Pacific Ridge Records was born the instant The Movielife finished their set at a small venue in San Diego called The Scene. The show marked the first concert I ever attended. It also marked the subsequent lifelong devotion to music that I would permanently be afflicted with.
To narrow down the moment of inspiration further, my moment of clarity hit after lead singer Vinnie Caruana eschewed a particularly riveting speech about men and women being unable to maintain a platonic and civil relationship while immediately launching into my favorite Movielife song, “Walking on Glass.” It was that exact moment that I realized I wanted to be involved in the music industry. Unfortunately a lack of musical talent and the finances of a teenager eliminated the obvious choice of starting a band of my own. So instead of picking up a guitar, I decided to consume as much music and industry related knowledge as physically possible. There was no real goal or ultimate intention behind my pursuit of knowledge. In fact, at the time, my days spent perusing relatively unknown artists and labels was considered by many to be a complete waste of time and production. I simply had a passion for staying up-to-date in the world of music, and I had an even greater desire to know whether or not an up-and-coming artist had what it took to become the next Taking Back Sunday or New Found Glory.
Two years and several dozen shows later my long time friend and I were watching The Get Up Kids play a set at the Open Air Amphitheater at San Diego State University when the prospect of releasing music came up (as it routinely did at events like this). This time around was different though, our plans seemed like more than just idle chatter. The conversation seemed like a reality waiting to happen rather than some pipe dream that was always out of reach. We also realized that our recent high-school graduation marked a significant change in our lives. A change that signified a necessity to seize an opportunity or let it pass us by.
Over the course of the next few months, we visited nearly every government led administrative building in San Diego trying to figure out where to begin. Various forms and a whole hell-of-a-lot of paperwork later we had officially established the entity known as Pacific Ridge Records. The name was a point of contention at first. We wanted something that would relate to the West coast while still expressing a laid back approach that both Matt and I tried to convey in our day-to-day lives. After several days of brain storming we thought it would be amusing to let our family’s come up with a few ideas. In a matter of seconds my sister rattled off the name Pacific Ridge Records completely out of the blue and without any prodding. Little did we know at the time, but we had just learned our first lesson regarding the practice of business. That lesson being, the more heads you introduce an idea to, the better the end product will almost assuredly be.
As with all radical ideas there was the typical push-back by most of the adult figures in our life, claiming our endeavors were foolish and nothing more than an adolescent dream that would drain our time, lives and bank accounts. Like everything in life though, our true friends and family (our parents included) encouraged us to follow our hearts while offering advice and their own life experiences in an effort to see that we would succeed. And those few people that did support us were instrumental in convincing us that this enterprise was more than just an unattainable life dream. They convinced us that it wasn't what we put into the business, it was what we emotionally got out of it, and what we emotionally took out of it was the satisfaction that we created something from scratch and that we would at the very least get a shot to conquer something that we thought was utterly unrealistic only months earlier.
Fast forward another year, a business partner and entirely too many mistakes later and you have Pacific Ridge Records as it is now. Not the idea, not the paperwork, not even the name, but the actual record label with our very first release...To put it more precisely, Pacific Ridge Records was more than just a 16 year-old's unrealistic dream. It was my day-to-day life and one that will be a part of my life in some capacity for the rest of my days.
That rather drab story behind PRR's humble beginnings is not about myself or the label I operate. As cliche as it sounds, it's about following your heart and doing what you're passionate about in life. The history behind the founding of Pac Ridge is about not having to follow the narrow and unfulfilling predetermined path that society and culture deems is acceptable. It's about choosing whether or not to dedicate yourself to a questionable course of action.
For those of you who doubt your potential or believe that your dreams are entirely too unattainable, I want you to know, nothing needs to be given to you for you to succeed. You don’t need a person close to the industry to hold your hand through the mistakes or help push your business in the right direction. You don’t need rich friends or family, or to take out a loan that mortgages your future. You simply need passion, determination, the support of a few close friends and the mindset that even if you fail, you wont have failed at all, because you’ll know in your heart that you’re doing what you truly love. Even if you do fail, and the truth is, we'll all fail at some point, you need only to get up off the ground, dress your wound and get back into action. And every time you meet this brand of adversity, you’ll be met with the satisfaction of knowing that you're happy with your life, with what you’re doing and with who you are as a person. That’s not to say that there will never be doubters, critics and those that will try to dissuade you from your life goals and the paths you've chosen. Because it’s inevitable that people will try to bring you down, and when those individuals do criticize you, and they will. Just ask them this simple question, "Are you happy with your life?" because when they hesitate, you’ll know in your heart that you wouldn’t have. And in that moment, you’ll know without doubt that you've made the right decision.
Pacific Ridge Records
411 14th St. H1
Ramona, CA 92065