Category Archives: Music

Listing of all posts related to music. Doesn’t matter what type or what style.

One of my proudest days

When I was 13, I played my first real piano recital. I had done some smaller ones before at the beginner level when I was younger. This time I was playing a “serious” piece by Beethoven and many of the kids in the line-up were older and had ambitions of going on to Julliard or majoring in music in college. I had prepared for the recital and could play the piece by heart, but when it was my turn I played a few bars and then I froze. I couldn’t remember the piece. My teacher had to come up to the piano, sit down beside me with the sheet music and coach me through it in front of everyone. I was mortified and I quit. I am not sure if quitting was the right decision, but my heart didn’t seem to be in it at the time and I moved on with my life.

Fast forward 35-years and now its my kids’ turn. Both of them had entered their schools Evening of the Arts recital where the kids have to choose a music or dance composition, perform before a panel and if selected they get to participate. My daughter and two other girls choreographed a dance number to a One Direction song and did great.

Carly – Evening of the Arts

Brandon – Evening of the Arts

My son last to go. His choice? Firework by Katy Perry on sax.

He had played the song in front of friends and family a couple of times and was pretty comfortable with it. Just like I was prior to my recital. But the few hours before the show his stomach was in knots and so was mine.

Seeing how nervous he was and the anxiety he had built up while practicing before the show took me right back to that place in 1977 when I was a nervous wreck and I froze. As a parent the emotions are “please Lord let him perform, let him be free of his fear and just play his heart out”.

Well he nailed it!!  The audience went nuts after his performance. When the headmaster got up to address the school after the performance he asked the crowd to “give it up” again for my son.

Fear and quitting are interesting things that should be confronted and examined every day if you are going to live a fulfilled life. I can’t say what would have happened to me if I would have stuck with piano and pushed myself through The Dip as Seth Godin coined it. I decided to guit taking piano lessons at 13 and pivot. I played in a band in college and found that I actually liked playing again. I am now enjoying life as a husband, father, entrepreneur and lover of music.

If I can do anything for me kids, it would be to continue to provide positive reinforcement, to get them to face their fears and to help them understand that the decision to power through the dip or pivot is perfectly normal.

My iTunes Saga – A happy ending

After a few more email back and forth with Apple iTunes Support (which only seem to be available during working hours in India) I was able to resolve the iTunes issue I had with the missing songs. A gentleman named Naresh in Apple’s Support Group actually replaced the songs diredctly into my account.

Thank you Apple for resolving this. Here is the email thread:

Dear Cam,

You're very welcome. I'm glad to hear that we could help.

Nothing makes Apple happier than to hear that we have pleased our customers. I hope that you continue to enjoy the iTunes Store.

Have a nice day!!


iTunes Store/Mac App Store Customer Support

Please Note:I work from Tuesday to Saturday, 07:00 AM - 04:00 PM CST.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you. You may receive an Applecare survey email; any feedback you provide would be greatly appreciated.


Yes - I noticed that the songs were reposted yesterday. So there was no need for me to download them afterall,

Please let Naresh know that I appreciate his efforts. Also please resubmit a customer survey so I can provide a positive comment.



Tangled up with Apple iTunes Tech Support

itunesI upgraded my iPhone, iPad and copy of iTunes to the latest version recommended by Apple. The iTunes version is now 10.5. The problem is that a number of my songs were missing. This seems to be a recurring problem when you have an external drive and the link between iTunes and the physical media is broken. I went in and manually fixed about 100 songs.

I noticed that a number of my purcahses didn’t show up either. Again, no worries, iTunes 10.5 has a slick “Downloads” features that allows you to download previous purchases. iTunes had the songs “registered” but the media was missing. So I deleted the songs from iTunes and then redownloaded my music. Everything was going good until I noticed that a purchase I made back in April, Ray LaMontagne’s “Live – Fall 2010 – EP” wasn’t showing up as a purchased item. I have the receipt of purchase in my iTunes purchases history, but it wasn’t showing up.

Here is my email tug of war with Apple on this subject.

Hello Cam,

Thank you for replying to iTunes Store Customer Support. My name is Naresh and I will be taking over this request for Mark.

Cam, I have posted a fresh copy of the purchased playlist "Live - Fall 2010 - EP" to your account. Please follow these steps to download the item with your iPhone:

1) On the Home screen, tap iTunes.

2) At the bottom of the iTunes app screen, tap Downloads. (If you don't see a Downloads option, tap More and then tap Downloads.)

3) Enter your password when prompted.

The playlist should begin downloading. If you lose your Internet connection, iPhone will display a message that says it cannot connect to the iTunes Store. Once you reconnect to the Internet, tap iTunes and then Downloads again, and then tap the blue down arrow icon that appears next to the item to resume the download.

I hope this information is helpful. Please feel free to contact me for further assistance.

I would be thankful for any opportunity to assist a valued customer like you.

Have a nice day!


iTunes Store/Mac App Store Customer Support

Please note: I work from Sunday to Wednesday & Saturday 7.00 AM to 04:00 PM CST

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you. You may receive an AppleCare survey email; any feedback you provide would be greatly appreciated.


My original message was not clear and for that I apologize.

I am not requesting a refund. I would like to restore the songs an iTunes upgrade somehow erased.

Heres what happened. I upgraded to the latest version of iTunes last night. Subsequent to the upgrade all of my purchased music was missing. In order to restore them, I had to delete my purchased songs from iTunes and then go into the iTunes Store and select Purchased from the Quicklinks menu. I then had to re-download my purchases.

Unbeknownst to me the EP, Live 2010, by Ray Lamontagne and the Pariah Dogs was missing - that is all four songs. Furthermore, it was not listed in iTunes as a purchase. However I have the receipt to prove I purchased it.

Again I am NOT requesting a refund. I am requesting access to all four songs on this EP so I can download then again and resolve this issue. It's the first time I've had problems with an upgrade losing purchased store items.

Thank you,


Sent from my iPad

On Oct 18, 2011, at 4:10 AM, iTunes Store <> wrote:

> Dear Cam,
> Your request for a refund for "For the Summer (Live)" was carefully considered; however, according to the iTunes Store Terms of Sale, all purchases made on the iTunes Store are ineligible for refund. This policy matches Apple's refund policies and provides protection for copyrighted materials.
> You can review the iTunes Store Terms of Sale for more information:
> Sincerely,
> Mark
> iTunes Store Customer Support
> Customer First Name : Cam
> Customer Last Name : Collins
> email :
> Web Order # : MGVLJ44SZ1
> Support Subject : I didn't receive this song
> Sub Issue : Incomplete download
> Comments : Apple ID:
> Platform : iTunes-iPhone/3.1.3 (2)
> Song Name : For the Summer (Live)
> Comments :
> All of these songs are gone - Not even in Purchased listing in ITunes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bonnaroo – Peace, Love and Rock & Roll

I am not old enough to remember Woodstock when it happened, but as a kid I was certainly influenced by the artists and amazing music that was created on that farm in upstate New York. So when we got on invitation to attend Bonnaroo in Manchester, TN we were giddy at the prospect of going to the nation’s largest music festival.


Our accommodations were certainly over the top. We were part of a package called Total Access, whereby guests are given rock star treatment. We were assigned a Prevost motor coach in one of the only shaded areas on the 700 acre farm that provides the backdrop for Bonnaroo. Our “campsite” included a 24/7 open bar and a buffet serving concert goer favorites like grilled filet mignon topped with portabella mushrooms.

There were over 100 bands performing on five different stages. Furthermore there were various comedians, artists, lectures, food, “merch” (e.g. overpriced t-shirts and stuff), a hair salon, yoga sessions, etc.

Here is a run down of the bands and comedians we saw:

Lewis Black and Friends (honestly I thought Hannibal Buress stole the show. Funnier than Lewis in my opinion)
The Decemberists (Best in show for me!)
Ray Lamontagne (overlapped Decemberists – only heard four songs. Packed house. I am a big fan!)
Florence + the Machine (Packed to the gills! Venue was too small. They needed to be on main stage. Awesome)
My Morning Jacket
Arcade Fire (bummed that we actually missed seeing them but heard the show from our motor coach)

The Low Anthem (aside from seeing them play a “saw”, this we could have missed)
Donald Glover and Friends (Donald was awesome, but Bill Bailey was right with him)
Black Uhuru (I am a huge reggae fan and love this band…but it was obvious they didn’t want to be there. The only one into it was lead singer Derek “Duckie” Simpson).
Alison Krauss & Union Station (I bailed on Black Uhuru to catch Alison. Only saw them do five songs. Wish I would have been there from the beginning)
Mumford & Sons (Incredible. Young, passionate and they had a blast. Stay that way lads!!)
The Black Keys (I was bummed that Jack White was no where to be found at Bonnaroo but man am I glad I was introduced to this duet. These two brothers had plenty of energy to fill the void. It was the best straight up rock and roll I heard at Bonnaroo).
Buffalo Springfield feat. Richie Furay, Stephen Still and Neil Young (I went to see Stephen Stills. I didn’t see that Neil Young was there because the awesome Bonnaroo app I was using had … for the rest of the title. I am staring at a greatly aged version of my childhood idle saying “that’s really him isn’t it?”).
Eminem (Great show all the way around even though I am not a real fan. Lights, energy, sound – it was all dialed in. He takes this deal seriously. We were told that he showed up on Thursday to do a complete sound check with his crew and then hung low until Saturday night).

G. Love and Special Sauce (This is the only show we had time for on Sunday since our flight was at 4pm. He was awesome. With both his guitar and harmonic strapped on, G. Love was very engaging – “high fiving” people in the front row and running up the center of a sectioned off area of the crowd. So glad I caught him before we left).

Check out my Bonnaroo Facebook photo album here

What’s the CD maker to do?

Nostalgia: We humans seem to be drawn to it. Most of us have a soft spot in our heart for the good old days. Remember when vinyl was in and you would sit around as a kid listening to your favorite bands, staring at the album cover, the inner liner, the record sleeve and so on?

CDs replaced vinyl records and the distribution of music on CDs reigned supreme in the 80s, 90s and first half of the 00s. Millions and millions of CDs were purchased each year by people of all ages in the $15 to $18 price range. The record (CD) labels actually took something away from us. Those of us in our 40s or older will remember the little 45 records we had when we were kids. The radio hit was on Side A and another less popular song was on Side B. In those days you were able to buy just two songs. The CD industry came along with a more profitable business model for themselves. Someone in a board room somewhere said, “we can’t make any money on two song CDs.” So choice was subverted for profits. The record industry bundled 10-15 songs on one disk and unabashedly charged us $15 to $18 per CD. You may have only wanted one or two songs but you were forced to buy 10 or 12. Great for the music companies, crappy for the consumers.

Along came this digital music format called MP3. The music industry brushed it off as “geekdom” fodder because MP3s had no distribution. That is until Napster came along. One guy, with an interest in sharing his music collection and allowing others to share their music on his server changed the music industry forever. The model evolved into peer-to-peer networks in an attempt to alleviate the issue of illegally distributing copyrighted content.

The music industry, instead of embracing the Internet and the revolutionary way it was completely changing business upon business decided to litigate instead of innovate. They chose to sue companies developing music distribution software like Napster and Limewire, as well users of digital music too. The press had a field day with this, describing music execs raiding college dorms to apprehend the music pirates who were illegally sharing content.

This was the beginning of the end for the highly profitable CD. Apple, along with Amazon, Rhapsody, Yahoo! and others struck deals with the content providers to legally distribute songs for $0.99 each. They unbundled the CD and allowed fans to download just the songs they wanted. For the first time the artists (especially new ones) had a choice. It was no longer paramount to get a band “signed” with a label. Musicians who embraced this technology gave their fans “choice”. Forward thinkers like Radiohead and Linkin Park let fans decide what to pay for their music. New fans just experimenting with these bands can download samples for free. Serious fans have more selection than what stores made available as bands packaged music downloads with concert tickets, videos, books, clothing, etc.

Most people know this story. There are a similar stories unfolding in many other industries, not the least of which is the newspaper industry. The Internet allows anyone to create content and distribute it in ways that were never possible before. This blog post is a good example of that.

So what’s happening in your industry and your business? Are you a content creator? Are you a distributor? Do you sell goods and services? What can we learn from the demise of the CD, your local bookstore and newsstands across the country?