Megan Gaver Joins Tao Group
Winston Churchill said, “History is written by the victors.” My status as some sort of knowledgeable nightlife source probably has a great deal to do with my ability to hire right. Today’s current crop of owner/operators is heavily laden with those who worked with me, for me, around me, and despite of me. They tell people I knew my stuff, and some are silly enough to believe it. The people who learned from me are fortunate that I worked for so many great operators. Being an anally analytical workaholic, I was able to glean the best from each of my tutors and pass the stuff that dreams are made of to my staff. I also tried hard to leave bad habits and techniques behind. Learning from mistakes is a very difficult but a very necessary part of success in nightlife. Although the fundamental things about running a nightclub applied long before Rick’s Café Americain, each of my teachers each had a different approach. They imparted their own unique personality and methods to marketing, control systems, staffing, liquor sales, and the thousands of little variables that need to be understood to be successful.
Rubell, Schrager, Gatien, Brahms, Rudolf, John Argento, Arthur Weinstein, Peter Frank, Roy Stillman, and all the rest were thoroughly grounded in the numbers but had their own ways of running the show.
One of my ex-employees actually wrote a novel, which my ex-wife says has me all up in there, and not in a good way. Although I haven’t read the book, I have been told that my former staffer portrayed me in a very unflattering light. At this age, almost all light is unflattering and well, you get used to it. I was never really sure she knew what was going on, but she was my ex’s best friend and needed a gig. She wasn’t extremely dumb or as useless as tits on a bull, so we always found something for her to do where she wouldn’t hurt herself. She never even invited me to a reading.
I relied heavily on pedigree. Not only did my purebred Chihuahua, Arturo, have to like the person but they had to be better than the job they were applying for on paper. My staff were graduates of Harvard, Wharton, University of Michigan, Columbia, N.Y.U. and other prestigious schools. Many were just spending a year or two until they got their law degree or MBA and moved on to big business while others saw the club business as having big opportunities for them. Many of them are the players running things today. They are the victors.
Those fortunate to work with me during my trials and tribulations learned a valuable lesson on what not to do. One of my best hires came out of left field. Back in the Life nightclub days, we distributed invites as the clubs of that era were prone to do. Even though we were the hottest club out there, we still had people on corners near other hot clubs handing paper to their patrons about what we were doing. This flyer distribution was headed up by a sharp young man who also had the task of getting invites mailed out. Long before Facebook, spam and mass texting, we annoyed people on corners and with junk mail. Each day in-between games of Tetris, I analyzed the various methods of marketing we employed. I became suspect of the distribution by the street team and ventured off one night with a couple of my trusted dudes. We went to the corners where I’d ordered distribution and found none occupied by my staff, while the other clubs were represented in force. I called my distribution chief in for a meeting. College kids were stuffing envelopes with invites in banquettes which were occupied at night by superstars and celebrities. He sauntered into the room with a look on his face similar to the one my cat Buster has after he bags a pigeon. I fired him in front of everyone. I always wanted to kill them, draw a chalk line around their limp bodies so all would see what happens when I got crossed but just as we have no smoking rules in modern clubs we weren’t allowed to whack anybody back then. So I just got loud and threw him out. He screamed back at me, “Who you going to get to replace me!!!!????” I spun around and saw this young, blond college girl quietly stuffing envelopes, pointed in that direction and said, “Her. Now get outta here and never come back.” It was as affective as a chalk mark.
Megan Gaver started working directly for me and over the years became my right hand, left hand, feet, eyes and ears and even fed Arturo and the fish when I traveled. She got a law degree in her spare time and went on to work for Jon B and his merry band of elves and scallywags. Now she has moved up the ladder again and is working for my old friends and co-workers Jason Strauss and Noah Tepperberg and that crew at Tao Group. She included me in his mass e-mail. She got good at that.
“As some of you already know, after many great years with my current company, I have decided to move on and take a position as Director of Business Affairs with the TAO Group at their newest space in the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas. We are slated to open this exciting new venue in December 2010. I look forward to speaking with all of you soon and doing continued business with you out in Las Vegas!”
I congratulate all involved as Megan is a knowledgeable, dedicated player who will be a great asset. Churchill once said, “I am easily satisfied with the very best.” I’m sure she will satisfy them and they her. Tao group is TAO New York, TAO Las Vegas, LAVO New York, LAVO Las Vegas, Marquee, Stanton Social, Rue 57, Avra, and Dune. Now what’s better than that?