Friends. Something that isn’t necessarily synonymous with the music industry shit, but I had a few I met outside of the confines of that structure and one of my very best ones asked me one day if I’d “Like to intern for Epic records”. As I stated before I fell back from studies at Hunter to go all in on this entertainment ish and this was the last piece of the puzzle. I jumped at the chance.
550 Madison ave. The Sony building. Iconic in the NYC skyline and Iconic as a multifaceted brand. Epic records had one distinction above all other labels, they released the greatest selling album of all time… Thriller. When I walked into the lobby there was a definite distinct difference in the feel of the building. First of all you could fit Tommy Boy’s entire office in the Sony building lobby twice. No bullshit. The elevators had gold doors that opened up to reveal trappings better than most peoples apartments. This was not a sinking ship of a label, but a power house. I get in the elevator and press 1 to go to the sky lobby, then someone with what appears to be a bodyguard also jump in. A five foot tall mink wearing Jermaine Dupri is apparently on his way upstairs as well. Already my mind is racing, not at the celeb sighting, but at the possibilities potentially available in this place.
I met with my friend and she walked me upstairs to where I would be potentially stationed. Once on the Epic floor, it looked like any other midtown Manhattan office except with CD’s strewn about, music posters on the wall and a gaggle of employees ranging from the pretentious to cool as fuck. Tommy Boy felt more like a label, but Epic clearly had more clout. As I walked down the hallway you could hear various directors of various departments making moves. The personalities here were flamboyant, boisterous and almost big enough to validate the vast expense budgets Epic had in its war chest. I get to the office of the guy who I will intern for… his door is closed. Clearly however someone was on the ass reaming end of being chewed out. Then the door flies open and out comes dude laughing at what he just put someone through. He asked disinterestedly if I was the intern to which my friend replied yes. He then motioned to a seat and said I’d be working for his assistant.
Now his assistant… man this dude seemed suspect. In the interest of keeping names out of it lets call him Josh. Josh said in the mean time I’d help by filing shit, going on errands etc. All good… I expected to do that bare minimum. So I took my seat and began observing. People will tell you more than they ever would intentionally by simply going through their motions and reading people in this shit became a valuable skill. I could tell I’d have my work cut out for me.
So I was working and rising in the ranks at a magazine, making money at Tommy Boy and just got started at Epic, It was a balancing act I would eventually revel in maintaining. The roller coaster ride was about to pick up the pace.