Friday, April 20, 2012

Levon Helm / Defining Distress / Bob's Model Building Collection

In the summer of 1968, me and my brother and some musician friends of ours discovered a group that used to be Bob Dylan's backup band.  Eric Clapton said, "Music from Big Pink changed my life."  A second album, "The Band" (known as the 'The Brown Album') is considered one of the true classics and includes "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", "Up on Cripple Creek" and one of my very favorites, "The Unfaithful Servant."  The group was called The Band.  Yesterday, I got a call from Tom Bruno, the drummer/singer in the Jersey City, New Jersey based band I was in in the late 60's/early 70's called "Everyone."  "Did you hear?  Levon Helm died."  I had known that Levon, the group's drummer, mandolinist and one of the lead singers, had had throat cancer but didn't realize he was close to the edge.  Tommy and I reminisced about the songs that we did from the catalogue of The Band.  My extended group of music loving friends have for years sang, without any encouragement needed, one of the great singalongs of all time "The Weight" (Take a load off Fanny, Take a load for free....). Richard Manuel committed suicide in the early 80's and Rick Danko died in 1999.  The Band was and is one of the significant influences to me and on my music and I got to see them perform numerous times.  Losing Levon is another reminder of just how fragile the whole darn thing is.  Levon was 71.

I'll be at PERE's Global Investor Forum in Los Angeles next week and hope to see some of you there. On the second day, I'll be the host, filling in for Zoe Hughes of PERE who is on maternity leave and had a baby girl just a couple of weeks ago.  At the last minute, I was also recruited to moderate the panel called "Defining Distress."  The panelists are experienced investors who suggest that the opportunity lies in finding value at the bottom of the cycle.  They also question the wisdom of investing in core today as, perhaps, investors may be 'paying up for safety.'  It will definitely be a lively session.  Stay tuned!

Things beyond business:  Bob White is known throughout the global real estate industry as the founder of RCA (Real Capital Analytics).  He also has a reputation for throwing the best rooftop parties in New York where movers and shakers in the commercial real estate world converge a few times a year.  But something that you may not know about Bob is that he is an avid collector of scale model buildings and has has an extensive display of these, from all over the world, in RCA's headquarters in New York.  

Every picture tells a story.  There's a great service out there called Life History Books which will help you document you family's history or that of a particular family member or person.  I've always been sentimental and as the repository of many of my mothers' photos and my fathers 8mm movies I've done some things to make sure this stuff is passed around and down and will survive the ages.  Also, at the request of one of my daughters-in-law, I've been documenting my recollections of different experiences growing up.   But, this company can make it easy for you to preserve and protect the legacy of your family.  Check it out/pass it along.

"We are not just living through a financial crisis but a moral crisis."  A good friend of mine spoke recently with a group of university students about where we are today and how we got here from a financial and real estate perspective.  But he told me that the topic of the discussion just prior to him was Ethics!

On the road....

Apr. 23-26:  Los Angeles to attend the PERE Global Investor Forum
May 14:  San Francisco. Please join me in the west coast celebration the launch of my management consulting firm, Solutions by Steve Felix.  Blanc et Rouge Wine Bar, Two Embarcadero Center/First Floor.  I'll be there starting at 5:30pm and will stay with the last one standing!  Dutch treat.  I hope you can join me.  Feel free to bring industry friends.
May 16-20:  North Palm Beach, Florida to attend the annual meeting of The Hoyt Fellows.
May 22-25:  London to attend the IP Real Estate Awards Event and catch up with some of my London friends.
May 29-June 1:  New York for client meetings and other stuff
Sept.  Paris to attend the GRI Europe Summit

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