The Music & Sound Retailer: Who was your greatest influence or mentor and why?
Tony Price: In my personal life, it was my parents. They were tremendously supportive people who created a great family environment for my siblings and me. In my career, I’ve worked for many great companies and have been extremely fortunate to learn from the best anywhere I ever had the pleasure of working. I realized early in my career that a key to future success was listening to and learning from the successful people around me.
The Retailer: What was the best advice you ever received?
Price: A pastor of mine once told me, “Eternal things matter most” and that made an impact on me. Life is short, and it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day to-do list and lose sight of what is most important.
The Retailer: What was your first experience with a musical instrument?
Price: It was a Hohner mini harmonica that my parents bought for me. I still have it. I had a thirst for all things musical, and this harmonica and the recorder were the two instruments I was able to get my hands on first. I did short stints with the accordion and violin and then played trumpet through high school, but I would say I wasn’t completely obsessed until I picked up the guitar and got my first Led Zeppelin record in seventh grade.
The Retailer: What instrument do you most enjoying playing?
Price: The guitar, of course. Mostly acoustic, lately. Up until about a year ago, I was doing a very casual house gig at a neighborhood bar. It started off as just solo guitar/vocal, but then I began inviting other musician friends to come and sit in. It’s great when you perform solo and you can connect with the people listening, but connecting with other musicians in a live performance setting is the most rewarding experience.
The Retailer: What is the best concert you’ve ever been to?
Price: I saw Kiss in Duluth, Minn., when I was 17. It was an amazing intro for me to a real rock show — blew my mind! At that stage of my musical journey all I could think was, “How are they able to run around, do all that other crazy stuff and still play?”
The Retailer: If you could see any musician, alive or deceased, play a concert for one night, who would it be and why?
Price: I would love to have seen Led Zeppelin in their prime because I love the great musicianship and depth of their compositions. Those four guys defined chemistry and charisma for me. As an aspiring rock vocalist, I was a huge [Robert] Plant fan, and as an aspiring guitarist, I was a huge [Jimmy] Page fan.
The Retailer: What song was most memorable for you throughout your childhood, and what do you remember about it the most?
Price: I know it is a bit cliché, but I would have to say, “Stairway to Heaven.” I loved the mystery, power and uniquely great musicianship. I would stop everything I was doing and listen to every note when I was beginning to immerse myself
The Retailer: What’s the most fun thing you saw/did at a NAMM Show?
Price: I’ve been a part of some of the best and most memorable NAMM dinners with colleagues, vendors and dealers over the years. The NAMM shows really helped build many of the longstanding relationships I have in the industry. I still really look forward to going every year.
The Retailer: What is the best thing about the MI industry?
Price: There are so many great things about the MI industry. I love the passion and the sense of mission that most people have. Those things really connect all of us who are in the industry in a way I think few other industries can experience. There are so many great people in the industry with so many things in common. When you meet people in this industry it’s almost like you’ve known them all your life. In many cases, there are very similar paths and answers to the question, “How did you end up here?” We all have a lot of the same DNA. We all couldn’t wait to get home to play. We all spent countless hours trying to get better. We all thought being in a great music store with other musicians was the best place you could be. No matter what facet of the business you are in, you have to take pride in the fact that you are in the music business! What could be better than that?
The Retailer: What technology could change MI down the road?
Price: Roland has been a leading innovator in music technology for education. Continuing the development of current and future education technologies will result in more lifelong musicians, and that should be a core mission for all in this industry.