Okay, this is two questions, but whatever.
Kevin Lyman is the dude who brings punk rock madness from town to town every summer under the Vans Warped Tour banner. He’s been doing it for 20 years, entertained something around nine million kids (and random parents who wander through the festival) and helped bring a certain level of social responsibility to the tour.
These two questions came at the end of an hour long conversation (link to the full Q&A to be published soon) that was informative …
The Dummy: From your experience and perspective, I’m curious if you feel that fear has a place in business.
Kevin: Oh, absolutely I think it does. You have to have confidence, but with an undertone of fear. I like to joke that now that I’m 53…. Wait, what am I? 52? Anyway… That I work out of fear and desperation, because according to the world you can’t get a job if you’re over 45. So, I work hard every day, because there’s not much else I can do I guess, according to the press. But, that’s fucking bullshit in my mind. I think fear is a good thing. It keeps your ego in check a little bit. It’s all a balance. You need a little of everything in business, but if any of them get out of balance that’s where you have problems.
The Dummy: How do you get ‘em back in check?
Kevin: Oh, shit, you walk through Children’s Hospital and see what people are going through. You go out on the road and you spend time across America. I think they should send every agent in Los Angeles on a 45 city tour and when they want to charge $200 for a ticket, they can see that the average person in this country struggles, but they want to get entertained. So, every time my accountants say that we should raise the ticket price $5, it flashes through my head, ‘Wait, is that $5 going to make a huge difference in my life?’ I’m doing okay. But, that $5 might mean that a kid can’t come to a show. That’s a big difference for some people. Also, I think about where I could have been. I don’t know what I would have been doing, but I look back and see how some things fell in line and I’m trying to give back while I’m still relevant. My wife also keeps me in check. She says, ‘Think about the day the phone stops ringing.’ Then you step back and say, ‘Okay, let’s get going.’