As we head towards the end of 2018, I have been going back through old blog posts and articles, and this one caught my eye. I felt this article still has a lot of relevance today because I'm still finding my way with this company and with being CEO/President and Creative Director all at the same time. I feel inclined to post it because I hope this will help some of you out there who are going through similar creative challenges. Enjoy, and thanks for being part of my journey. Much love, Michelle Haunold Lorenz
Probably most of you reading this have never heard of him, but in 1971 singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson released an album called The Point, about a round-headed boy named Oblio and his dog Arrow (remember the song Me and My Arrow? That's where this comes from) who lived in a land where, by law, everything had to have a point. It was turned into an animated film that aired on TV. I remember watching it at the age of 7, entranced and mystified by the story and the music. As I get Gearhead back up and running, I was looking back over the last four years of consciously closing down a successful business, including my very successful retail boutique and trying to get clear about what the point of it all was.
It seemed everything had lost the point. What was the point of putting out records, finding bands and helping them out, writing about and sharing things I'm passionate about, like cool threads and hot rods and neat art and tattoos and my gardens and everything that just feeds my soul.... what was the point?! So I very consciously chose to close my store, even though I absolutely loved it and it was doing very well, and I started selling off Gearhead inventory, and what I couldn't sell and didn't feel like moving, I smashed. Literally. I destroyed stuff with a sledgehammer, which was incredibly satisfying in a very weird twisted way. I created it and brought it into the world and I was choosing to liberate it and remove it from the world. After all, there seemed to be no point to its existence at all!
All passion was gone. I didn't want to ever hear music again, I didn't ever want to go vend ever again, I never wanted to see or smell another hot rod; I just wanted it all to be over. I listened to talk radio, or nothing at all. I tried to get rid of Gearhead. I thought I could just sell everything off and quietly close it down, let it slip into oblivion and move on.
During these last four years, I pursued a very different path. I became a minister and a spiritual counselor and healer, doing deep soul healing on myself as I helped others work through their own tough times. I also became a master gardener and put my life-long love of plants to work, teaching people how to create water-wise gardens, work with the earth harmoniously, grow their own vegetables and become aware of their impact on the earth and people around them.
Slowly, I started to enjoy life again, and I started to listen to music again. Very gentle music, like folk singer Kate Wolf, Elliott Smith, Mark Erelli, The Nields, piano concertos and music that made me feel good. Every once in a while I would dig out my favorite female rocker, Joan Jett, and crank up one of her records and dance around the house and sing at the top of my lungs. And that felt great.
So I started digging out more of my rock 'n' roll records that I used to love: Groovie Ghoulies, The Go-Gos, The Yum Yums, New York Dolls, Patti Smith, The Cars, Cheap Trick and AC/DC, and little by little, I started to feel better because all those records made me feel good too! The point to all the music was IT MADE ME FEEL. Music is a way to get past all the crap and go right to the point of being human: we are here to feel, to experience, to share, to learn, to change, and grow, but most of all to feel.
I finally started listening to the records I put out for Gearhead and realized I loved those records. The time and the place each one of those records came into my life reflected where I was at emotionally, mentally and spiritually and they all had a point, a reason to exist. Fourteen years of living this life, and it was all reflected in the records and products I put out through Gearhead.
Now, fours years down the line and in a much more balanced place, I'm taking Gearhead out of the garage and onto the road again. Everyone has their own opinions about this company; who I should sign and what records I should put out, what shirt I should make, where I should vend and how I should move forward. And that's O.K. To each their own. But as I find my passion again for this company and the people I work with, I understand that that is exactly the point of running this company. I am giving people the courage, the inspiration, the passion and the guts to do their own thing whether they're inspired by what I do, or if they don't like what I'm doing. DIY baby!
I'm very excited about this new year, about getting the Gearhead motor cranked back up again, about putting out records for bands I love, about going out to car shows again and selling my stuff, about talking to people again, about working with artists to come up with cool new clothing. It always used to be fun, and I'm happy that it is fun again. There is still a reason for Gearhead to be around, 'cause there are still people that dig what I do and what Gearhead represents, and want to be part of it and support it. Every experience has a point, even if it's not always readily apparent, and that my friends, is exactly the point.
Gearhead is DIY to the bone. Born in the garage with a wrench in one hand and a shop rag in the other, this business has been built up through blood, sweat and tears (sometimes lots of tears). Bootstrapped from the beginning, with no commercial backing or funding, we know what it is like to do it yourself.
We salute the DIY spirit that built this great country and thank you in advance for supporting GEARHEAD. When you shop our site, you get quality custom products that aren't available at those boring big box stores! Made by real humans, not machines.
Use code Indi2018 at check out now until 7/11/18 for free shipping on all domestic orders. Let freedom ring, and let your freak flag fly! Happy Independents Day!
The New Year arrived in a torrent of rain and wind here in Northern California, washing away optimistic thoughts of sunny outings in the hot rod with my sweetheart happening any time soon. It sits parked in the garage, waiting for an oil change that will signal driving season again.
Until then, I hunker down at Gearhead HQ, planning the game of attack for this fresh New Year filled with possibilities and new opportunities
Everyone needs new duds for the New Year, so some new shirts and hats are the first up. Snag one of the cool new Wrench shirts, a foam Sparkplug trucker hat, or a snazzy baseball jersey featuring the ubiquitous GEARHEAD logo from our newly designed web store.
Issue #20 of GEARHEAD MAGAZINE is due out in April. Ad space is still available if you have product or business you want the GEARHEAD community to know about. Email for a rate sheet!
Car show season kicks off this year with Gearhead’s first appearance at the Sacramento Autorama in over ten years! If you’re in the area, stop by Booth B28 Feb. 17-19, 2017 and enter the free raffle to win a goody bag. This massive three-day event features all types of rides from mouth-watering high-end gems restored in bright candy colors to rusty rods lovingly restored with the DIY spirit in home garages.
That DIY spirit permeates everything here at GEARHEAD. This includes sharing articles and stories written by our customers. This month, the featured story is Five Car Shows You Should Attend written by Guest Writer Jason Muelle. If you have something cool you think Gearhead readers would dig,hit me up: maybe you will be our next guest writer!
While the world crashes and storms around us my hope is for Gearhead to continue focusing even more on our unique community. After all, that’s what brings us together right? Our mutual love of hot rods and rock and roll; this is a unifying bond like nothing else.
Speaking of community, my heart is saddened by the death of Hellacopters guitarist Robert “Strings” Dahlqvist Feb. 3, 2017. The loss to his band mates, family, loved ones and our rock and roll community is deep and painful. Sharing how he touched my life is my way of honoring his memory. If you have memories to share, please feel free to add positive comments to this space.
Thank you for your ongoing support and enthusiasm as I continue to change and grow Gearhead. I love reading the email responses to the newsletter as well as your comments onFacebook, Twitter and Instagram. Connecting directly with you all through social media reminds me every day why I’m doing this: our community! So here’s to a rockin’ 2017 everyone.
Live Fast, Be Weird! Xoxo Rev. Michelle
Rock 'n' Roll/Automotive Journalist, Influencer, Editor and Publisher of Gearhead Magazine,