Rock Against Trafficking:
Saving Lives Through the Power of Music
Interview with Founder, Gary Miller
Rock Against Trafficking is a non-profit 501c3 charity driven by seasoned music industry veterans who are taking action to end human trafficking on a global scale. With growing awareness and support from the media and public officials, we continue to see an increase in anti-trafficking task force initiatives worldwide — many businesses are providing training to their employees to help identify traffickers and victims in their tracks.
With over 600 rescues so far this year, our network of affiliates is hard at work but we need your help!
Gary Miller is a British Pop and Rock music producer, songwriter, composer, and guitarist. Gary worked for the London production house Stock Aitken Waterman as producer and songwriter and was later part of the Metrophonic team. He is best known for his work with David Bowie for the album Heathen, Katy Perry, Donna Summer, Lionel Richie, Kylie Minogue, Bananarama, and Simply Red.
Miller started his music career during the 1980s as a guitarist, touring with Sir Elton John and Nik Kershaw all across Europe and the US. In 1989, Miller was Musical Director for Deon Estus on George Michael’s Faith Tour. During his long-spanning career, he was also MD and guitarist for the 30-year reunion tour for British Pop duo Bros, twin brothers Matt and Luke Goss, in 2017. The Bros Live 2017 Tour filled The O2 arena in London two nights in a row.
Miller additionally founded the Rock Against Trafficking foundation which records and releases album projects to raise money and awareness to fight human trafficking. The first Rock Against Trafficking album “Set Them Free”, which was produced by Miller, features Police and Sting covers performed by various well-known artists, such as the rock band Journey, Heart, Carlos Santana, Slash, Julian Lennon, Ellis Hall, and En Vogue.
Most recently Gary has achieved a #1 record across several UK charts with Rozalla’s “I Feel It Slipping Away”.
More about Rock Against Trafficking at https://rockagainsttrafficking.org
Read the Interview
Hugh Ballou: Greetings, this is Hugh Ballou. I am back with another episode of The Nonprofit Exchange. This is a series of interviews with people who have made a difference in people’s lives, who have had a vision and stayed with that vision until it came to reality. It’s stories to help us learn, stories to inspire us. Maybe we can support each other in the missions. Right now, the work of nonprofits is so important, and it’s more important than ever before in history.
We are talking today about an international crisis of human trafficking. My guest today is Gary Miller. Gary, you’re quite a celebrity. I am so honored to have you on the show today. Tell people a little bit about you and your background please.
Gary Miller: Hello, everyone. I am Gary Miller. I have been in the music business for four decades. You can tell by the accent that I’m from England, but I live in Malibu now in Los Angeles. I produce lots of records and have written with a lot of people. I have been in big production companies in England that have developed big stars like Rick Astley, Cher, Enrique Iglesias. I was with a lot of big production companies in the UK. While I was there, I toured with George Michael and Elton John before I got into production. I have done lots of live work, big concerts, and lots of smaller ones in clubs. I have done more or less everything you can think of really. Then I came here to America as head of production that did lots of pop and dance music. We produce people in genres from Andrea Bocelli to David Bowie. It’s been a wide range of production and writing.
A friend of mine who worked for Universal in Russia called David Junk came to me and showed me this leaflet of how there were 27 million children being trafficked nearly 11 years ago now. I couldn’t believe this sort of thing went on. I wanted to do something musically. We talked about doing something, and it never really happened. I picked the ball up later down the line. I had an idea of doing an album of Sting and The Police songs, songs from Sting’s solo career and songs from The Police. I chose the songs and decided to make an album and ask all the people who I knew if they would want to get involved to fight against human trafficking. Luckily the first person who came in was Slash. One by one, everyone came in. In the beginning, I thought this was going to be a three-month project. I was going to make an album and do my bit and feel like I had done something.
That was a three-month project 11 years ago. It’s one of those things that once you learn about, and I never even heard of a 501(c)3. I didn’t plan to form a nonprofit. I just wanted to make a record. Maybe we could sell this record. Maybe we could get bigger people on it to help create the awareness. When I first learned about it, I started talking about it to people. There was not one person I came across who had even heard about it. They thought it happened in Cambodia or the Philippines. No, it happens in San Diego. I attended CEO Space once, and I talked to someone who said, “I’m glad I live in San Diego.” “Why? The border is just there. It is happening right on your doorstep.” Nobody could even believe it. They never thought it went on in this country.
When I sat down and had breakfast with Slash to explain what I had learned about it all to him, Slash said, “That just happens in Cambodia.” Other people say, “We’re fed up of helping with charities in other countries. We need to look after America.” “That’s what I’m talking about. It’s in America. It’s at the Super Bowl. It’s everywhere you can think of.” The police in Malibu, I knew a few of the cops here. Even they had never heard about it. Even the police. I have a friend who is at the Oxnard police station, and it’s only in the last few years they have started training about human trafficking. Now with all the Epstein stuff and things that happened in England, we had a famous TV personality who died, and then we found out that he was a pedophile and doing all this stuff.
It wasn’t like a conscious thing where I wanted to form a foundation. It was the case of making a record. Once you started to find out more about what was going on, we needed a board of directors. I had no idea. The only thing I know about is music. The great thing about the music business is that music is the quickest way to touch people’s emotions. I thought that was a good thing. People really like all kinds of music. Even Charles Manson was a fan of The Beatles. I thought I wanted to do something that had no prejudice against it. I didn’t want to make it political. I am a strong believer in God. I think God brought me to Malibu to do this thing. But I didn’t want to do it with a cross behind me or a political thing.
Everybody needs to help. I wanted it to be like a Trojan horse. If you bring people in, and people want to go see Slash, they are already supporting human trafficking, whatever they may be. It’s a humanitarian thing. When you see five-year-old children being raped by middle-aged and grown men, it’s one of the worst things I can possibly imagine. It became a real passion for me. It still is.
Hugh: I see that. There is something that musicians contribute to the world that is so unique. We’re called to do something that touches people inside. We also think differently. I was 48 years old when I went to graduate school and got my advanced degree in conducting. There was a lab chorus I had to conduct. They had to sing, and my professor corrected me in front of everybody. But half of the group were computer programmers. I said, “Wait a minute. This doesn’t make sense.” One of them said, “Sure it does.” I said, “Tell me.” We have a serious, unforgiving, rigid structure with programming and music. You can’t play out of the chord sequence. You can’t play a solo when it’s not your turn. Even in rock or jazz, when it seems improvised, there is a set of rules. Within a set of rules, you have to be creative.
Gary: That is so true.
Hugh: We bring in a different skillset. I am a strategy person. I teach people to build systems so you know where you’re going. I showed you a picture of me with an orchestra where we have the score so everybody knows what they are supposed to do. There is a pattern. In your kind of music, there is an old joke that I reframed, “What do you call an old guy who hangs around musicians?” Some people say, “A drummer.” Sometimes they say, “A conductor.” My job was to show up and make things happen. You are a person; you make things happen. You said you toured with Elton John on stage.
Gary: With Nik Kershaw, who was a famous artist in the UK. Then I did the Faith tour with George Michael as a performer.
Hugh: What is your instrument?
Gary: My first instrument was a guitar, but I play piano as well. I do a lot of programming on the keyboard.
Hugh: And you do a lot of composing.
Gary: Nowadays, I have a computer here that is full of every plug-in and instrument you can possibly think of. If I want bagpipes, I have them. It’s fantastic what you can do on your own now. It’s sad for a lot of players. Drummers suffered quite a lot because of drum machines and samples. Orchestras have suffered because you can buy the orchestration samples, which are phenomenal.
Hugh: Yes. You are this very engaged person, big-time music performing. You’ve pivoted to put your skills into this very important topic of trafficking, which is a crisis. It got your attention. Was there ever a point when you thought, “This was such a huge problem. What difference can one person make?” If you did, how did you get past that?
Gary: It’s funny you should say that because me being very green in the nonprofit world and not really understanding things, there was a lot of headaches. There have been many times I have thought, What am I doing? I’m kidding myself here. As I look back now, even still the album is finished with all of these stars. We had to fund a lot of things ourselves. The reason for that is I have wanted to release the album independently because then you have more money for the cause. You do it through the corporates and they will want to take their share.
Looking back on nearly 11 years of it, when I first started this, I never met one person, and I went to a lot of functions, who had heard about this. What could I do on my own? Over the last 11 years, I look at all the worldwide press, the hit singles from this album we created on our own. It took a lot longer, but we have created lots of awareness for what is happening. Our organization is always being talked about now. I feel like we had a lot to do with creating a lot of awareness for this problem. It’s quite encouraging.
I started on my own doing this, doing the music, and I gradually did it bit by bit, one bit at a time. One person can make a massive impact. I will always encourage everyone that nothing is ever too big if you have a passion for something and believe in it. I can be very obsessive with music. Once I’ve started something, I find it difficult to quit; I have to see it through. There have been so many times I’ve wanted to give up on this, but I never have. I felt like it, but I never have and never will. It’s me feeling sorry for myself. When I think of these five-year-olds, I have been to an orphanage in Mexico, and all of these kids have a hit out on them in non-disclosed areas. Imagine me getting fed up at certain situations; it’s nothing compared to what these kids have to go through.
Hugh: That’s remarkable.
Gary: It was very simple. I have to make a record, and that’s where I started. The first person to come on board was Slash. He recommended Fergie. Then the Keys came on and Heart. Now it’s a 16-track album of some great celebrities. We’ve achieved a lot.
The thing is, now, through music, I want to make records. I have just finished a record for mental health, which Mary Wilson from The Supremes was part of. Unfortunately, she just passed away. That is starting to go now. And homelessness. And the veterans. Music plays a big part in most people’s lives.
There is a lot of money with celebrity, with merchandising and concerts when we can open back up again. The sales of music can be a big help to some of these foundations. My idea is to sell the record, and all the proceeds go back to this cause, so we can write checks for people to go on rescue missions. That is what I would like to do. There are a few organizations out there who rescue these kids, boots on the ground. When concerts go back up again. We are doing this new thing, the Las Vegas Music Awards; I am the music supervisor. I want us to be behind that as well as Vegas has a big problem with this. I am ready to start the Spanish album as well. I have done one track for that at the moment.
Hugh: A large portion of the world speaks Spanish.
Gary: The Latino market is 18% above the Anglo market now. I want to do the Latin album, and then we can have a Latin and English artist duet. You bring the Latin world and the Anglo world together. Everybody should chip in to help with what is going on.
Hugh: When you and I met a number of years ago, we were in Lake Las Vegas.
Gary: It was at CEO Space, yeah.
Hugh: We had some really good conversations. I don’t know if you ever heard me do a keynote there, but you really model how I define a leader. You can get 2.5 million hits when you Google “leadership,” but it boils down to three things for me. 1) Leaders get things done. 2) Leaders figure out how. 3) Leaders influence others. You just nailed that. You had a vision and a passion. You had a calling from God to do something, it sounds like.
Gary: I think so. I was sat with David Junk. He showed me this leaflet. In the beginning, I was working through International Justice Mission, IJM. They are doing some great things. I didn’t want to be tied to one. I wanted to spread it all out. I had the idea and thought, Sting and The Police songs would be good. I just started doing one at a time, and it developed.
Hugh: Starting from nowhere and getting traction. Out of every 100 people that have an idea, my estimate is three people do something. Only a third of those are going to succeed. You have fly paper on your feet. You had to get traction. The first thing is to be able to articulate your vision and get people to buy in. You have mentioned some really important people who evidently said, “Yes, I want to be part of this.” How did you approach them? What did you say to get whatever it is you needed to tell them to say yes?
Gary: Fortunately for me, I have been in the music industry a long time and produced people like David Bowie and Andrea Bocelli. I have the knowledge and experience of producing big artists and touring with big artists. That was an advantage. Because I play everything, I knew I could mix, arrange, and do all this music on my own and get it to where I wanted. Because I know all these artists are very busy and are getting asked to do charity records all the time, there is a pile on the manager’s desk every day. It’s time-consuming.
The other reason I chose Sting and The Police because I thought most musicians will have a favorite Sting song or a favorite Police song. The first thing I did was approach Slash and said to him, “What’s your favorite Police song?” He said, “So Lonely.” Once I knew that was his favorite, I came back to the studio the same day as the breakfast and put the song together. I listened to “So Lonely.” We had no one to sing the song. All I knew was Slash, who is so caring and helpful and the nicest man in the music business as far as I am concerned. I programmed the song and got it to the way where I thought it should be. I worked really hard so when he got it back, he would like what I’d done. Thankfully he did.
It was Slash who said, “Fergie would be able to sing this.” Slash suggested Fergie. Thankfully I had something to play, and she agreed. It was like a snowball effect. I made it so that they had to do nothing. They had to pick their favorite song. They would walk into the vocal booth and just sing the song. Ann Wilson did it in about three takes. En Vogue came to my house. They are wonderful singers. They were able to enjoy the experience. I made sure that everything was ready. Every time I found an act, because once we got Slash and Fergie, we had something to say. We are doing this album. Slash and Fergie are involved. Other people then got involved. Julia Lennon got involved. Lots of others, too.
It was literally a bit by bit exercise. I knew that they never had much time, so I had to do as much as I could on my own to make sure they liked the track. I then sent the finished track to them to make sure they were happy with the mix and the arrangements. Thankfully, everybody was. I made it easy for them, and it was the same as anything. You have to work really hard. To get it together on the production, people told me, “You should never touch Sting or The Police. It won’t work.” That was another challenge I had. I didn’t want to do karaoke versions. I wanted to do brand new arrangements. I was making it rough for me, but it worked. People liked everything that I did.
Hugh: You put your reputation on the line. You said, “I’m doing this thing.” For people out there struggling with getting some traction, and they have an A list of contacts, but there is this voice that says, “They’re too busy,” “I shouldn’t bother them,” “They’re too important,” what advice would you give them to break through and ask the question?
Gary: You should just ask because most celebrities, and I have met a lot of them, are really nice and down-to-earth people. Pierce Brosnan was a supporter of it. His son Dylan who has a band came out and played an event we did. Just ask. You have to remember that if you want a celebrity to be involved, you have to get all your ducks in a row. They are being asked all the time. I wanted to do it the best I possibly could so they would want to be involved. I am not just involved with the cause because it’s a good cause; I wanted to make sure it was a classic-sounding record so everyone on this album was proud of their performance. It’s not just a throwaway album where you sling it out. The album has to stand alone because that is my thing. It does. I think it does.
Hugh: I am going to put you on the spot. Let’s do a roleplay for a minute. Pretend I am an important conductor. I saw this work with Pavarotti, and some gospel choir was in LA, and some guitar player, and they did this hybrid thing that was quite amazing. They had a symphony behind them.
Gary: Was it Steve Vai?
Hugh: It may have been. It all worked together. Pretend like you are going to do something like that. You are going to approach me, an important conductor somewhere. You are going to ask me to participate in this. How would you approach me? I want people to hear you make the ask.
Gary: I would ask you because of your talent. I would pick a song like for instance, I did “Russians,” which is totally orchestrated. I played it on a keyboard. I would ask your opinion and say, “I want to do it differently. This is what I’ve got at the moment.” Then I would ask you to do your thing. I’d want to get your talent out. Rather than me tell you what I want, I want to see what you would come up with.
Hugh: Where is the why? Why should I do this?
Gary: The record sounds so good. It’s a fantastic cause. After explaining, do you want to help a five-year-old from being molested or killed?
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Hugh: Gary, in working with these top artists, and I had shared with you that I was in this really good church in Florida that I thought had the best acoustical room in the country for acoustic music. It was kind of like Carnegie Hall in a church. It was all marble and stone and high ceilings. It was a marvel of acoustical design. I called one of your countrymen David Willcocks and said, “Would you come spend a week to prepare the choir and orchestra and do this memorial concert?” We recognized people who had passed on, but it was quite a community event. I found that every single one of them thanked me for the experience and said, “Invite me back again.” They really valued the experience, not just because it was Florida in January and it was warm.
Gary: I haven’t been to Florida in January.
Hugh: They could do the work. But they served the music. It wasn’t about them; it was about the music. You just talked about the celebrities you work with. For people who are really good, it’s not about them.
Gary: It’s not about them, no. They’ve had that success. I bumped into Lady Gaga funnily enough in Starbucks in Malibu. They’ve all had their #1 records. Music is so powerful that if you can get it right, you can use it for all sorts of different things. People are passionate about music. They will buy music.
What I wanted to do with my nonprofit was to create a self-sustainable. We don’t want to go cap in hand asking for donations or even doing events. We’ve paid for everything internally, which does become difficult after a while. Everyone has a real passion for it. If you’re a musician, you want to do the best job you possibly can because as you know, most musicians wear their heart on their sleeves.
I was watching a documentary with Hans Zimmer. He has done wonderful stuff and is confident. He asks to play people his stuff, and he is wearing his heart on his sleeve. He is so involved with his pieces of music. I don’t know any musicians who aren’t like that, that you can’t explain why you do it. It’s powerful. There is lots of money to be earned, so I’d like to have a self-sustainable company that you’re selling merch that all goes to the causes.
Hugh: We teach that this is a tax-exempt business, but it’s about proceeds, not profits. You’re creating a legacy that will go on past our lifetime. You’re going to raise money, so let’s do the mechanics. There is the album that could be distributed even now. You will do live events. So talk about generating the income. Then talk about repurposing income. I heard you say you are going to write checks to organizations who are boots on the ground, saving children’s lives. Say more about that process.
Gary: Doing it the way I’ve done it, I am not a record company, but I still want to do it at that level. I finished the record. We have all the production to do, which we paid for. Then there is all the promotion. I don’t want to just put this record on a normal platform. It’s got to be promoted properly. My dilemma is you have to get the money to promote it properly, like most of the acts. If Guns n’ Roses are putting an album out, I want to put the same level of promotion into it. The first thing is to put the album out. I have put out two singles from the album. One was #7, and one was #27 with Journey and Glen Hughes. Then there are the concerts. I want to do concerts that can generate lots of revenue. Merchandise can generate lots of revenue.
I can’t go out and fight this cause; I am not capable of this anyway. But there are organizations that are powerful, like International Justice Mission or Slavery No More. Those are great organizations. Unlikely Heroes. Once we get out there with the album, I’d like the proceeds to go to checks to these organizations. Underground Railroad is a good one, too. It’d be fantastic to be able to build safe houses. That is my eventual dream. I’m a one-man band here really, so I have to do everything. If I don’t do it, stuff doesn’t get done, on the creative side.
That’s the idea. The album is finished. Get it distributed. Get all the proceeds from merchandising, sponsorships, concerts to the cause, even if it means buying the organization a computer. A resource people can dip into. We’re not there by a long shot. We have to get the album out first, and it’s a long process.
Hugh: It is, and I’m glad you’re staying with it. Those kinds of organizations do have trouble raising money. You can find out about this organization.
Let’s talk about your team. Andy Andrus-
Gary: Andy has been involved right from the beginning here. He’s great.
Hugh: Andy is a fine musician and a dear friend and a smart fellow. Tim Jahnigan is your operations director.
Gary: Tim was on the rainforest concerts. He has done lots for charity. Jody Best is the radio promo lady. Bob Pritchard has done lots of things for charity. Same with Matthew and Gabby.
Hugh: Tyler Prescott with Pennyfly-
Gary: We have a good team behind this now. The creative stuff needs to be done first, and then the team can do the rest.
Hugh: I am a founder of SynerVision Leadership Foundation. There is the process where we do everything. Then we have a plan. Then we can start divvying it out and empowering other people. It’s like creating the music for the orchestra, and everyone knows how to play their part. Would you be open to entertaining some questions?
Gary: Of course.
Hugh: Bob Hopkins is from Dallas, Texas. It was about one degree last night. Bob is the author of Philanthropy Misunderstood, which is a great coffee table book. Bob, what question do you have for our guest?
Bob Hopkins: This topic, I guess nobody wants to talk about.
Gary: That’s the problem I have. I start talking to people, and they say, “Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.” That’s half the problem. Nobody wants to know. Sorry to interrupt. Go on.
Bob: It’s an interesting question. I heard about it ten years ago quite frankly. I didn’t know it existed in Texas. Between Houston and Dallas, it’s a significant problem. I’m aware of it. People still don’t want to talk about it. You mentioned the phrase, and they want to talk about something else. We are doing Youth in Philanthropy. Do you think this is a topic for youth to know about and talk about and understand?
Gary: 100%. That’s one of the places where it should start. It should be in all the schools. These little kids need to know. Some kids go missing in broad daylight in shopping malls now.
Bob: I see all the adults who you have involved with you. Do you have any significant teenagers who are movers and shakers and are trying to change the world? They are trying to do all sorts of things. Why don’t you have a board of directors, youth division, of teenagers?
Gary: I’ve never thought of that. That’s a good idea. You do need that youth. That’s a wonderful idea.
Bob: Go to high schools and get them behind this thing.
Gary: I’m involved with pop music. I can relate to what a lot of them are talking about in music. It would be good to go around schools. I would do that. If I got that opportunity and make it a bit more interesting with music, because I can relate to them, I am working with a lot of young artists at the moment.
Hugh: I think Bob just volunteered to help you form this youth council.
Gary: This would be fantastic.
Bob: I did. Maybe we can figure out how to bring this topic into our Youth in Philanthropy conference, especially for our older crowd, which is 12 years old to 18 years old. They are hunting for something to do, whether it be for food or shelter or digging water wells in Ethiopia, which some of them are involved with. Why not do something with human trafficking? It’s their age that people are after.
Gary: Exactly. That’s why the young people should know about it because it’s them they’re after.
Bob: We’ll get in touch with you. I appreciate it.
Gary: Anything I can do to help.
Hugh: It’s PhilanthropyKids.org/YIPC21. Mr. Rash, do you have a question?
J.E. Rash: Gary, thank you so much. Our organization is Legacy International. We work all around the world on five continents, especially with youth, young professionals, and entrepreneurs. Bob said one of the things I was going to say, which is one thing we’ve learned in our work is to include youth on every level, board of directors, colleagues, planners, etc. I second his motion to bring in a youth advisory group, which is something we do all over the world.
Hugh: That’s two volunteers right here.
Gary: Fantastic. It’s getting better with every second.
J.E.: We have a global network that reaches a lot of places where this trafficking has taken place. We have worked with children of sex workers in India a few years ago. We have a Global Youth Village, and we can make this a subject of our virtual and on-campus Global Youth Village that we have been talking about doing again.
In my mind, I also come from a music family. My mother was a concert pianist. To me, everyone is a musician or a performer. All you have to do is put a microphone in everyone’s shower. Years ago, I was a producer. I know a little bit about that business. All we had to do was look at concerts.
You are talking about sustainability. Events are good springboards for sustainability. The thing that I see that runs through all of our work, whether we are working with entrepreneurs or peacebuilding or government officials, is that repetition is important. You have the reprise in music. This concept of ideography runs through everything. Muslim terrorists, fake news, repeated enough times, it’s propaganda. The beauty of music is we can repeat things over and over again. They’re memorizing. The message has to be the message that is using propaganda for the right reasons. The idea of sustainability comes through the message being repeated over and over and over again.
Gary: Right. That repetition all the time, just keep plugging away. I really do think it makes a lot of difference.
J.E.: I do, too. That’s why I say everyone is a performer. I certainly want to get behind this. We have young women around the world between the ages of 14 and 18 in a program called Tech Girls, which is State Department-funded. We also have young entrepreneurs all around the world, some of whom are working with refugees who are at-risk youth, both internal and external. They are making apps. I want to think about how maybe we can collaborate on some apps.
Gary: There must be some of these survivors and victims who are talented. It would be great to find some singers and artists who we could develop in the studio who have gone through all this trauma. I have a wonderful studio in Malibu here. I have had people in my house from Peru, orphanages. With the corona thing, everything has been on hold. I am hoping to be able to pull all the stops out once everything opens up again. It’s been quiet at the moment. I need to put some stuff into it again.
Hugh: I will connect you with these people here. What happens many times is we find people who are willing to step up and do something if they just know what it is that they can do.
We have some other tracks here. Going back to our conversation, you have done everything yourself. Now it’s time for you to find other things people can do. There is a worldwide network we have at our disposal who can help tell the story. It’s not paid advertising. It’s people rallying together to help.
Gary: When I get this album out, there is a lot of publicity here. There is a big celebrity push behind this. To do this properly, it needs funds to do it. I could put this out next week, but it wouldn’t be out the way it should be. We have to open back up again and get the funds to put the first album out. Once we get the first album out, then it can be a roll, and we can just keep going. But it needs finances, like everyone else.
Hugh: As musicians, there is a certain amount of prep. What people see on the stage is the top 10% of the iceberg.
Gary: They don’t see what else goes on. If they only could, they’d die.
Hugh: My first book I wrote after 40 years of working in music ministry. My church in Atlanta had 12,000 people, and it had 750 people in music ministry. A whole bunch of things going on. I figured out in that job that 10% of my job was music. 90% allowed that to happen. It made music possible. For any of us leading a charity, our vision, our product, our service is 10%. 90% is that infrastructure you are creating. I commend you. You have the patience and the system to put it together. And you are stepping up and calling on the relationships you have created over the years. You are also ensuring the reward is going to be good because you are delivering a quality product.
Gary: You hit the nail on the head. Remember all these artists from Carlos Santana, Fergie, Slash, everyone else, Heart, En Vogue. They have done this. Now it’s up to me to prove myself to get the album out. We did a deal with Sony. I want all the proceeds to go to help this cause. There is administration things that everyone has to pay. We have to pay all the marketing people, but that’s all. It’s about getting the marketing funds to put this album out. When you pass Sunset Boulevard, I have this dream of seeing this big Rock Against Trafficking billboard there with the release of the album. I want to do it the proper way. Once we open again, it’s definitely going to come. I am confident in that.
Hugh: I am sure you are. That is the sign of a good leader. You see the end result and imagine it as already having happened and move toward it.
Gary: That’s exactly what I do. It doesn’t matter what the obstacles are. And there are obstacles all the time. there is a financial obstacle. Something will happen, and it will change everything. I don’t know what that will be yet. I was brought here for a reason to do this, even to live in Malibu. I know there’s an end game. The time is right. But now the time is getting very close. With the team behind it, I think we’re pretty close now.
Hugh: I love it. As I am listening to this astounding interview and the important work you’re doing, you’re creating money to fund these charities. On top of that, you’re allowing these great celebrities a chance to step in and make a difference. And the real thing is you are creating a large awareness for people who don’t want to talk about it or don’t even know it exists. It’s the awareness to the problem. That will attract more supporters.
Gary: You’re dead right. I’ll keep going regardless. I have talked to a lot of founders who have all had difficulty, but you have to keep going.
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Hugh: What thought do you want to leave people with?
Gary: Never, ever give up. If you have an idea about something and want to do it, never give up. You have to fail to be successful. I know it’s a cliché, but I am a real strong believer in that. You just have to keep going all the time. It’s like riding a bike when you’re little. Just get back on.
Hugh: RockAgainstTrafficking.org. Gary Miller, you’re a saint today. You’re doing some amazing work and helping lots of people. Thank you for being our guest.
Gary: You’re very kind. Thank you so much.