By SUE SIENS
Mike Slarve is living a life that compliments his love for music, especially rock and roll. Slarve is President of Four Seasons Coach Leasing, Inc. in Lebanon and owns one of the largest fleets of luxury entertainer coaches in the nation. His beautifully custom designed “hotels on wheels” provide transportation for many of the Who’s Who among top music entertainers from stage-to-stage destinations across the country. When you step into his office, you’ll see his passion for rock and roll music memorabilia, with poster art, framed albums, and CD’s from well-known rock bands lining the walls, and a few photos from his early days in the music business (with Ozzy Osbourne and others). You would never know he is friends with the music “elite” by his low key, down to earth style. What stories he can tell (some of which we couldn’t print) about the exploits and adventures of life on the road with music stars, especially during the wild and woolly 1980’s!
There’s the one about the rocker who performed his own version of the streak while on stage in Canada, and let’s just say the Canadian Mounties didn’t take too kindly to it, so he ran from the stage still in the buff and hid on top of the bus … yes, in the cold, in Canada… until the driver could get him safely back across the border! But Mike’s not naming names!
About 10 years ago, Slarve moved Four Seasons to Lebanon from California, but his amazing journey that eventually led him into the entertainment transportation industry started when he was child.
Mike was born into a musical family in Los Angeles, and grew up in the sixties era when rock and roll music had just taken off. Music was in his blood. His dad was a jazz musician and construction worker, and his family was full of classically trained musicians. While in high school, Mike was lead vocalist and harmonica player for a LA based rock band. Then he was called to serve in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He was a skilled sharpshooter. Throughout his service time, he attended as many concerts as he could and helped set up music events on the military bases. It was this experience that encouraged Mike to follow his love for music and a career in the music business.
After his honorable discharge, he and a couple of friends gathered together $10,000 and began a music promotions company. He learned in the trenches and after a few years, major acts and contracts came his way. For the next decade, Mike’s company promoted hundreds of shows and major headliners, like The Faces, Deep Purple, Rod Stewart, Jethro Tull, Black Sabbath, Linda Rondstadt and Fleetwood Mac, just to name a few.
His skill in the music promotions industry then led to artist management, studio operations and rock and roll merchandise manufacturing. Mike worked as personal assistant to George A. Hormel II (of the Hormel meat family), who owned the Village Recorder Recording Studio and Village Producers, producing and recording up-and-coming rock bands and managing their concert tours. Their company needed a bus for a band’s impending tour, at a time when few buses were available.
Mike finally located a company from New Orleans with a small fleet of new buses. The owner and Mike struck a deal. Mike could use a bus for free during the tour, if he would open a West Coast office and help promote their buses with his music industry contacts. Little did Mike know that he was about to embark on a new dimension of his music- industry career, from band management to becoming a “bus guy”. After just a few calls, Mike had brokered tour deals with Duran Duran and Madonna. When he called the bus company owner back, and the owner asked, “How much do you want in commission?” .. that’s when the proverbial light bulb lit up, and Mike realized his future opportunity. Soon Slarve became a powerhouse in the entertainment transportation industry, as the largest bus broker for all kinds of tours.
A few years later, Mike bought his own fleet of buses, and Four Seasons Coach Leasing was born. His motto has been “Get them to the Gig”, safely and on time, and in more than 32 years in the industry and tens of thousands of shows, his buses have only missed two shows. It’s that reputation that has enabled Four Seasons to provide transportation for many of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers and majority of major bands, and for top performers such as BB King, Dave Matthews Band, Alice Cooper, and Green Day. He also custom designed coaches for Maya Angelou, Joe Perry, U2, and many corporate clients like Coca-Cola and Gibson Guitar.
By BECKY ANDREWS
It started as a simple prayer after a life changing mission trip to Africa. And from that prayer in 2003 until now, Wilson County resident, Greg Holbrook, a husband, father and carpenter, has spearheaded the Miracle POWER movement. The goal of Miracle POWER is to offer assistance to the pastors, orphans and widows who happen to be among the poorest people in the villages of Kenya, Africa. Greg explained, “When I left that first mission trip, I felt a mixture of gratitude and guilt. Gratitude for the life my family has and guilt because while we live a life that’s for the most part void of any ‘real’ problems there are people across the globe going to bed hungry and living in poverty.”
An additional goal of Miracle POWER is to train, empower and provide the villagers with the resources necessary to earn a living for themselves and their families.
To better understand what Miracle POWER accomplishes, one should start with the origination of the name. The definition of a miracle is an unexpected event that surpasses all known human or natural powers. The definition of miracle can vary from person to person. One person’s idea of a miracle might be completely different from someone else.
If you have income, you do not need the miracle of employment. If you are not hungry, you do not need the miracle of food. If you are not homeless, you do not need the miracle of housing.
The average wage earned in Kenya is between $1 and $2 per day. A man works all week for $10 to feed his family as well as trying to pay for school fees, clothes for them and provide a shelter. Due to the lack of education and the absence of job skills, the poverty cycle passes from generation to generation. Miracle POWER seeks to break this cycle by providing job training and then assisting in setting up a business. The training includes help for men and women in the following venues: auto mechanics, carpentry, agriculture, bicycle repair, electrical, welding, sewing, basket weaving, barber, computer skills, etc. They will also assist them in business skills such as balancing books and understanding profit margins. Once their business is running, they will give Miracle POWER a percentage of their profits to help the next group begin training. They will also attend a daily Bible study. Miracle POWER can meet their physical needs as well as their spiritual needs at the same time. Greg travels to Kenya 2-3 times per year and is updated weekly from the pastors on the progression of the program.
It’s getting just as hot in the Wilson Living office as it is outside. Since 2008, many in the United States have been affected by the sluggish economy. Instead of wallowing in our own situations, whatever they may be, many decided this was a perfect time to donate time to help those who have it even worse. While any type of volunteer work is fantastic – not only for your own health and psyche – some have taken the act of volunteering to the next level. One of those folks is Wilson County resident, Greg Holbrook. After a mission trip to Africa in 2003, Greg had the vision to start, Miracle POWER. The goal of Miracle POWER is to offer assistance to the pastors, orphans and widows who happen to be among the poorest people in the villages of Kenya, Africa. Check out his inspiring story and see how Wilson County is helping Greg change lives thousands of miles away.
Also included in this issue, readers will get an intimate look at the Home and Garden of Wilson County residents, Denise and Lynotte Moore. We will give you a peek into the beautiful garden their youngest daughter chose to hold her wedding.
It has come to our attention that men sometimes get left out of topics covered by Style and Trends Editor, Erin Brown. Well this time Style and Trends is all about the men! Erin showcases the best looks for men of any age and how to dress cool and professional this summer.
Don’t forget to check out our blogs at www.wilsonlivingmagazine.com. We’ve added 2 new bloggers. Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Robbie Whitaker will be answering all of your mental health questions and Wilson County resident, Jennie Burton will be sharing all of her healthy eating tips on her new blog, ‘Happier Healthy.’ It’s all on www.wilsonlivingmagazine.com.
Until next time, stay cool and keep reading!
6 Notes From the Founders
City Between the Lakes
Finding Your Piece of the Good Life
ON THE COVER
The Home and Gardens of Lynotte and Denise Moore
Story by Becky Andrews, Photos by Timothy Fitzpatrick and Evin Photography
In the western edge of Lebanon, Denise and Lynotte Moore have created a living environment that is equal parts secluded getaway and a welcoming social setting.
In the spring of 2012 the Moore’s home became the backdrop for their daughter, Ashlie’s wedding ceremony.