What's in a name?
I look to music for inspiration, for solace, and certainly for fun. Professionally it's given me an education. The music industry weathered wave after wave of sea change long before other forms of media got hit well and truly hard. So when magazine publishing took some sharp turns, it made good sense to look to those already farther down the road.
Hammond Gersh is named for two of the most influential A&R (artists & repertoire) execs in music history. I've borrowed their names as a respectful homage, and to remind myself every day to trust my gut, live and work fully where my passions lie, and to channel enthusiasm and curiosity over fear.
When John Hammond saw a young Billie Holiday perform, he didn't rush to shove a contract in her face. Instead he began to write about her, sharing her talent with others who could help and support her. He educated and persuaded people with his writing, and proved the power of "content" long ago. He had passion, conviction, and authenticity. Hammond was a connector who brought people who needed to know each other together.
Gary Gersh signed Nirvana at a time when really pretty guys in really tight pants were making all the music that was selling big. A broke newcomer with serious vision, he took thousand dollar bets that he'd succeed. His colleagues called him a moron, but he held his ground and trusted his instincts. Gersh understood that winning the long game meant taking risks and making personal investment.