PHOENIX — Backstage concerts and endless tantalizing tales were the normal for Luke Van Wyhe.
“You’re living in five-star hotels, famous people are getting on the bus and they know your name,” said Van Wyhe. “You see stuff on the road that you only hear in stories man.”
It was a good life on the road for Luke while transporting touring rock stars from state to state across the country. A dream career even he can’t believe he was lucky enough to experience.
“Started out with Lord of the dance way back in the day, all over Canada, January, freezing, snow, blizzards all the time, all up to driving Snoop Dogg, J Lo, Styx,” said Van Wyhe.
Signed pictures and posters now cover his walls with personal messages. Memories of easier times, like so many others, COVID had other plans.
“It’s a great industry and poof it’s gone, just nothing,” said Van Wyhe.
The stadiums and music venues once filled with screaming fans have fallen silent.
Social distancing guidelines devastated the music industry putting folks like Luke out of a job.
“The first month I’m like waiting, ‘ok maybe it’s going to go away, maybe in a month life’s gonna come back to normal right,’ nope,” said Van Wyhe.
The former Marine, not one to wait around long, acted, registering online to start a new career as a real estate agent.
“Found Arizona School of Real Estate and Business. I was lucky enough where they were still open,” said Van Wyhe.
He took a multi-week crash course, passed his licensing exam, and now works for a small firm.
In fact, just this month, he sold his first home.
“It felt great, I said to myself it was worth it,” said Van Wyhe who invested in himself without guarantees.
He now hopes his story of perseverance will inspire others to take that first step, to believe in themselves even when the music stops.
“You’ve been doing this job forever and now it’s gone, what do you have an interest in, what do you like to do,” said Van Wyhe. “You have to take what you have at hand, what’s in front of you, and think, what can you do to help yourself.”