John Hardwick

Getting the Call for a Record Deal

There is no better feeling than taking a well deserved vacation with the family from the daily stresses (and successes) of life! Well, maybe with the exception of getting an email while you’re in the middle of the ocean to find out your band is about to be signed and that you’re playing one of the BEST clubs in the United States!!!! This is my story……

After working two jobs for a year straight and very little family time, I decided to join my Mom and Dad on a 9 day cruise to the Bahamas. We arrived in Bayonne, NJ after a six hour drive from home (Northern Virginia) and boarded the vessel. To my surprise, internet was available on the ship (summer 2007) and passengers were able to login for a fee per minute. After a couple days of relaxing and catching up with the family, I decided to surf the web and check email. To my surprise, I had numerous emails from my bass player frantically trying to get in touch with me about “SOMETHING REALLY IMPORTANT.” I started with the most recent email and realized right away that something awesome was afoot……I was seeing load in times, backline specs, and the address for the venue: “815 V St NW Washington, DC 20001.” After a brief moment of sheer disbelief, I realized I was confirmed to ROCK the legendary 9:30 Club with my band, The Vicious Martinis in less than three weeks! To top it off, I came across an email from the owner of Gotham Records stating that the band was seen performing at the Rusty Rudder in Dewey Beach (DE) and that he was VERY interested in meeting up to discuss a record deal. Needless to say the rest of the trip, I spent my free time locked in my cabin practicing the bands song catalog and trying to contain my excitement from the rest of the passengers on the ship.

Three days after arriving home from vacation, the band packed into one vehicle (my 1991 S-10 Chevy Blazer) and we headed to NYC to meet “the man.” After a lot of talking and LOTS of pizza, the deal was done and we were on our way home as the newest addition to the Gotham Records family! Two weeks later, we joined new friends (and some old ones) at the 9:30 Club to put on one of the few all-local shows of the year. Needless to say it was an unforgettable night with so many amazing people, but all I could think about was being on vacation with my family to find out my life was about to be changed forever!

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