For the end of the year, I will not rip on anyone in the music business (Will probably start again in 2010, but you never know!)
Instead I want to talk about something that is taking up most of my time these days. About five years ago, my friend Alice Peacock and I started a not for profit called Rock For Reading. We do two things:
1.We give monetary grants to small after school reading programs and small organizations that help with literacy issues in the Chicago area. At this time we have made monetary grants totaling $250,000.00.
2. We acquire books from book drives and from publishers and supply them to schools and after school reading programs in the area, many times stipulating that the books need to go home with the students- sometimes the first books that the child has ever owned! To date, we have donated 425,000 books. We recently received a donation of 93,000 books from a publisher in Minnesota, which will be sorted and inventoried this week and distributed after the first of the year. Also, I have just come home from the second of two days of driving around in a rental van (through a driving blizzard yesterday) picking up 300 boxes of books from 21 Borders book stores in the Chicago area. Borders held a book drive between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and we are the recipients of all the books. Total should be about 30,000 books!! They will be sorted and distributed after the first of the year.
Doing this makes me feel like I am doing something positive in the world. It also makes me forget about all the morons in the music business that I have no interest in dealing with! (Couldn’t resist!!)
Happy New Year!!!