zero contingency plansPicture: Yosser
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