Why You Don’t Have To Be Well Known To Have Life Changing Impact

Last week in the Total Life Freedom Mastermind, we had an in depth discussion on how we can be not only better connected, but also better connectors. Connectors don’t seek the spotlight. They often don’t have a huge public following. But they have the influence and trust to create huge change in the world.  I’ll give you an example. Have you heard of the band Van Halen? I’m going to guess that a majority of you have. From 1978 up through the early 90’s, Van Halen was one of the premier bands in the world of rock music. And they did it in a unique way. For the first six albums, they were led by the bombastic, highly entertaining and over the top front man David Lee Roth. When Roth left the band because of a multitude of personality differences with other members of the band, he was replaced by Sammy Hagar. Most diehard fans- as well as the media-couldn’t imagine a world without Diamond Dave as the lead singer and believed that they would fail without Roth. Van Halen went on to have even greater success commercially with Hagar as the lead singer. In fact, they had nine top 40 hits with Hagar compared to the seven they had with Roth. You might believe that because the band was so popular, and because they had a world renown guitar virtuoso with Eddie Van Halen, that the transition from Roth to Hagar was smooth. It wasn’t. After Roth left Van Halen, the boys in the band were unsure of what was going to happen next. They scrambled to figure out who could be a singer that would fit into the mold of a prominent rock singer with confidence and the voice and the stage presence to replace someone as dynamic as David Lee Roth. Enter Claudio Zampolli. Was Zampolli a big star in the music world? Nope. Was he even in the music world? He was not. But Claudio Zampolli was the reason why Van Halen went on to become an even bigger band than they were before. And get this. Zampolli was an auto mechanic. But he wasn’t just any auto mechanic. He was an Italian auto engineer who was a genius mechanic who specialized in high-performance Italian engines. Because of how good he was at his specific craft, he was a magnet for the owners of those cars in Southern California. And he wasn’t a craftsman who didn’t understand the power of relationships. He paid attention to the people in his world and formed bonds that developed friendships way beyond the typical customer relationships. It turned out that two of his clients were Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen and Sammy Hagar. In fact, Hagar thought so highly of Zapolli that he included the mechanic in his hit video, I Can’t Drive 55. A year later, Hagar’s solo career was souring and the guys in Van Halen were scrambling. While in the midst of confusion, Eddie Van Halen brought his Lamborghini for Zampolli to work on when he noticed a different car- a Ferrari 512- inside. Van Halen loved the car and asked who owned it. Zampolli said that it was Sammy Hagar’s car.

And then he took it a little further. And that “little further” changed the course of rock history. 

“You should call him and get him in the band,” Zampolli insisted. He then wrote down Hagar’s phone number and handed it to Van Halen. Eddie was a fan of Hagar but, with all of the noise, confusion and craziness, hadn’t thought about Hagar being the new singer of the band. Van Halen grabbed a phone at the shop and called Hagar immediately. Two days later, after rehearsing together, Sammy Hagar was the new lead singer of one of the biggest bands in the world. And it never would have happened without Claudio Zampolli being the connector.  The ironic thing is that most Van Halen fans- while purchasing more than 56 million of their albums- have no idea who Zampolli was nor the impact that he had. But Eddie Van Halen, Samy Hagar and the inner workings of one of the most successful bands in rock history credit Zampolli as the reason for their remarkable second act. An act that might never have happened if one highly trusted friend of both hadn’t brought them together. What Zampolli did so marvelously here was what I call connecting the unconnected. One of the special parts of connecting the unconnected is that there are no reasons not to. You don’t need a skill. You don’t need talent. But by thinking of others, and taking a few moments to do what most won’t, you can not only help your friends who are going through difficult times, but you might even change the course of rock and roll history. Have an AMAZING week! Vincent

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