September 11th, 2001 will forever go down as the most tragic and horrific day in American history. I am no authority on this matter but Pearl Harbor was a military attack on a military site and what transpired this past Tuesday was a cowardly attack on innocent hard-working American citizens. The darkest day indeed. Living in Los Angeles, 3,000 miles away it didn't seem real. To a MUCH smaller degree, I imagined feeling like an East-Coaster watching the L.A. Riots or the L.A. Earthquake on T.V. But that all changed......it changed when Jon Cohen called me.
Jon called me Thursday September 13th....2 full days after the unthinkable occurred. Jon told me that a basketball buddy of ours, a tremendous ballplayer (a stud) called THE ZIPPER, who works on the 89th floor of one of the Towers was missing. Missing? Come on, this guy hits 3-pointers with his eyes closed. He can drive past any defender; hell, he can get out of this? And then it really hit me. All the emotion, the anger, the fear, the shock came over me. I broke down. Man, I don't even know THE ZIPPER'S full name. But that's not the point. The point is that this tragedy hits all of us. THE ZIPPER has become my symbol and my reminder that we should never overlook what truly happened on 9/11/01. This is not some California earthquake or Florida hurricane. This is tragedy and horror that we have not experienced in our lifetime.
Ok, what can we do as industry executives? Can we donate money to charities? Can we donate singed posters, flats, CDs, guitars for auction? Can we have our artists/bands take part in radio sponsored festivals where proceeds go to charities? Can we supply meaningful and important music for stations to play in these important times? Yes to all of that. But, I urge every one of you to think and act locally - in your community, schools and town halls as well. Because this is NOT some fly-by-night "flavor of the day" charity cause. This is for the long-run. This won't be gone, swept under the rug, tomorrow or the next day. This will change our lives forever.....it already has! My prayers to THE ZIPP and to his family and friends.