That was one amazing Kid Rock adventure and all of us at Sixthman are blown away by the family that has formed over the past three years. As the CEO of Sixthman, I have had the privilege to get to know Bob over the years. For those of you that don’t know, we met with Bob for the first time on June 28, 2009 right before he took the stage in Atlanta during his tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd. We were a little nervous at first but he made us feel right at home. We introduced ourselves, told him a little about what we had been up to at Sixthman, and asked him if we could earn the opportunity to bring his vision of a music festival at sea to life for his fans. We pitched Redneck Yacht Club for a name and he immediately said, “we’ve got to call it Chillin’ the Most.”
He went on to share his vision that he wanted the cruise to be a place where he could be himself and just hang with his best fans. A place where he wouldn’t be spending the entire time taking photos and signing autographs. He imagined this place to be the most chill, and because of that he wanted to extend an offer to have his photo with guests when they walked on the ship and give it to them for free. His vision was to meet everyone and to rock the lido deck with them as the ship sailed away. His goal was to give everybody something before they went to bed the very first night in the hopes that everybody would understand the vibe he was trying to create. We were impressed that he was willing to make that commitment and gladly accepted his challenge.
Since then he has more than delivered on his promise to throw the best party on the ocean, and we have been honored to be a part of it.
Here’s a little something we learned this year. Some of you saw me being very firm about asking for an additional photo and/or an autograph, and it’s important for you to know that we are only trying to help Bob achieve his goal. We understand how hard it is to resist the urge to take advantage of a big chance to get something like that from Bob. However, I think we owe it to him to show him the respect that he is giving to us.
I witnessed two examples that stand out to me from this year that I want to share. One is the wrong way to do it and one is the right way to do it.
The first story is about a young lady who caught Bob as he was leaving the deck Sunday night after sharing the “Redneck Paradise” video (which he had his team bust their ass to edit in time for us all to see). She pushed her way through the crowd and demanded a picture. Then after Bob hesitantly agreed to do it, she had the nerve to ask him to wait until she could see the picture to make sure it was a good one. She wasn’t happy with the first picture so she demanded he stay for a second one. Believe it or not, she wasn’t happy with the second picture and asked for a third. I finally stepped in front of her and let her know that she must stop. I felt horrible for Bob because I know how proud he was to make everyone a part of that video and this guest was very disrespectful.
The second story happened on Friday at the beach. Bob was walking onto a tender boat and I was in front of him. A male guest was with his wife and another couple and he went to grab his camera. I politely asked the man to put the camera away and resist asking for a photo. He did not put up a fight and I thanked him for it. A few seconds later Bob walked up and asked if he can sit next to the man. They sat and talked the entire way back to the ship.
Artists live to give and share. They just like to do it on their terms. Almost every time we respect them, they acknowledge it by giving something back. We blogged about this effect called “The Take” after the KISS KRUISE last year. Please check it out if you can.
We realize it’s very hard no to seize the moment. We only ask that as a family, we work together to make our four days a year together a pure place to demonstrate respect for each other and our hero.
If it makes you feel better, the entire Sixthman team walks the walk with you. Our team has never asked for a photo or an autograph with any artist. We want the artist to see us coming and know that we are coming to give, not take. This includes me, and I think it’s one of the reasons Bob and I have the friendship we have.
Thank you for giving us the best job in the world and thank you for showing Bob that we were coming as guests to his party. This is the most amazing, big, dysfunctional family anyone could ever ask for.