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 and even more importantly it set into motion the beginning of a lifelong devotion to music.
After that particular moment I knew I wanted to be involved in the music industry. Unfortunately a lack of musical talent and finances 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 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. But 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 great musical sensation.
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 Amphitheatre 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 talk. 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, and that we needed to seize the opportunity by becoming involved in something more than just the standard path that life routinely dishes out.
Over the course of the next few months we visited nearly every 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 because we wanted something that would relate to the West coast while still expressing a laid back approach that both Matt and myself tried to convey in our day-to-day lives. After several days of brain storming we thought it would be amusing to let our families come up with a few ideas. In a matter of seconds my sister rattled off the name Pacific Ridge Records completely on the fly. Little did we know we had learned our first but certainly not last lesson regarding the practice of business. The lesson being, the more heads you interject into an idea the better the end product will be. A simple yet often forgotten practice.
As with all radical ideas there was the typical pushback 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 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 was a reality waiting to happen.
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-olds unrealistic dream. It was my day-to-day life and one that will be a part of my life, for better or for worse, for the rest of my days.
The 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 a 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. It's about not having dedicate yourself to college, work or anything else in life unless that particular path is what you truly find yourself passionate about. In other words, do what you want, not what others tell you to do.
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. 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, 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 what you’re doing is what you truly love. Even if you do fail, and the truth is we'll all fail at some point in our life, you need only to get up off the ground, dress your wounds, get back in the action and try, try again. And every time you meet adversity head on like this 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 direction in life. Because it’s inevitable that people will be there to try and 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.
So I ask you...are you happy with your life?
Send Your Demo To:
Pacific Ridge Records
Attn: Wayne Stadler
411 14th St. H1
Ramona, CA 92065