I still remember what it felt like “accidently” creating the record label. Mike had been talking for years about starting a record label, and since I had actually worked in the industry for a number of years, first at record stores, then as a sales person at the hipster distribution company Mordam, I felt I knew a thing or two about record labels. “You’ll never get it off the ground without someone like me,” I told him.
I was working full time with a good paying job, benefits, vacations, and an IRA. Starting Gearhead Records was really just a hobby for me, something to do in my spare time. I’d never seen myself as a business owner, much less entrepreneur. It wasn’t something even in my scope of interest. I have a degree in Anthropology/Ethnobotany for God’s sake, what did I know about running a business?!
Since Mike never filed official paper work for Gearhead Magazine, I started by filing paperwork with the state which included announcing a fictitious business name, and running notices of it in the paper. Once that was done, I could then register for a resale number and open a business bank account and then get a tax ID so I could pay taxes on all the money we were gonna make.
It makes me laugh now how genuinely in the dark I was about running a business. Make money? Really? I figured we’d put out a record, sell it all, recoup our money and we were off and rolling. Actually, that’s pretty much what happened, although I never recouped my initial investment. Any money from sales went right back into the next project, which was how we ended up putting out thirteen records that first year. Two years later, a little band from Sweden that we had released three records with called The Hives would become a household word, and the course of Gearhead would shift dramatically.
Rock 'n' Roll/Automotive Journalist, Influencer, Editor and Publisher of Gearhead Magazine,