Tuesday, January 13, 2004

10 TO WATCH IN 2004:
Rick Rock

Rick Rock often conceives, sets up and runs promotions alone

Promoter energizes
isle night life with
his weekly events

There aren't many occupations in Hawaii that allow you to live the rock star lifestyle like a party promoter -- staying in the club until the early morning hours, rubbing shoulders with celebrities and controlling the vibe of a crowd with a few words spoken into a microphone.

Ten to watch in 2004
The Star-Bulletin is spotlighting 10 people who may have a big impact on Hawaii this year.
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For Rick Rock, it's no wonder 2003 saw such an influx of individuals taking the plunge into promoting. "It was a very good year for the night-life scene," he said. "A lot more people have come and broken out. ... (Now) all these younger cats figure they can do this on their own."

For the last decade, the 33-year-old has been a club fixture on Oahu. The former San Francisco resident moved here to work at the now-defunct Rhythm House before moving on to other clubs and breaking out on his own full time in 2000.

These days, Rock maintains a three-nights-a-week roster of events: "Thirsty Thursdays" at Zanzabar, "Foreplay Fridays" at Pipeline Cafe and "Triple Threat Saturdays" at Volcanoes Nightclub. "I believe in longevity," he said. In a city where other promoters might last just a few weeks at a venue, Rock has held things down for the last three years at Zanzabar and the last two at Pipeline.

Challenges include crowds that "only have so much money to go around on certain weeks," and succeeding in an environment where it's necessary "to know somebody in order to do business." And although he typically works with a staff of up to eight people when throwing a party, it's always Rock at the controls.

"I'm the guy that conceives the promotion," he said. "I'll set the promotion up. I'll write (and) voice the ad.

"I'll do everything. ... All these other promoters have partners. I don't."

Rock also hopes to overshadow what he called last year's biggest party, a spring-break kickoff at Dave and Buster's he promoted called "Metropolis" which drew more than 5,000 people on one night, with more than 2,000 trying to get in. When asked what could be expected in 2004, all he would divulge is that "a couple of things are in the works."

"Everyone does things differently, but when you walk into my party ... you're going to feel the energy," he said. "I don't care what color you are, and I don't care how much money you make. If you want to have a good time, come to my party."


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