The Other Side of the Aisle
By Richard Gilewitz, March 2011

Several years ago I was invited by Gary Mobley, Sales Manager/Artist Relations, to join the SHUBB team as an endorsing artist. I had been using the SHUBB capos for my entire career prior to our first meeting, so it made perfect sense to affiliate myself with such a great product that I had been using all along.

Initially I was involved with SHUBB solely as a working musician, conducting guitar seminars as well as concert performances and school programs worldwide, endorsing the capos as part of my normal playing gear.  

Over time I've been very grateful to witness the evolution of my relationship with the company. The friendships I have developed, particularly with Rick Shubb and Gary Mobley, have been quite a blessing on a personal and professional level. I am honored to be included in posters and advertisements for their company and continue to be grateful for the opportunity to perform for the past three years on their behalf on the Acoustic Stage during Musikmesse Frankfurt.

During the 2010 Musikmesse Frankfurt I began to more closely observe the functionality of the SHUBB booth and, although I was quite the rookie, I attempted to periodically offer my assistance during the busy times, as is often the case at any Grand Trade Show.  This was quite an undertaking since I only speak English (except when sleeping), but Tina Steigerwald was a pleasure to work with as she fielded most of the onslaught of questions as my German interpreter, general booth expert, and teacher.

Richard Gilewitz, Tina Steigerwald, Gary Mobley. Frankfurt 2010

Then at the 2011 NAMM show in Aneheim, California, I found myself participating in an even greater capacity -- and loved every minute of it. As an endorsing artist, I was called upon to step over to the other side of the fence and help out in covering the SHUBB booth. I was quite taken off guard but honored when I was called upon. To be perfectly honest, I initially thought this could be a real drag, but as it turned out I got more of an education in one weekend about ALL of the SHUBB products than I had in all my years working with them.  This crash course forced me into a situation where I needed to apply myself and give attention where perhaps I should have a long time ago. 

I quickly discovered there is no better way to learn about a sponsoring company than to dive in and swim.  I believe it’s all about attitude. For me it was a joy to feel like I was part of a team, particularly since the bulk of my career has been in acting as a soloist on most fronts.  I immediately became immersed in the new products, peripheral products, and pricing formulas. During the short few second breaks that occurred periodically, I learned from Gary, Rick, Mike Phelan and Raul Reynoso, the differences in the multitude of capos SHUBB carries, about their origins and the philosophies behind these origins, and exactly why there are so many capos.  It became clear to me after this thorough education why SHUBB truly is the best capo on the market and why my instincts were on target many years ago when selecting a capo.

I also learned that walking around a Trade Show for four days uses different leg muscles than the ones that are used standing around at one of these events!  But in the long run it was well worth it, as it seemed like everyone I wanted to meet, along with some surprise visits from several music industry folks, came my way.  Latte please?  And some ice for my feet.

Rick Shubb, Mike Phelan, Richard Gilewitz. Anaheim, 2011

SONiA, Richard Gilewitz. Anaheim, 2011

Richard Gilewitz, Lisa Loeb. Anaheim, 2011

(A year later, in 2012, Richard helped us at the booth again.
Read his account of Returning to the Other Side of the Aisle...)