Kenny Lee Lewis, Tracy Brinkmann
Tracy Brinkmann 00:00
What can we entrepreneurs learn from a long and successful rock’n’roll career? Stay tuned to find out. Okay, here’s the question. How are we dark horses? You know, the ones everyone is betting against the ones they don’t expect to win place or even show on the track. And they’ll even laugh on us when we talk about trying. How do we show the world our greatness and triumph? Come on? Well, that’s the question, and this podcast will give you the answers. This is the Dark Horse entrepreneur. My name is Tracy Brinkmann. What is that? What is that? What the hell is up my dark horse friends and family. Welcome back to your weekly dose of rock and roll learning. I’m your dark horse host Tracy Brinkmann and you that my friend is infinitely more important. You. Yeah, you’re a driven entrepreneur, or one of them making either way you’re here because you’re ready to start restart. kickstart it just start leveling up was a great marketing personal or business results in order to build that beautiful business of yours into the Empire. It absolutely deserves to be man. Do we have a rockin big episode for you today? Today? Kenny Lee Lewis. Yeah, the man had a myth himself, the guitarist from the Steve Miller band, he’s going to be sharing things about honing your craft, learning your craft, learning from pirates, and why those cuts in the diamond of your life and your business are so very much important to making you shine. Plus, I’m gonna let you in on next week’s interview episode guests who has helped over 1000 clients build in excess of $1.4 billion with a B in combined wealth. Why is guy’s fire as per usual the Dark Horse corrals are chock full of personal business and marketing g o l d spilling from every corner of the Dark Horse entrepreneur HQ. So let’s get to the starting gates and go Hi my dark horse friends and family. Today’s guest is none other than the man himself. Kenny Lee Lewis. Now for the few review that do not know Kenny is been a regulatory member, producer and writer for The Steve Miller band since 1982. He’s an accomplished studio guitarist and bassist and has been one for over 45 years. A few of Kenny’s other credits include Bonnie Raitt, Eddie money, Dave Mason, Peter Preston Peter Frampton, excuse me, Billy Preston, Peter Frampton, Boss gags, Brian Wilson, and Steve sills. Kenny’s wide range of musical styles range from musical ballads, blues, hard rock, reggae, and even Latin. When it’s not touring, or recording, Kenny enjoys taking musical, rewarding musical excursions when doing album projects, movie projects, and television composing, or even performing with friends. Most recently, Kenny has gotten into the digital entrepreneurial space with his own long online guitar instructional membership course called fret friends, Fr ee T. frenz.com. He’ll share a bit about that with us later. This is where you can master guitar and more with Kenny Lee Lewis of the Steve Miller band. All right, Kenny, my man. Welcome to the Dark Horse entrepreneur. Man. I appreciate you being here.
Kenny Lee Lewis 03:32
Thanks, man. Thanks for having me. Tracy. Really appreciate.
Tracy Brinkmann 03:35
I definitely pray now. You’re still you’re still out there on the west coast in California, aren’t you?
Kenny Lee Lewis 03:39
Yep, we’re in the Central Coast wine country, which is halfway between LA and San Francisco.
Tracy Brinkmann 03:45
I know it well, I use my dad when he retired from the military. We settled in Southern California. So I was I was down there just a little bit north of Mickey’s house and my wife, my now wife is from the Bay Area. So I know that stretch of road that you’re talking about between there. But I wanted to step back for a minute and get maybe the cliff notes of your journey because I know there’s gonna be a few folks are gonna like, Who’s this Kenny Lee Lewis guy. I know who you are. Big fan from way back in the day to current. But you know, there’s probably a handful of folks out there that are a little younger than us, right? That might not know your awesome career. So if you could just give us the cliff notes and we’ll just go from there.
Okay, well, I was born in Los Angeles, in Pasadena. And 1954. My dad was a big band enthusiast. He was four after in the war. So he got to stand down when all the big bands were playing. My mom and him after they built bombers at Lockheed all day long, would go out and do some jitterbug in you know, with some swing and stuff. And, you know, he always said like either a gramophone or later of course, a stereo console in the house. It was always planned sweating, Ban big bands. So I grew up kind of bopping around and swaying on my life. I was the youngest of three. And we moved to Sacramento about 1960 because he worked at a state and he got a promotion. So we went up there, which was a really nice upbringing, being up around the mountains, and you know, Shasta, Tahoe and I became a Boy Scout and YMCA, all that, you know, that eventually, we got invaded by England. And my sister became a beetle maniac. And my brother and sister were always focused, they were listening to Dylan and he and Sylvia, the Kingston Trio and the brothers for and all that stuff way early. And they were always performing for our family functions. But I was six years younger, and I was too small to get my hand around a guitar. So I decided to sit over in the corner. And so while they got all the attention eventually I borrowed a ukulele from my aunt who was living over Berkeley in the Bay Area. And I bought a book and I taught myself how to play ukulele at about seven, eight years old, and I used to entertain the family a little bit plain, old black spirituals that were in this ukulele book by Stephen Foster’s so it was pretty funny and you know, eventually played clarinet borrowed a clarinet from another on you knows son wasn’t using it and gotten banned learn how to read musical big fell away from that. Then around the sixth grade my hand when it got big enough, get around that that big giant sills, Sears silvertone guitar, my brother and I started playing the Peter Paul and Mary thing. And then of course, like I just mentioned, the English evasion hit Beatles, you know, the kinks and the stones and the Yardbirds. And you know, I mean, I was just overwhelmed with all these electric guitars course I was a beach boy fan to prior and I finally borrowed an electric guitar. And my friend next door had one as well. And we went down into his bomb shelter,
Cold War bomb shelter, and we spent the whole summer of 1966 down in that bomb shelters, sleeping overnight going on there cranking to the airfield every once a while make sure we didn’t suffocate lasted our guitars and had a little 45 record player down there. We just played along with records and is when I learned how to play electric guitar was was that summer 66 and then of course, cream, Hendra exampling. I mean, all those bad came out, I was freaking out. Being up in Northern California, the first pirate radio station. Case ksfo I think it was or no case in KSA n was Tom Donohue, that was coming up the delta. So I started hearing the first pirate radio music you know, of a pillar band and, you know, I was getting the real blues stuff, you know, Muddy Waters. And yeah, I never heard any of that stuff because the am radio format in those days. I mean, you got, you know, the four seasons and Beach Boys, The Beatles that was about it, you know, right. Herman’s Hermits, you know, we never got to hear Muddy Waters or Howlin Wolf, they just weren’t playing and stuff on the radio. So I got turned on to all that through the pirate radio station. And then I fell in love with, you know, that whole golden era of that Fillmore area era. And I was still pretty young, I was only about, you know, 12 or 13, when that was starting to hit, but boy, it was I hooked and I just kept practicing. And, you know, and eventually got in bands and had my own bands. And even at the end, by the end of junior high, I was playing gigs. And at 1450 years old, you know, doing battle the bands, whatever. And so I went to the high school system there, my first year in college, to learn how to read playing the jazz bands. The drummer that was in my high school band had a family called the Perry family, and they all live in Los Angeles. And they were all in the music business. And they sort of like grandfathered me in with a lot of opportunities to come down and sit in on sessions and recording sessions and told me about the industry and the business what they need to do and learn how to read notation and eventually got into CSUN which had a great music program, but I was a small fish by then. When I auditioned for the big band, there was like 100 great guitar players who are all about my age now in there with like elf fours and fives and they could read fly shit, and they could play all that stuff like immediately. And I didn’t get into band so I got my feelings hurt. So I joined a band and so at 18 I went on the road, playing in steak houses with a California copy Walkman. Got back to town after about six months, brought a girl back with me, got an apartment started getting in bands and stuff and started working my way up the food chain. You know, I got a job at a guitar amplifier Corporation and then eventually led my now wife who was then my employer who hired me to play bass with her name is Diane Steinberg and She she had her a second album and she was doing on ABC Dunhill, and she brought me in as a bass player and her musicians were like all the guys in toto chapter Carl. And you know Jake Braden, you know, the, you know, you know, Mark Martin and not Marty Paige, this is David Paige. Thank you, David. And they like my plane and they started introducing me to other people. And but before long, I was doing a lot of recording sessions. So I was pretty much in session player at that point. And that was from but 1976 to about 1980. So that whole era for about four years, I was doing a lot of session, right up until the time I met Stephen at one. And by then I was already trying to get my own record deals that already had three records. And he was looking for material and I had a bunch of demos that I gave to him that he lied to his drummer at that time was Gary Malibu would played on all of Steve’s hits. And through that connection, he picked eight songs of which I co wrote three that got on the abracadabra album, which sold 5 million copies. So that kind of brings you up to date from Sacramento up until the speed, right.
Tracy Brinkmann 11:14
Well, obviously, I mean, as you mentioned, you you you start off with a musically inclined family, and that just pushed you when I hear into Well, first off, because you little hands, the ukulele that was kind of cool. I would probably would have grabbed some drumsticks at that point, just to do something right.
In the house my dad did later on, so I did bang around the drums as well. Nice.
Tracy Brinkmann 11:35
Awesome, awesome. I was back in my high school days, I I toyed with the lysate toy I picked up and learned the guitar. And, you know, for me, that would have been the late 70s, early 80s. You know, we’re talking about, you know, the Motley crews were coming up and what have you. And it was that all that fast playing and you know, at Van Halen, and his style was was all the rave and you know, if you were the lead guitar, you got all the girls and Okay, I’ll be the lead guitar guy. But I have since learned that I love the drums, but it’s the music right? Whatever you’re playing, man. It’s, it’s that music.
Yeah, well, I mean, like I said, I got to bang around the drums a little bit today, as you just said, as well. If you’re a friend, if you’re playing the guitar, you’re meeting girls, and I wanted to meet girls. And that’s why I pursued that. Because I was kind of I, I was the baby the family. My brother sister already gotten married. I was all by myself. I was looking for attention, you know. And so, you know, the guitar brought that into my sphere. Nice.
Tracy Brinkmann 12:43
Nice. And, you know, obviously connected you with your now wife, still wife, right?
We’ve been together for 44 years. And like I said, she hired me as a bass player. And we became friends. And then we started co writing the songs. And then that led up to that second home I just mentioned, where I actually had co rides while I was playing bass on that record as well. So
Tracy Brinkmann 13:07
yeah, I can remember the abracadabra when it came out. And I was listening Polly to Steve and the C. Miller band and his stuff, like probably two albums before that. And you had some, you had some credits on those albums before you were officially with the band, didn’t you?
Oh, I didn’t, I didn’t get any credits until the Abracadabra,
Tracy Brinkmann 13:26
okay, whatever. Okay, good.
All right. But prior to me meeting them, most of them, Abracadabra, a big hit for him. But it was his last because he hasn’t since then. Got the record. And that’s when I came in. That was kind of a nice ride to be having a number one hit record as a project, which is cool when I had the flip side of that single and I had the second single on the record. And you know, it was really exciting. I mean, I just did to go from the studio scene into the pop rock scene was just like, you know, I was like idyllic because I really wanted to just be a studio player, but I achieved that I was making a good living. And then I just kicked it up a notch by getting in a rock band and touring the world with a number one hit record.
Tracy Brinkmann 14:09
Was that was it a tough decision cuz you like it, you just kind of mentioned you were doing pretty good being a session guitarist.
And I’ve already had three records that I’ve done with bands where I was a singer and a writer, but none of them had any hits. And so when Steve came along and took our songs to put on Abracadabra, and when he asked me to join, that was a tough decision because I had a lot of big contractors bill copy. I was playing on you know, Rocky movie soundtracks and commercials and a lot of other artists records and things and, and I was I was doing pretty good. I was double scale union scale. And I had to kind of, I turned to my fiance, of course, Diane at the time, and I did so what do you think she says, Well, she goes he done three records, you know, and you gave it a good shot. Here’s you’ve always wanted to promote your own mission. And go on the road, here’s a way to do it, but you’ll just be letting this guy Steve Miller be the singer. And he already has had it. So what’s wrong with that? You know, right, it was kind of a no brainer. And of course, when I came back off the road that year at 82, Nathan East had taken all my guitar, you know, my bass, you know, client sessions it because he was great. And he came up from San Diego. And I just couldn’t, I couldn’t get all those contractors to get back behind me. Because you know, you’re part of a team when you’re a studio musician, and you’re working for a contractor that that wants to have that team he works with, available 24, seven on an hour. And if you’re going on the road with a rock band, you’re not reliable. So that’s how I lost okay. And so, it was a tough decision. But then Diane said, Well, you know, you’re trying to promote your own stuff going out and work for him and heaven saying everything, and you’ll still be making the money, you got the songs on there, and he’s paying you to play what’s wrong with that,
Tracy Brinkmann 15:57
what’s wrong with that sounds like a win win.
It was actually a really good decision because eventually all those studio jobs dried up for everyone, you know, so there’s only a handful of guys in LA that still can make a living playing on you know, recordings like that, computerize everything sample now, and there’s very little in the business now. Like, you know, I mean, there’s just not as many sessions as There used to be a handful guys used to be hundreds and hundreds of guys, now it’s just a handful organize, you know, get the calls. And it just dried up. So now that the the, the classic rock radio format, has kind of fueled this classic rock touring business, we’ve been doing pretty well just going out and touring every year and making pretty good living doing that.
Tracy Brinkmann 16:48
Nice, nice. And you, you’re, I know, you were mentioning that you’re hopefully you’re going to get back out on tour with studying but like next month in it.
Yeah, we’ve been out of work for about 15 months. And, you know, we didn’t think it was gonna be that long, but it sure did. So, you know, had to like you know, kind of reinvent myself, I had mentioned that I have a teaching website called threat friends at bar at FRNZ comm that I just put out now which is you know, my lesson masterclass series now, and I’m promoting promoting that right now. And I use my youtube channel can even do this on YouTube friends to do free offerings with celebrities and, you know, entertaining little snippets. So that kind of show techniques and stuff is more like this for entertainment for like, you know, 1525 minutes in that range. And hopefully draw people over to the lessons from there. So that’s the kind of stuff I’ve been working on bought a new computer, you know, this one here. Cool switches, you know, I can do all kinds of weird things with my, with my OBS and everything. So I mean, I’m learning the tech part of it. I’ve been a little weak on the internet, part of it, my tech skill, my tech skills, were more in the analog tape, recording industry, you know, right. kind of put that into the digital world. And that’s about as far as I got. And then all this internet stuff was going oh my god, you gotta be kidding me. I gotta let a man I just want to go out and work on my garden, you know? So that’s, that’s kind of where I’ve been trying to catch up. So but yeah, that’s, that’s what’s been going on. But we are going to start working again next month, we got a couple corporates coming up. We just got another gig in September, we just put, we’re trying to surround that with some more gigs. So I would say by fall, we’re probably going to be doing about a dozen gigs this year. You know, I’m thinking which isn’t a lot, but at least it’s getting this back into the pool. Yeah. 2022 is when we’ll we’ll probably book a full blown Summer Tour.
Tracy Brinkmann 18:42
Nice. Well, God willing of the river don’t rise, right. I’m, I’m hopeful because I tell you what, the my whole family, my wife and my daughter, who’s still in the house with us. That’s how we spend our springs and summers, right is going to festivals and going to see band tours. And I mean, we’ll go We’ll go to one of our favorite bands in multiple states. I know when when five finger was touring around here before COVID. We went and saw them probably five times in the same year, just in different locations, because it’s just I love that live music energy. It’s It’s nothing like it. I’m sure you can attest to that.
Yeah, yeah, it’s become a church. Right?
Tracy Brinkmann 19:26
That’s a great way to play. And now I was I was digging around to look at make sure I had some of the cool things. And I noticed two things I didn’t know about you as I was rooting around in your past one is and correct me if I get it wrong. You were the manager at the Guitar Center that the iconic Guitar Center there in Hollywood, weren’t you? Do you
now listen to the Dark Horse entrepreneur podcast.
I became the sales manager. I wasn’t the store manager but I came to the sales manager which wasn’t really fun is you got to kind of Be a son of a bitch and kick everybody’s ass. And I like that I like being more of a nice fun guy. So they put me into artists relations. So I started working with Dave Letterman upstairs, who was the guy that actually invented the rock walk out in front of the place there. And that was really fun. And I was able to be a go between all the big artists in the industry and that store because that was our flagship store that we would ship out. A lot of seven even do rentals, you know, for videos and, you know, live gigs and stuff now. The go between because I was an artist myself, between sales because Steve took four years off he, right after the millennium, he in fact, disillusioned with the industry, Napster was hitting real big. He just he didn’t like SF x, which was the company that was prior to Live Nation, kind of dictated to him who he could have as an opening act and how much tickets were going to be blah, blah, blah, parking, he just got out of balls, and he just quit for about four years. So when that happened, I had to reinvent myself again. And so what I did is I went and I became a manager at Guitar Center, I started Sherman Oaks. And then I went to Palmdale, and I turned that store from number, it was the worst store in the chain. By the time I left, it was the number one store in the chain. And then they had hunted me and brought me into Hollywood. And that’s when I went sideways to get into artist relations, got my ponytail back. And sort of, you know, jeans again, because you know, for a while there I was wearing like suits and stuff. Oh my goodness. Corporate guy. And, but it was it was an experience. But yeah, I
Tracy Brinkmann 21:36
did the Guitar Center thing for about almost a year. Nice. Now, when you say artists relations, you’re you’re helped me understand what it was you were doing. I know, it had to be pretty cool.
You know, I get a call from Def Leppard. Or I get a call from you know, Green Bay, or, you know, share, it could be anybody and their credit card in my laptop. And I could use that credit card and ship them whatever gear they needed anywhere in the world. And all they would do is come say, Hey, give me a bla bla bla bla bla, and I gotta have my demand are there or, you know, maybe it was a road manager or their, their personal manager, or somebody like that, you know, wasn’t always the artist, but sometimes the artists would call. And then we all said billing accounts, which meant that if they had an account started, it had a name next or something attached to it, we could send them stuff without even making a payment, just because we have their card on file. We could just charge them later. You know, I mean, that was the kind of stuff I was doing an artist relations. And then of course, you know, if they came to the store, you know, I take them upstairs again to drink. We you know, we keep them out of the off the floor. If they wanted a vintage guitar to try I go down and get it and bring it up to them. And we had our own private offices upstairs. That was in Hollywood.
Tracy Brinkmann 22:50
Nice kind of a white glove service. It sounds like for those those upper echelon artists,
you know, you know, Courtney Love, you know, came in one day and she lit up a cigarette and was sitting on an AB in the front, you know, and I said, Yes, it’s corny. You can’t smoke and you’re gonna be kidding. I spent tons of money here. I said, Why would I have to ask you to go outside had to kick her out of the place. zakk Wylde came up. I asked him if he wanted to. We didn’t allow alcohol in there. But I asked him Do you want us to coffee because now I bought my own drinks. And he reaches into his pocket. He’s got a fully chilled open bottle of Heineken beer in his pocket. His overalls and he pulls it out sir Reagan said you’re not gonna be drinking that in years to get rid of it. You know, come on, you know, it was that kind of stuff was pretty funny. That’s awesome. Yeah, but it was funny. You are a we’d be doing a rock walk thing for you know Randy Rhoads or something out front and in the mountains it would be good air and we’d have food of course because it’s kind of a party maybe eating all the Swedish meatballs would be hugging them and I don’t I’m seeing the stabbing in all the Swedish meatball. Read some right? Come on.
Tracy Brinkmann 24:01
sounds like you have you have great content for a memoirs book if you wanted to put one together right. Now, the The other thing I saw was, you were actually I guess the phrase would be invented musical parts during your at some point in your career. Like get that right. You’re you’re working on musical components or maybe instrument components based product. Maybe it was a bass guitar or some guitar components that are still in use these days.
Oh, you’re talking about gear? Yes, gear components. I didn’t know what you meant. Yeah, I started out with Schecter guitars in 1974, which is a pretty famous company. Anybody who’s a guitar player, there’s probably quite a Schecter. One point we started the parts business First, we were building pickups. I was doing a guitar amp before that, but that ain’t never took off is over delta was a kind of experimental thing but out of that company, we move money sideways. They checked in and we started to parts of business. And I started building pickups and making pickup assemblies. And then eventually whole guitars with day from 74 to about 76. for about two years I did that. And eventually I trained a guy named Tom Anderson to take my place. And then of course, Tom Anderson eventually made his own guitars as well. And then eventually I got and then on another break, when Miller went on kind of a hiatus again, from about 87, to about 93. I was working for JBL Harman and we had our guitar company called Rivera. And I was helping with that line with Paul Rivera and jack Sahni, who had been in the Dire Straits, but they had kind of gone by the wayside. That rhythm section. So we were to rock and roll star orphans. spine said and we were selling guitar amps to them I industry through JBL Harman, who is the parent company. And so yeah, I’ve been I had my foot in some of the stuff. And then and then JBL proper, hired my band to go out and sell all their gear, all the Harmon gear, in 19 9091, I think it was, we took a rhythm section on the road and went all over the country. And we would play a show. And while we were playing the show, JBL representatives would be training everybody on monitors live sound recording, I mean, everything when we were playing, they’d be they have a track on the side, and it’d be showing, they’d be doing like a clinic, you know, for salespeople on how to do all the aspects, all the aspects of recording in life in music, business, and all the gear that they sold along that line. And so we were kind of the the guinea pig van and that was my band with Scotty page from Pink Floyd. And we had Steve Lucas there as a guest guitar player. And we had the tower pirate horn section. And that was my band was called the cold cuts. And eventually, we turned it into a band called the Han Dynasty. And that also became a house band or with the China club in Hollywood in the 90s as well. So that was another time I was selling gear with JBL. And we were selling avid ambient speakers and you know, outboard gear, the compressor linders microphones because they owned AKG you Rei sign how they’re gonna do and everything is great. So, yeah, I’ve been involved in that into the industry as well.
Tracy Brinkmann 27:31
It sounds like one of the repeating themes across your life has probably been the I don’t know, if you want to say reinventing or if it’s just inventing, right? Okay, here comes this part of but here comes a turn in my life or in my career, or in the business for that matter. I’m sure you’ve seen a number of turns, and it’s like, Okay, time to invent something here or reinvent so that I can continue on. Does that make sense?
Yes, I mean, I liken it to the way a diamond is developed, a diamond is developed under a lot of pressure, and a lot of heat in the center of the year. And it becomes stressed in order for it to get hardened. And then after it gets hardened, in order for it to be beautiful, it has to have a lot of different facets and facets that you cut is a part of what becomes the brilliance that makes it shine and be noticed in either the world or it could be in the business world who knows, right? You have all those different facets going for you in order for it to be complete. Otherwise, you just have this doll look and rock that doesn’t do anything. And so all the different things that I’ve learned in the music business to survive, are the cuts that are in my diamond that have helped me be able to be you know, noticed. And right now, the final facet is online. You know, social media presence, you know, that is my weakest link, because I’m old school. And I’m having to catch up with all these young folks that grew up with gaming. And those computers like the back of their hand, right? I didn’t grow up that way. I grew up with a, you know, a regular phone with a rotary dial and an electric guitar through a tube amp with technology that came from Thomas Edison. Yeah,
Tracy Brinkmann 29:16
right. Yeah, it seems like here in the past, let’s say even decades that the speed of technology is ever it’s a compounding. Like, I mean, I can remember when you’ll probably you and I were both in our teams, and you know, that first computer comes on to the to your to the president and you’re like, Oh, that’s cool, you know, and then it’s like seven years before it’s in everyone’s home. And then it seemed like it was two years. It’s in a phone and and then one year and it’s the Apple iPhone and like every two months, some new technology pieces coming along with like, I can’t even keep up.
And then it’s stalemate. It’s kind of stagnating from going out and buying the stuff. You think well, maybe I should wait for that. Next model, you know, it’s like, Oh, you got to jump in. Because otherwise you get left behind, you know, learn that. It took me a long time to buy a computer took me a long time to buy a cell phone, you know, you just took me forever, you know? Which one and what features and should I wait till next year, and now you gotta get in, you know. And that’s the thing is that you’ve weighed on the side of the river, and everything else is passing you by eventually, there’s not going to be they come down the river anymore. You know, it’s you have to you have to jump on board and to get on board. And it’s, it’s takes a little bit of courage in order to do that.
Tracy Brinkmann 30:35
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. That’s good. That’s a nice way to say it. Well, great, where you left behind? You get to watch everyone else having fun on their new computers and your new phones. What’s up with that? So okay, so you’ve got the, the fret friends, is that right? He said that I say that right. fr ETF, renz.com,
Fr, et friends, Fr E. z is in zebra, right? That’s the only way to get the.com. Because there’s a lot of red, green. So reference calm, that’s my debut website. And then of course, if you go to my YouTube channel, this Kenny Lewis on YouTube, I have a lot of free master classes there. And I’m just about ready to start doing a series with a bunch of celebrities with zoom will have split screen, we’ll be talking just like you and I are talking here. But we’ll be playing a little bit. And we’ll be talking about you know, the lore of what we do. And, you know, and hit records that we played on, things like that. So that’s that’s kind of like the new thing for me. Eventually, I’ll get into a fishing cooking show, maybe show a philosophy show? Who knows, you know, knows
Tracy Brinkmann 31:48
you’ve got the beard, right? Of course, Bass Lessons,
maybe that’ll be the next thing after I get all this guitar stuff on, then I’ll do Bass Lessons, because I played both instruments. Well, but I don’t try to sell them at the same time because it confuses people. So he has one or the other, you know, right?
Tracy Brinkmann 32:07
I want to I want to make sure I get that right. Cuz I want to get those links into the show notes for folks. So they can click through.
Check it out. Regular website. It’s just Kenny Lee Lewis comm all one word. Okay.
Tracy Brinkmann 32:20
All right, and what I mean, what other you got any other cool new project? I think I heard at one point you were you were working on some sort of book at one point,
a novel on on Amazon. It’s called skeleton dolls. I wish I shouldn’t have copier, skeleton dolls, children of the tower. It’s kind of a sci fi fantasy book written in the sense of like, Stephen King slash, Dan Brown got a book or something. It’s pretty cool. It was based on a true story. I’ve always been a writer, I even wrote a movie script back in the 90s. But I’ve always written and I’ve always written songs, of course. But I started writing novels around this time. And I met this twin, and she was fascinating. And then I met her twin sister, who is identical. And they were so identical, they were so lovely. It was like, kind of breathtaking to meet these. And then I met the mother. And they she heard it’s telling these stories about what they were like when they were little. And they spoken twin speak. And if you google twin speed, you’ll find out it’s a real thing that twins actually sometimes talk in their own language when they’re very little. And no one knows what it is. It’s kind of like speaking in tongues in church, you know. And it’s like a mini book that we speak real fast, and nobody can understand what they’re saying. But they but they understand it. And of course, they have telepathy and all this other stuff going on. But the mother sort of tell me these stories about what these twins were like when they were little, and it just made the hair on my arm stand up. And I went like, can I run with this guy? Can I make this into a novel if I just changed the names? And she said, Yeah, go ahead. I got permission from the family. And so the first 10 chapters are true story, which is pretty funny. And then it goes off, and then it goes off into, you know, then using their language into their adult life. And if we find out it has power, and what we find out is that it’s actually the original language of God. If you go into the Old Testament, and you read the Old Testament, it talks about how everybody at one point, spoke the same language prior to the Tower of Babel. And when you talk about Noah and Abraham and Enoch, and you know, zekiel, and all these people, they all they always say, and God said, and he answered, and it was like, you know, when he told Noah to build the ark, he didn’t just come into his mind and like, start encrypting. He just spoke to him and said, you know, making 50 cubits once a qubit. You know, it’s like, they spoke their conversations. I didn’t make this stuff up. It’s in the Old Testament. So we find out that this language that the twins are speaking is actually that original language, which has been suppressed by the church because the last person to use it was Merlin During the Middle Ages, you know, because he was Celtic warrior and a magician, whatever, you know, a volley man. And he used these in potentials, but landers because they had power. And when the church found out that it was real, they suppress it because they didn’t want anybody else have that kind of power, because only Jesus, of course, could have that Lazarus power to raise the dead miracles. Well, if we all got inside ourselves, I can with an Eastern religion mindset. And we also use these this language, also sung in his particular melody, because there’s frequencies like with crystals that are involved with the scene and quotations that go with this language that has power. So that’s what these twins use in this book of mine called skeleton dolls. And it’s available on hardback and also, you know, Kindle on Amazon and children in the tower is the second first book, it’s a trilogy, I’ve already written the second one, which is called lessons of the Grotto. But I’m shopping that now as a fresh new book. Because if you know, in the literary world, if you try to shop a book after it’s been self published, which is what I do did with the first book, they don’t want to talk to you. So you can’t sell publish it if you’re trying to shop it. So right now I’m in the process of shopping that sequel, but the first book is available to everybody out there. And it’s, it’s pretty fascinating. If you like sci fi fantasy stuff, you’re gonna love this book. It’s pretty big, too. It’s about 460 pages. And it’s a doozy, but I have not had any negative reviews. Unfortunately, I’ve had no major reviews, because like I said, I can’t get an agent to get taken to a publisher yet in the review, because it’s been released already. Right? You just have to make your own judgment on it. But if you read the reviews on Amazon, you’ll see that everybody really likes the book.
Tracy Brinkmann 36:49
I’m definitely have to check that out. My my wife and I will both both get into a book like that. Absolutely. Man, you know, Kenny, I definitely appreciate you coming in and hanging out with us. Any final words for any of our dark horses out there, given your experience in business and music?
Well, I mean, other than the diamond story that I related, I mean, as an artist, if you if there was a musician, listening, I mean, I always try to teach this to my students. You’re gonna have to learn all the facets of entertainment also on stage. I mean, you can’t just play, you’ve got to move you’ve got to entertain, read a smile, gotta sing. If you if you don’t just learn how to sing in tune, you’ll add a zero to your paycheck. And you know, because the Steve Miller band, I don’t get played to play my instrument. He can get anybody to do that. I get paid to sing. Because we don’t have any backing track. We sing everything live in that band, and you got to sing and you got to sing in tune. We do vocal warm ups before and after our I mean, before soundcheck after soundcheck before we go on stage, are always tuning up for instruments. So that’s really important, by some good clothes, you know, look at right now I looked like crap does, I’m just doing my COVID thing right now. But, you know, you got to look good, and you gotta you know, you got to get along with everybody, you know, you can’t go on a tour bus and just expect to be a little pre Madonna. You know, you’ve got to, it’s like a it’s like a social environment. Everybody has to get along, you have to take everybody’s feelings in consideration. So it’s about the hand, you know, about 95% of getting into a successful musical ensemble, especially touring. It’s just the hang, you got to know how to hang. If you can hang, nobody’s gonna want to hang with you. I don’t care how, you know, so that you know, and just learning all the different facets of the music industry, as I illustrated earlier, I think are some of the best things I can. Sure.
Tracy Brinkmann 38:40
Absolutely. I definitely appreciate Kenny, thanks so much for hanging out with Tracy. I really appreciate it. All right. There you have it my dark horse friends or family you could say the Joker himself dropping rock and roll knowledge bombs on is why did what ideas resonated with you? And be sure, like four of them that I got thought number one, learn and hone your craft that can he told his story of spending the summer of 66 teaching himself to play guitar in his friend’s bomb shelter, cranking up their guitars to the 45 records of their time. Now he continued to hone his craft through high school into college and beyond. I wanted to dive a bit more into this in Episode 208. On Tuesday, excuse me on Wednesday in Episode 208. We’re going to chat about the eight key steps to mastering your craft. Thought number two, learn from pirates, not just mainstreamers, early in his musical career journey, Kenny was influenced by all the mainstream artists that we all heard, well, maybe not all of you, but some of us heard on the airwaves way back in the day. But then came the pirate radio channels where we were able to hear a whole new set of sounds Sounds that we’re not being played on the mainstream am and FM stations. Those new sound stylings had a huge influence on me him, his stylings and his play today, you know, you and I, we’re all lucky enough to have the internet at our fingertips. And it can easily access an array of stylings with just a click. Are you tapping into that? Or are you following the zombies of the mainstream? The Tuesday and Facebook group I want to share some thoughts and ideas of how you can tap into radio pirate radio stylings, alright to help avoid being just another cookie cutter type of entrepreneur help you stand up, stand out, and even shouted out loud. Little rocker room, humor there for you thought number three, give your best stuff for the great opportunities. Now Kenny shared his story of sending his newly cut demos to Steve Miller, which we now evolved in to him becoming a touring member of the band, but sending someone your best stuff, right without them paying for it. Is that wise? Well, in my humble opinion, I would say yes. Right. And I’m sure Kenny would agree because it actually worked out well for him. And it’s like I have said many times on this podcast and just about everywhere, everywhere else. Put your best stuff out there. Heck, even give it away for free, believe it or not, they will come back and pay you for more of you. And here’s the thing I find is that when you put your best stuff out there, so many people are like, Man, this is amazing stuff. But only about 1% of them are really going to take action on it. They need you need to hold your hand. You know, so put your best stuff out there, they will come back and pay for more of you. It seems a bit ironic, right? Yeah, well, maybe. But it works, as do as it does a few other of the ironic rules of business, which I want to discuss with you on Friday and Episode 209. Six ironic rules for success in entrepreneurship. Thought number four, take your success into a new space. Kenny became very successful as a studio and session player in Southern California. He was doing quite well for himself and his family. He was going so well. You could say, you know, I base this on the fact that he mentioned he had to be gone. Movie contracts. He was doing movie soundtracks. Then came that opportunity to tour the Steve Miller band was big decision. He said to himself, now you could stay where you are where you’re, you’re successful, it’s not a bad thing. Or you could take your success into an entirely new space. Well, lucky for us, as music fans anyway, can you join the band and still touring with him to this day? Well, not right now with COVID. But hopefully, as you heard him say they’re going to have some things coming out here soon, I believe in September. But imagine all the amazing music we would not have gotten if he had stayed in the studio only right? Are you staying in the studio with your gifts and your skills. Thursday in the Facebook group I want to talk about and share some ideas and some tips on marketing yourself, maybe even in a new industry, so that you can Shine bright like a diamond. Hi, now what ideas are inspiring thoughts resonated with you, whatever they were, I want you to take some time and write them down. Write very important you write these things down, then get out there, run your race, get your results. And let me hear about them seriously, you can email me at Tracy at Dark Horse schooling.com. Share the tips or ideas that you came up with how you’ve been put them into action, and what results you gained from them telling you all about them. Heck, probably even bring you on the show, so that you can share your successes with the audience. Now next week. Oh man next week, we’ve got Jason Milan. Now Jason is a wealth mentor and he spent the last 14 years helping service businesses understand that language of money and manufacture financial freedom for themselves and their families. He has successfully helped over 1000 clients build in excess of 1.4 billion with a B in combined wealth. And he has scaled multiple seven figure businesses. He’s a master of helping business owners make money for themselves and turn their business profits into personal wealth. You’re not gonna want to miss this one, Jason is fire and he’s gonna be coming to us from the outback, because he has taken the time to go traveling around the country for a whole year so he can enjoy the fruits of his labor. That’s what it’s all about right there. By the way, one last thing. If you’re looking for some help with your podcast, whether you’re looking to launch one, you already have one, you’re looking for help with the editing process. emotion. Or if you’re looking to monetize that bad boy then reach out to me again at Tracy at Dark Horse schooling calm, or you can go to Dark Horse schooling.com backslash coaching. Let’s chat, I will make sure that when you walk away from that chat that you’ll come away with a success plan again, at Dark Horse schooling.com backslash coaching. Let’s see how I can be of service to you and helping you start, restart or kickstart your business or podcasts. Now I know you’re gonna keep getting all these valuable tips, these inspirational stories from the guests. I’m lucky enough to bring on some Please go on down there, hit that subscribe button wire there, drop us a five star rating. Share us a quick few words in the reviews, give us some kind words, ask a question. Maybe there’s a question you’d like to have. As to Kenny Lee Lewis, I’ll get it over to him. And we’ll either bring him back on. Heck, maybe we can get a match for it on the show one more time, right. And of course, as always, do not keep all this entrepreneurial, g o LD all to yourself. Share this podcast with other entrepreneurs and business owners that you know would get value from it. And with that, I’m gonna leave you as I always do things successfully, and take action.
Thank you for listening to the Dark Horse entrepreneur podcast. Thanks for tuning in.
Check us out at www dot Dark Horse schooling.com. All right. My name is Tracy Brinkmann.
EP 207 Kenny Lee Lewis Fly Like An Entrepreneurial Eagle
What Can We Entrepreneurs Learn From A Long And Successful Rock And Roll Career?
- Learn And Hone Your Craft – Kenny told his story spending the summer of 66 teaching himself to play guitar in his friends bomb shelter cranking up their guitars to 45 rpm records of their time. He continues honing craft through high school, college and beyond. I want to dive a bit more in this in EP 208 8 Key Steps To Mastering Your Craft
- Learn From Pirates Not Just Mainstreamers – Early in his musical journey Kenny was influenced by all the mainstream artists everyone heard on the AM airwaves. But then came the pirate radio channels – where he was able to hear a whole new set of sounds. Sounds that were not being played on the mainstream AM stations. These new sound stylings had a huge influence on him, his stylings and his play. Today we are lucky enough to have the internet at our fingertips and access an array for stylings that we click with. Are you tapping into that? Or are you just following the zombie of the mainstream? Tuesday in the facebook group I will share some thoughts and ideas of how you can tap into the pirate radio stylings to avoid being just another cookie cutter type of entrepreneur. Stand up… Stand Out… Shout It Out Loud!
- Give Your Best Stuff For Great Opportunities – Kenny shared the story of his sending his newly cut demos to Steve Miller which as we now know evolved into him becoming a touring member of the band. But sending someone your best stuff? Is that wise? Well, in my humble opinion I would say YES. It is like I have said many times here on this podcast and elsewhere…but your best stuff out there… heck give it away for free even. They will come and pay you for more of You. Seems a bit ironic right? Well maybe but it works as does a few other ironic rules which we will discuss Friday in EP 209 6 Ironic Rules For Success In Entrepreneurship
- Take Your Success Into A New Space – Kenny became a very successful studio/session player in southern california and was doing quite well. He was going very well you could say since he was on big contracts and movie soundtracks. Then he was offered the opportunity to tour with Steve Miller Band. And big decision, stay where you are currently successful or take the success into a new space? Well lucky for all us music fans Kenny joined the band and still tours with him to this day. Imagine all the amazing music we would NOT have gotten if he stayed in the studio only? Are you staying in the studio with your gifts and skills? Thursday in the facebook group I will be sharing some ideas and tips on marketing yourself to a new industry. So you can shine bright like a diamond!
Kenny Lee Lewis’s links