Posted on Michael Sweet's Social media Stryper's Michael Sweet writes about the time when the band played arenas yet had to declare bankruptcy due to poor band management decisions.
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"There was a time when @stryper was an arena band.
We headlined (and sold out) arenas night after night. We were a 3 bus/30 crew touring machine.
Our merchandise was with Niceman, who also handled VH and Prince at the time. We still hold the record for “per head” sales!
Our merch guys (Ron & Jamie) would come back to the bus with suitcases full of cash. Literally. Often they would “handcuff” themselves to the suitcases because there was so much money involved.
Even though we were making absolutely killing it every night in terms of success, we were spending much more than we were making and eventually wound up in debt.
We never incorporated because we couldn’t decide who/what the titles would be (which basically mean nothing on paper) so we remained a partnership. Bad call.
Once enough debt started to build (over 2 million), we were forced to file bankruptcy as partners. All because we couldn’t decide who would be “President” on paper.
I owned a home. It was paid off. I owned a few nice cars, they were paid off. I had money in the bank with very little debt yet I had to file or I would have been responsible for the massive debt Stryper had fallen into.
Then, I left the band in 1992 to get my life back together. My family, my faith, my finances.
I look back on the past and I wouldn’t change a thing. I learned a lot during those times and for that I’m thankful.
I’m blessed with a woman (my wife Lisa) who understands finances and how to budget everything that we do. She’s a Godsend. We’re also co-managed by Dave Rose. He works hard with Lisa to keep us from making/repeating the same mistakes.
Our Merch company is now Port Merchandise/Chip Taylor. Ellena sells our Merch. We’re outdoing the numbers we had in the past per head! God is good
Moral of the story? Don’t spend more than you have. Be smart with what God has given and choose wisely. Make smart decisions and think of the future. It will come and if you’re not ready for it, it’ll take you down. "
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