Five Questions for: Zack Bush
Miami nightlife impresario Zack Bush has a new project and it’s literally putting people to sleep. The Ball & Chain owner and former nightclub promoter has written a children’s book that’s become a bedtime staple so popular, it’s debuted at No. 1 on Amazon.com, was listed by People Magazine as one of “12 Best New Books - Kids Pick,” and managed to hit the Top 10 in Publisher’s Weekly bestsellers. Released last March, Bush will discuss “Made for Me” at the Miami Book Fair on November 18th at 2:30 p.m. We sat down with Bush and got to the bottom of the motivation for his book, how it affects his image, and his philanthropic moves.
This seems an unexpected career move, why a children’s book?
When my son was born — he is now 3 years old and my wife and I have since had a daughter — we’d read to him every night. There were plenty of mother characters, but there were no books with a father “oohing” and “ahhing.” Being a new father made my heart explode, there are so many tender moments. I wanted to create a book with a loving and doting father.
Any ideas on why the book became so popular?
I come from a close family and I grew up in a loving home. My parents are high school sweethearts and my family has had dinner together every night for the past 20 years. I have no problem saying, “I love you” and expressing my feelings. But a lot of dads may not feel the same. This book gives them a way to read to their child and say these things in my words and conveying love.
Any other side effects of writing a children’s book?
I had a flashback to my own childhood, and I remembered thinking it would be cool to have a book dedicated to me. Listen, to have anything published is hard, the publishing world is not kind, in any form. I never did get that dedication, but I wanted to make sure my kids had it. My daughter sleeps with the book every night.
It’s not what most of us would expect to hear from a nightclub owner...is anyone else surprised by this juxtaposition?
Maybe outsiders looking in might question a night club owner writing a children’s book, but that’s who I am. I like to joke that I’m not as cool as people think. I was never a ‘night club’ guy but when I was working in my family’s recycling business, these venues gave me an outlet to DJ and then later to promote clubs and hotels. But those that know me the longest always knew the softer side. I love that your priorities change as you grow up, and as a parent, your kids become your life. My number one priority is to be a husband and dad.
What kind of philanthropic footprint will you leave for 2019, do you have a favorite charity?
Yes, Guitars Over Guns is very near and dear to my heart. The organization works with high-risk youths through music and I’ve seen first-hand remarkable transformations and incredible music talent. The CEO is a close friend and one of the most incredible people I’ve ever met. I donate, volunteer and each year we host an annual showcase for students on the Pineapple Stage at Ball & Chain.