TIME FOR A VACCI-BRATION: May/June

May 7, 2021

He looks like every soccer dad and he’s probably one of the most unassuming, soft-spoken, even demure, guys around; but make no mistake, Dan Pearson is the life of the party! Always has been – and when people start partying again – always will be! Chances are, you’ve partied with him – and don’t even realize it!
…Remember the affair you went to, before Covid, when everyone got up to dance and the whole production seemed so perfect, and how the music was just right, with a sweet mix of all kinds of your favorites…that’s when you partied with Dan. …And you’ve checked the pictures and you still don’t recognize him!?…
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To explain…until Covid hit, Dan’s Lakeside Productions was supplying the DJ or live music, the MC, lighting, magicians and other diversionary activities, and everything else necessary for about 50 affairs a year, mostly local, including all varieties of bar mitzvahs, sweet-sixteens, weddings, fundraisers, and other celebrations. …Now you remember him!

He got started as a kid growing-up in Island Park, Long Island. Dan recalls, “When I was only 12, a friend of mine who had a pair Technics turntables in his house turned me on to the idea of mixing. I remember going there for hours after school every day and learning how to mix and blend all kinds of music. We’d pretend we were hosting and throwing parties in his parent’s basement. Eventually, we managed to convince a dad in the neighborhood to have us DJ his daughter’s sweet-sixteen. It wasn’t anything big, but it was a paid gig and the referrals we got from it launched our first business. I was really into music, I really liked the feeling of making a party move, and having a pretty entrepreneurial way to make some cash was pretty cool. We started to get a lot of work, and actually built one of the biggest party businesses on Long Island. When I started at Adelphi and wanted to focus on school, we sold the business to an even bigger company – for enough to cover my own partying for a while! And I still DJed for that acquirer, and did some work in local bars and restaurants, while I was in college.”

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While at Adelphi, Dan got an internship doing overnights at the radio station WLIR on Long Island, and was as enthralled with the business of spinning discs on the airwaves as he had been with spinning discs at private parties. That led to another internship, at Columbia Records, where Dan got an introduction to the label side of the business.
“I landed a full-time job at Columbia in the Radio Promotion Department before I even got out of college. It was super-exciting! Columbia was the big time! I liked doing the business of radio promotion. It’s a really special feeling when you’re driving around in a city somewhere on a trip to call on the radio stations in that area, and you hear the tune you’re promoting playing on the radio.
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And then maybe even a second and third time later in the same day. You know that was you – and that you’re really doing the job for the talent you’re representing. And radio is what makes music famous, and is still one of the quickest ways to break a band – you can really make a difference in the artist’s life and career. After Columbia, I worked for Universal/Motown, and Virgin, and had a job at MTV for a while where I worked on the VMA’s. Then I landed a position with a hip hop label called TVT Records, my first independent label, and loved being able to work so directly with the artists. I was part of a small team that was able to cross some of Pitbull’s early music into the mainstream and was totally sold on the independent experience. I moved to Glassnote Records, where I was able to break their first multi-platinum artist, SecondHand Serenade. I drove around the Country for two years, visiting just about every radio station, getting their hit Fall For You played. Then I joined the team Steve Greenberg put together at S-Curve, and had success with artists like Andy Grammer, We The Kings, Duran Duran, and others. Somewhere along the way, I formed Lakeside Management Group and Lakeside Promotion, and I’ve been able to apply the same strategies and work ethic developing our roster of artists.”
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Dan Pearson at Caramoor – ready to party!

The good news, now, for Pearson and Lakeside Productions, is that people are beginning to party again. It will be dependent on what happens with the virus, and restricted by new and evolving rules for social distancing, but Pearson notes that the Covid drought appears to be coming to an end. “We’re finally starting to get events on the calendar. We’ve got a bunch of parties planned for this Summer for people who want to make sure they can have their celebration while it’s OK – even with a limit of 50 or a 100. And then people who’ve accepted that a smaller event is now the new normal, and who are ready to get their event planned now for next year – when there’ll be huge pent-up demand for every place you can hold an event. Whatever happens, we’re ready. We’re the best in the business and we’re reasonably priced. We can work with social distancing and still put on great events. And we’ve spent a lot of time during Covid picking some great new locations, inside and outdoors, and thinking about how to do the best post-Covid parties in all kinds of interesting places, and in all the new configurations people will be partying. Caramoor is a great example. I’d love to produce an event under the tent or in their fabulous gardens.”

 

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Dan lives in Katonah, with his wife, Candace, and their three young kids, and admits, “I’ve been very fortunate that the management and promotion side of our business continued to do well during Covid, but I’ve missed being directly around and involved with playing music for people. I’ve assumed the role of Family DJ, and I’ve been blasting my favorite tunes around the house just about 24/7 – or at least whenever the kids aren’t sleeping. They usually want to hear their favorite show theme songs and anything that plays on Kidz Bop, but I sneak a few of my party favorites into the mix. When I’m feeling the ‘80s – I play Whitney Houston, I Wanna Dance With Somebody; ‘90s – Montell Jordan, This Is How We Do It; When I’m looking for a sing along – Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey; Something for the girls, I go with – Beyonce, Single Ladies, and; If I want to get my wife’s attention, I play – Ed Sheehan, Perfect. Oh, and then for something that will get the whole family moving, I pull out all the stops – Signed Sealed Delivered, Stevie Wonder – works every time!”

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