Ernie Ball...We made it 50 years. 50th Anniversary Blog
by, 01-03-2012 at 07:57 AM (242823 Views)
50...it isn't just some number. It is really one that you have to digest, celebrate, reflect, and truly appreciate. Especially if you were there for all of them like I have.
The companies that have made it 50 years and that are still relevant are very few and I am deeply honored to have Ernie Ball join that club. It means validity of my fathers passion, creativity, and drive. It is a chance to soak in the work that I have dedicated my life to...it is watching my sons take it from here....(ok I'm not done yet) It is being rewarded for successfully reinventing ourselves numerous while retaining our DNA.
I can remember vividly the day my Dad called the neighbor kids and showed them one string package that was day glo pink and one that was black and white and asked us which one we preferred....We were market research child slave labor all wrapped into one. I remember his rejections and his milestones of success.
I didn't know that my father was an entrepreneur. He was a guy that sold guitars, taught guitar, wrote books teaching guitar, and creating products for the guitar. Started from scratch. No rich parents or uncles...just bull dog determination to prove that the ideas in his head were valid. He went broke three times. He never gave up.
In getting ready for this anniversary and reviewing all the material produced I realized that this like looking at my MRIís or x-rays... Bittersweet. I was there for all 50...I cant speak for him today because he is no longer here. But I can represent him. Please allow me to speak from my perspective and how I feel at this moment.
I always wanted to do what I did. Since I was probably 6 years old. My Dad was a great teacher and a good dad...but wasn't the toss the ball around and go fishing kind of Dad...he worked. That's what he did and I believe that my wanting to do this was a combination between fascination and understanding intuitively that this was the only way to be close to my father. Working his legacy in many ways makes him still here...in my heart and mind.
I remember so little and so much at the same time. From Tarzana, Newport Beach, San Luis Obispo, and Coachella...all eras with stories and memories. I cherish the friends that I have met and miss my mentors like Tommy Walker. I look back and wonder what I was thinking and how I made some of the decisions I made. No agony...just in the moment. I got lucky, really lucky.
My Dad taught me Ying and Yang. I lived it. Starting with being the bosses son. To this day I know that many people view me as a loud guy who got handed a business. I'm ok with that. That was the Ying. The Yang rocked my world. I might have won a few battles by people not taking me seriously.
My Dad taught me perspective. My youngest son Casey taught me reality. I really never had adversity until we found out he wasn't well. The perspective was that Ernie Ball was a great business, the reality was that we could make sick kids better.
We are celebrating a small business that managed to weave itself into pop music and itís culture and history. Ernie Ball strings were there for the Beach Boys, Beatles, Hendrix, Page, Clapton. A ton of todays stars and most in between use our products.
So lets pretend this is the Academy and we got a minor Statue/Award. This is where I get to thank people..,some who are still here and some who are gone. Thanks first off to my My trophy wife Stacey who I met at Ernie Ball as teenagers. Thanks to Ernie, Tommy, Dan Norton, Dudley, Luke, Steve Morse, Albert Lee, Jim D 'Addario (that's right..a dear friend) John Petrucci, Reed and Bill, Ray, Marty,Rod Bradley, Kanda, Gotthold and Matthias, Rodney Crowell, Leo, Crump, Luke Chueh, and my boys...Scotty, Brian and Casey. I have left people out...sorry I have hit the blogging wall..
Sterling Ball Jan 2012
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