Prime Coat—April, 2017

By Jerry Rabushka,

  Filed under: Departments, Lead, Primecoat

Jerry Rabushka

Judds Not, Lest Ye Be Judds

Wow, here I am doing a Prime Coat for the first time in years. Welcome back! This being the National Hardware Show issue, it seemed like a good time to cruise down that Boulevard of Broken Dreams. Dreams are made and broken in Vegas, but perhaps some folks, with their dream of successful new products or a win at the casino, came and went and hopefully got just a bit closer to waking up on the right side of a long-time dream.

Sometimes if your dreams don’t come true, you have to modify. I’m not a best-selling novelist like I had planned on at age 17, and not a platinum-selling rock star like I had planned on at 22, but once I got this job, I thought, I’m going to take writing about paint and sundries and do the best I possibly can. A dealer just wrote us a note too, saying reading our articles about other successful dealerships is what gave him the courage to open his own place. That’s some good dreamin’.

Back in the 1980s I saw The Judds in concert twice. More like heard them, since I was in the last row of a 4,500-seat theater. But they drove home the myth that “if two girls from rural Kentucky can make it, so can you.” Anyone in the music business knows that’s not true, and perpetuating the fable that if you just keep singing on your front porch some talent scout is going to drive by and put you on the big stage is dangerous. It might happen here and there, but most of us singing on our front porch would more likely get a citation for disturbing the peace.

You have dreams too, be it starting a paint store, starting a second paint store, or selling your store and opening a yoga salon. Whatever it is, we want to help you along the way. Dreams don’t have to be huge, they just have to make you happy. If we all had the same dream, life would be really competitive.

I have a story from that Judds era. There was a punk rock singer, Wendy O. Williams, whose music was really hard edged and rough, though I heard through the grapevine that off stage she was the nicest woman you’d ever meet. Totally not my style of tunes, though. One day I was jamming with a guitar player who had stage-named himself Jeff Loud; he told me his dream was to write a song for Wendy O. Williams. I said cool and good luck, but I was thinking to myself…well…why? And…how?

But it’s what he wanted to do, so who was I to say no? I only heard from him once after that, when he apologized for not keeping in touch.

Fast forward a few years and I’m watching a so-bad-its-good but it’s really bad movie called Reform School Girls. No, it wasn’t my choice and it still disturbs me to this day. And who should have a starring role but Wendy O. Williams, as a “tough broad in prison.” And who should be singing a lot of the soundtrack but…W.O.W?

When the movie thankfully came to an end and the credits started rolling, what should I see but that one of her songs was co-written by Jeff Loud. His name went by so fast that I barely saw it, but there it was, and there, I thought, was someone’s dream come true. I have no idea how he made the connection or how it all went down. Maybe the Judds are onto something.

So whether you’re in Las Vegas, Nevada; Las Vegas, New Mexico; or even Ashland, Kentucky—here’s to your dreams coming true.