Sam Summers, the 27-year-old owner of First Fleet Concerts, took a break from booking your favorite bands (that play everywhere from the Mews to the Well) for some friendly conversation over a few beers. We let him pick the place.
Why did you pick The Greenwood? Really, I don't have a bar. So when you asked me where we should meet I just went for somewhere near my house. I don't really go out that much, but when I do I go someplace like this and shoot pool, or somewhere quiet like The Lift. I like going out in other towns more than I do in Des Moines, just because I can get wild. No one knows me.
When you go out of town, where do you go? When I have a concert in Iowa City, I look forward to going to those shows. Or I'll go to New York or out of the country and experience what those places have to offer. When I'm in Des Moines, I'm always working or hanging out with my girlfriend. I just don't know if there's the right spot for me. There aren't big-city bars like you would see in New York in other places. The dude that manages The Blue Moose in Iowa City, he runs like four other bars. So we'll go out and get free drinks at all those places. It's a fun scene.
Do you always head to Iowa City to see shows you've booked? No, I go over for the ones I want to, usually. I send someone, always. But I'll go over if it's a big show, or I need to babysit it or it's a show I want to see. I go more than I probably need to.
What's a day off like? I like old motorcycles. That's my new hobby. I've got a little bit of a problem with it. I have 15 Hondas, they're mostly early '70s, and I mess around with those. I actually just bought a big air compressor and sand blaster so I can start repainting the tanks and stuff myself. My garage is completely full. I have it lined up like a V. I think 15 is my last one for now.
How often do you travel? I try to take as many trips as I can. My friend teaches in Korea, so I went there two years ago, and to Japan on that trip. Last year I went to Thailand with some friends. That was by far the best vacation I've ever been on. We went to Kochi, an island down south in Thailand. Pad Thai was like 60 cents, beer was like 55 cents a can. We stayed in a hut on the sea for $7 a day. It's like out of this world. If you ever get a chance to go there ... Americans kind of have this perverted connotation with Thailand, but Europeans don't. So it's a huge vacation spot for Europeans.