Dave Carroll adds author to his long list of accolades
Dave Carroll performs during the launch of his new book, United Breaks Guitars: The Power of One Voice In The Age of Social Media" (Healey photo)
ENFIELD: The multi-talented Dave Carroll has another title he can add to his name—author.
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The Waverley native launched his first-ever book at Relay Books—an international book seller located at many airports around the World—at Halifax Stanfield International Airport (HSIA) on May 15 the only way he could—with music.
The book, aptly titled “United Breaks Guitars: The Power of One Voice In The Age of Social Media” explains how Carroll managed to be more than a regular Joe Blow that would just shrug off the bad customer service he received from United Airlines after they broke his Taylor guitar. The 198-page, hardcover book, tells of Carroll’s “just do it” attitude, the media frenzy that enveloped him and his family after his video—and story—went viral on YouTube and the Internet.
More than anything, Carroll is hopeful people take away the message that they shouldn’t let bad customer service happen, and they can do something about it. He did it the only way he knew how by putting pen to paper and forming a song and video, that people around the world had an appetite for.
“I get emails and messages from people all the time saying ‘I was travelling with my guitar, and they wouldn’t leave the gate until my guitar was safely stowed and stuff like that,” he said. “There are people who are really getting good treatment because of the video.
“I like that it’s not even me they’re remembering. It’s the song. They’re saying ‘United Breaks Guitars’ by that guy. I’ve had stories of one guy’s guitar falling and landing on the ground and the person near him said, ‘well you got to be careful because wasn’t their some guy who wrote a song about United.’ I like it because they don’t know me. I like that the song is bigger than me.
“It’s not that I had a good video or anything, it’s the fact so many millions of people watched it. My brand today is the millions of stories people have contributed.”
He said in the book he talks about what it was like after a simple video about what happened to him was like.
“I talk about what it was like to be in the media frenzy, it was pretty hectic, hectic for my family and there are some funny stories in there about that,” he said. “There are things in there about the video, like my grandmother getting a movie role because of her work in United Breaks Guitars video 2, (and being) a $1,000 Jeopardy question. Those are the little things that happened along the way.
“My big lesson is that we’re all connected in a big way that I didn’t start to realize until I was travelling the world, and there were people who couldn’t speak English, and they understood the same jokes in the video that English speaking people did. That makes it easier to connect.”
Carroll—who’s a big fan of noted author Wayne Dyer—said the light to write the book began after he read one of Dyer’s books, where he plugged his daughter Tracey’s company, based in San Diego, Calif. And as they say the rest is history.
“He’s a hard guy to reach, and I had a song called ‘Now' that his book kind of inspired,” said Carroll. “I reached out to his daughter, knowing someone who just started a business will answer everybody. She said she would pass along the song, and also introduced ‘United Breaks Guitars’ which she was a fan of. It turns out he was a fan too, and as soon as she showed him that he said ‘It wasn’t about confrontation, it was non-confrontational’ and that I should write a book about it. That led to one conversation with Hay House, and 30 minutes later I had a book deal.”
The soon-to-be-father of two—his wife is due with their second child on July 19—said while he’s made peace with United Airlines, the name continues, because that’s the image
“I imagine they wish the title was different, but it is what brought me here and it is what people recognize,” he said. “The whole experience has become like a metaphor for bad customer service. I don’t think people hear that song anymore and blame United.”
Not only has the volunteer firefighter with Waverley been busy with the book, but he’s putting the final harmony touches on a new 11-track CD that will be released in mid-June called ‘Raincoat is Vegas.’ Songs on the CD include the ever-popular—at least among paramedics, police officers, and firefighters—‘Everyday Heroes.’
“It’s a collection of 11 songs that I’ve written in the last three years,” he said. “The benefit of that is that I didn’t go away for two weeks and had the same mindset that influenced all the songs. I was thinking and working away at them as I went along. None of them have anything to do with customer service. The songs are all on the CD because I think they’re good songs.
“What got me here is song writing and music; it’s what I’m most passionate about.”
Carroll said the reaction from his home community of Waverley has been one of pride. Most are thrilled that a guy from a small community like Waverley has made such a big impact that changes have been made by large corporations regarding customer service.
“Everyone has been very supportive,” he said. “The story is bigger than the person. People are proud that a story like this came from a guy from Waverley, and people are really happy to take ownership of it.
“That’s what I really like when people say “that guy’s from Waverley,” or “that was filmed at the Waverley Fire Hall.” People like that.”
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