Randy Chertkow

Randy Chertkow is an Information Technology specialist with over fourteen years of experience in enterprise-class Fortune 100 companies. He has a Bachelor's in Business Administration in Information Systems from University of Iowa and a Master's of Science in Computer Science: Data Communications, with a secondary concentration in Artificial Intelligence from DePaul University, where he graduated with distinction.

Randy has played music all his life, including jazz, rock, and classical music. His instruments include baritone, tenor, alto, and soprano saxophones, flute, Bb and bass clarinet, guitar, bass, and anything else he can get his hands on. He started at the challenging New Trier High School Jazz program and went on to study jazz at Berklee College of music and then completed a Perfect Set course at the Bloom School of Jazz. He writes, records, and performs with Beatnik Turtle as well as performing with theater companies around Chicago.


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"Sick of Sandwiches" by Beatnik Turtle

"Listen to the song ""Sick of Sandwiches"" by the band Beatnik Turtle. Band members Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan are the authors of the book The Indie Band Survival Guide: The Complete Manual for the Do-It-Yourself Musician. This song was inspired by Jason's grandmother. ""When you get to be 80 years old like me,"" she said, ""you'll be sick of them, too."" Learn more about The Indie Band Survival Guide at http://us.macmillan.com/theindiebandsurvivalguide/RandyChertkow"

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"What We Need Is Some Interns in Here" by Beatnik Turtle

"Listen to the song ""What We Need Is Some Interns in Here"" by the band Beatnik Turtle, from their album, All in a Day's Work. The song is the band's ode to interns. Band members Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan are the authors of the book The Indie Band Survival Guide: The Complete Manual for the Do-It-Yourself Musician. Learn more about the book The Indie Band Survival Guide at http://us.macmillan.com/theindiebandsurvivalguide/RandyChertkow"

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"Tell Me Ma" by Beatnik Turtle -- The Indie Band Survival Guide

"Listen to the song ""Tell Me Ma"" by the band Beatnik Turtle, from their album, Sham Rock. ""Tell Me Ma"" is an Irish drinking song played with the guitars cranked to 11, and was featured on National Public Radio. Band members Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan are the authors of the book The Indie Band Survival Guide: The Complete Manual for the Do-It-Yourself Musician. Learn more about the book The Indie Band Survival Guide at http://us.macmillan.com/theindiebandsurvivalguide/RandyChertkow"

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The Indie Band Survival Guide--Theme Song

"Listen to the theme song for the book The Indie Band Survival Guide: The Complete Manual for the Do-It-Yourself Musician. This song is written and performed by the authors' band Beatnik Turtle. Learn more about The Indie Band Survival Guide at http://us.macmillan.com/theindiebandsurvivalguide/RandyChertkow Read more about author Randy Chertkow at http://us.macmillan.com/author/randychertkow Learn more about author Jason Feehan at http://us.macmillan.com/author/jasonfeehan"

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Q & A

An Interview with Randy Chertkow
 
What book, movie, TV show, or album has changed your life, and how?
 
Getting Things Done by David Allen had a very powerful effect on my life. I highly recommend it for almost anyone. It allowed me to be more productive and focused about what I did with my time. Most importantly, I love his concept of projects, which require you to visualize the very next physical task to move something forward. It made reaching a goal something that can be broken into steps filled with concrete actions that you can come up with on the fly. I also got a lot out of Made To Stick by Chip and Dan Heath and Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini.
 
What was the worst job you’ve ever had?
 
House painter. I was the worst house painter you could imagine. Imagine closing one of those short ladders after painting a door jamb, and forgetting that there's an entire open can of white paint on that little platform on top, spilling the paint all over the front steps and lawn. That was me.
 
Who is or was your favorite pet? What made him/her so great?
 
Growing up, my family has always had Scottish Deerhounds (deerhound.org). They are wonderful, graceful creatures that, in spite of their large size, are some of the most placid and dedicated companions you can have. I loved each of the ones that I grew up with: Stardust, Regal, and Sterling.
 
What do you enjoy doing the most with your free time?
 
Music—especially playing live, songwriting, and recording—tops my list of things that I enjoy doing. But otherwise, I am a complete geek, and love most everything in fandom. That is to say: Sci-Fi and Fantasy books and movies, roleplaying games, boardgames, comic books, and the like.
 
The other passion I have is building the website for the book, at indiebandsurvivalguide.com. It's the free resource for musicians that I always wanted to have. The website has every U.S. radio station out there, all of the music blogs we could find that review music, every newswire we could find to put your press releases out, every festival we could find, a list of over 45,000 music venues, a list of CD Manufacturers—in all, nearly 50 categories of resources to help musicians find exactly what they need. But the best part is that it's Web 2.0, free, and anyone can add resources, rate them, or comment on them, just like Amazon. It's a living, breathing site. This has been a huge development and design effort, but worth it. I add new features and links to it almost every single day. It's a constantly evolving project.
 
Besides writing, what other forms of art and creativity do you indulge in?
 
Being a musician is incredibly important to who I am. I started as a kid, when I was 10 years old, playing the saxophone. And I went on to learn the other reeds that most sax players learn: clarinet and flute. I’ve learned even more instruments since. Our band, Beatnik Turtle has released 18 albums, and over 450 songs, and I've enjoyed almost every part of making music: playing live, writing songs, recording, licensing our music, promoting our music, and every other aspect of trying to succeed on our own. Possibly the most fun we had was in 2007, when we released one song for every day of the year at thesongoftheday.com.
 
Even though I wrote a non-fiction book, I also like writing speculative fiction at dreamofanotherworld.com.
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books
by the author

The Indie Band Survival Guide, 2nd Ed.

Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan
St. Martin's Griffin

“[Chertkow and Feehan] are the ideal mentors for aspiring indie musicians who want to navigate an ever-changing music industry.” —Billboard Magazine Newly...


Available In:

Book eBook
The Indie Band Survival Guide

Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan
St. Martin's Griffin

The Indie Band Survival Guide is the ultimate resource for musicians looking to record, distribute, market, and sell their music for less than most rock stars...


Available In:

Book eBook
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