Combine guitar players from early versions of both Genesis and Yes and you get one of the 80’s greatest supergroups – GTR. The band features Yes’ Steve Howe and former Genesis guitar player Steve Hackett. Being the guitar nerd that I was, I saw this band play Chicago’s Riviera Theater with couple buddies in the summer of 1986 and it was one of my earliest and favorite concert memories. “The Hunter” is probably my favorite song off that album and has a haunting bassline combined with a dated 1980’s sound. This is good ol’ classic rock at its finest. I hope you have a great weekend and enjoy…
I don’t know a whole lot about Jonathan Coulton, but I was recently sucked into a video for the song “Shop Vac.” Not knowing whether this was a commercial or song, my curiosity told me to investigate a little closer. One view of this video, I was entertained by the typography animation and the catchy-ness of the song, itself. I was also very amused. I hope you will be too as you watch this and feel free to check out his site for more musical mischief…
I’ve been a bit reflective lately about life. That is why this song from Buddy Guy’s recently released CD Living Proof really struck me. It’s a collaboration between Buddy and fellow blues legend B.B. King. I really love the reflective tone in the lyrics and the sense of gratitude that these legends express throughout the song. But I especially like the last minute of this video where B.B. and Buddy exchange some thoughts over the tasty blues licks and the touching statement at the end when B.B. King says to Buddy Guy, “when I’m pushing up daisies, don’t forget you’re still my Buddy.”
Enjoy your weekend!
I’m not going to lie, these are tough times. I’m dealing with a few things on the home front that really make it hard for me to remember my word for the year, which is “laughter.” I’m not sure I’m ready to address these here on my blog at this time, but perhaps I will in the future. But I know that I’m not the only one going through a few tough times…everywhere I turn, good friends are dealing with some incredible challenges in their lives. Sometimes these challenges can seem overwhelming and scary. Sometimes these challenges never seem like they’ll go away.
Today, while I was grabbing a coffee and listening to my MP3 player, I stumbled upon this song by P.O.D. Sometimes a song hits you with an incredible force and today that was the case with me and this song. There really is no video for it that I’m aware of, but feel free to give this song a listen – the lyrics are pretty amazing. And if you’re going through tough times, all I can say is hang in there.
You might be familiar with Mavis Staples from her work with the amazing gospel/soul group, The Staples Singers and Jeff Tweedy from indie band Wilco. They have collaborated on a new album (not an affiliate link) and one of the results is a cover tune of Creedence Clearwater Revival. This is a stripped-down acoustic version and I love every moment of this song. It makes me want to drag out my acoustic and get practicing. Thanks to my friend Chuck for turning me onto this song…I hope you enjoy and have a great weekend!
There are a lot of books from marketing professionals providing a wealth of information about how we can better market our products, services and even ourselves.Â While most of these books offer a great deal of wisdom and insight, one marketing book I read recently captured my attention from a unique perspective – Marketing Lessons From the Grateful Dead.
Truth be told, I’m a bit of a Grateful Dead fan myself having been introduced to the band by a friend of mine in college. I still remember walking into his dorm room for the first time and being greeted by this strange music coming from the large speakers and the sight of cassette tapes lined up across his book shelves. I grew to enjoy and appreciate their music and ended up going to about 10 Grateful Dead concerts, including their last show at Soldier Field. I never saw them in their “prime,” but I consider each of their shows a really amazing, interesting experience.
The book was written by two Deadheads, David Meerman Scott and Brian Halligan, who identified numerous marketing innovations in the way that the Grateful Dead promoted themselves and their music. I can’t share all of them here, but here’s a few that stand out:
1. Create a Unique Business Model
While most bands go on tour to promote their latest record, the Grateful Dead focused on generating revenue through their tours. And because they changed their set list every night, fans were treated to a unique show every night of the tour. Grateful Dead fans went out of their way to see as many shows as possible and pack into their VW vans to tour with them.
2. Experiment Experiment Experiment
Like jazz musicians, the Grateful Dead approached their music with the spirit of improvisation. This meant that no show, no song was performed the same. It also meant that some shows really stood out as “classic” and others were not so classic. From a marketing perspective, experimentation and trying new things is as important as ever. Marketing textbooks can provide important information on promoting your product or service, but ultimately, every situation is unique and should be treated that way.
3. Build a Following
One of the primary ways the Grateful Dead built a following is through their mailing list. Starting in the 1970’s, concert attendees and fans could sign up on the GD mailing list. This allowed fans to receive the latest news first and included concert information and opportunities to order the best seats for concerts before they were available to the general public. From a marketing perspective, its important for you to connect with your most passionate fans so that they have exclusive opportunities to buy your product or service before the more “casual” fans.
4. Free Your Content
The Grateful Dead allowed their fans to tape their concerts, even setting up areas at each stadium to set up recording equipment. This was (and still is) very unconventional in the music business. Instead of losing business from this, the band gained a new, larger following. Thinking back on it, I got into the Grateful Dead because my college buddy was able to trade concert tapes, which allowed me to hear some of their greatest musical moments. From a marketing perspective, offering products and services for free is a very controversial topic. I’m not going to say free is something for every business. But the idea here, I believe, is to create a business, product or service so compelling that offering something for free will actually bring more customers and lead to more business. It worked for the Grateful Dead.
There’s plenty that I’ve left out. In general this book is a quick, informative read that would be of great value to anyone thinking about starting or currently running a business. I also think that music fans and fans of the Grateful Dead would enjoy the book. I enjoyed the fact that the authors provided real world examples of some of the Grateful Dead’s lessons. For instance, in the chapter on freeing your content, the authors briefly examined how MySQL used its open source software to grow into a powerful organization, which was ultimately purchased by Sun Microsystems for $1 billion.
I really enjoyed this book and learning how the Grateful Dead’s “long, strange trip” was helped in strong part to some interesting, innovative marketing decisions.