Some important facts about the store and owner... He loves his work; he loves his music
Word Times Record
|Music Center owner Jerry Perron has no regrets with this job |
By Chelsea Allen, WoRD Staff
"I've never once dreaded going to work." Anyone who can truly say that deserves applause, because it's very rare. Jerry Perron has been saying it since his sophomore year in high school.
Perron, 32, of Topsham is the owner of The Music Center in downtown Brunswick and The Music Center Studio, located at his home. For as long as he can remember, he's had a passion for his work — music.
As the youngest of five kids, Perron was always exposed to his siblings' music. And to this day he loves The Beatles.
For his fifth birthday he was set on getting K.I.S.S.'s latest record. When he didn't receive it, he threw a fit. Reluctantly, his older sister went out and bought it for him. To this day he keeps it in his studio closet.
In fact, Perron's first concert was K.I.S.S., at age 6. He doesn't remember much of it, although he can still vividly see the lights going out and the band rising onto the stage. "I remember opening it up and saying 'That's what I want to do,'" he said, pointing to the picture of the band amongst a huge crowd on the inside cover.
Learning to play
Perron would use his brothers' acoustic guitar until he finally got an electric of his own from his father. At first, he started taking lessons, but "They were very boring," he said.
He wanted to learn rock songs, not chords. So, he started to learn some music on his own out of a book and by ear. He recalls getting frustrating but always getting encouragement from his mom.
Then, a breakthrough came in seventh grade. He'd taped a K.I.S.S concert on MTV and after school the next day he spent about eight hours trying to learn the song by ear. He worked so hard that he didn't even eat or go to the bathroom. "I was so into it," he said.
Perron finally got it though, and it got much easier after that. He started his first garage band, "Future," and they played their first gig at a school assembly. "It was instant popularity," he said, laughing.
As a sophomore in high school, Jerry started working at Spectrum Music, the same music store that he now owns. He attended the University of Maine at Augusta and received a degree in jazz music. He continued working at the store and was headed to graduate school when an opportunity arose.
The owner of the store decided to put it up for sale. With a push of encouragement and some financial help from his parents, Perron bought it. After a year, he changed the name to The Music Center.
The growth of his store has been unbelievable. He offers lessons in addition to selling music supplies.
"I never want my students to feel the way I did when I was taking lessons, that's why we're all so talkative," he said. "I always tell my employees to be friendly when I hire them."
"I love it all," said Perron of his favorite part of the job. "Turning the key and flicking on the lights in the morning is fun."
One of the least favorite parts? He hates reprimanding.
He's amazed at the growth of his company. And although he still has the childhood dreams of becoming bigger and better than The Beatles, he's content.
Music, more than a job
Music has, obviously, carried into his family life. Jerry is married to Tara Perron and they have a 7-year-old daughter, Annabella.
Does Bella have any interest in music? "She has no choice," he said. She already knows all of The Beatles and their instruments as well as a few songs. And if someone asks her about Gene Simmons, she sticks out her tongue.
Tara Perron is into music, too, which helped her and Jerry hit it off right from their first date.
Jerry Perron is currently playing in a band with one other friend, Tim Wilson, called "Hey Buddy." They've been playing together for about 10 years.
While a lot of Jerry Perron's own music is inspired by The Beatles, he admits he's not so good with the lyrics. "Music is more than words," he said.
Perron recalls turning down opportunities or maybe not fulfilling his every dream, but realizes that everything happens for a reason.
And how can he complain when he's never once dreaded his job?