Christopher Lochhead Follow Your Different™

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143 Dave Frey - Ramones CoManager & Music Promoter

April 24, 2018

How to design your life around your passion? Dave Frey is among the luckiest men alive. He took his love for music to greater heights from playing in bands to promoting shows to managing the punk rock category king and now to being the CoOwner of the Lockn' Festival.

"If you learn from losing, then you can win." - Dave Frey

3 Things We Learned:

Music hits are typically born during the first three to five records
Songwriters improve when they don't know what they are doing. Their innocence express pure and genuine emotions and/or ideas. On the other hand, familiarity with the trade allows for lackluster pieces.

People can start in the music industry at such a young age and achieve unparalleled success.

A lot of musicians start early in life. Passion and perseverance empower them to accomplish more than the others. Joey Ramone, for example, became an active performer during his teenage years.

Creativity is possible despite the insane dysfunction
One thing peculiar about The Ramones is they communicate through third parties. They never spoke with one another. Nevertheless, it did not prevent them from being creative, from amassing a solid fanbase, and from giving life to the punk rock category.

Frey has an insatiable passion for music. Since childhood, he wanted to perform in a band. He'd practice many hours with his guitar and worked hard on the promotions.

True enough, he landed a career with promising musicians and individuals in the industry. He believes that people have a lot to prove for themselves. Mediocrity has no room in the field of passion.


Dave Frey started off small, promoting his first show out of sheer necessity after his band's equipment was stolen. “So this club owner did a benefit for us, and I went to the local radio station, gave away tickets and got the guy at the paper to write it up,” he says. “The show did really well, and the guy who booked the club decided to quit. So the owner said, ‘Hey, you did a good job. Can you book the club for a couple weeks until I find a new guy?’”

By 1985, Frey had relocated from his native Chicago to the Big Apple, where he took a job as a booking agent, working alongside two of the city’s leading promoters, Ron Delsener, who the New York Times once referred to as “Rock's Mr. In Between.”

In 1992, Frey founded Silent Partner Management, a company that’s represented acts like the Ramones, a leather-clad quartet from Queens heralded as one of the pioneers of punk rock, Cheap Trick, and Blues Traveler. He teamed up with Blues Traveler for the H.O.R.D.E. (Horizons of Rock Developing Everywhere) Festival.

It became a kind of rival to the more alternative swing of Lollapalooza, enjoying a seven-year run while attracting an eclectic array of performers ranging from Beck to Neil Young.

Then, in 2008, Frey migrated to Charlottesville, where he and partner Peter Shapiro would soon begin planning what’s likely become the largest musical gathering to hit Central Virginia, Lockn'.