Talking to many blog readers this week, I'm realizing how many of you are looking for a respite from the post-election madness and the holiday blues. (Or is it the post-election blues and the holiday madness?)
Either way, you've come to the right place. For a wonderful four-minute escape, check out this video of a Chicago tune performed by a Ukrainian cover band, Leonid & Friends. This is SO charming I couldn't resist!
I have to admit that Chicago was not one of my favorite groups. A bit too much of a lounge band for my rock & roll tastes when I was younger. But from watching L&F meticulously reproduce the finer points of the arrangements I can better appreciate Chicago’s craftsmanship. (If you want more, here's a cover of a rockier Chicago hit.) Of course I love the fact that some of these dudes are older than me!
And what's the business lesson here? Quality is quality. It stands the test of time, even when Philistines (like, uh, me) don’t appreciate it at first. Through their flawless performance, Leonid & Friends have demonstrated their own virtuosity as well as the brilliance of Chicago’s compositions and arrangements.
Here’s another point: great artists, craftsmen, and innovators often begin by closely imitating—sometimes painstakingly replicating—the work of others. That’s one way to “get good.” I predict that this cover band will—if they haven’t already—become first-rate musical arrangers and players.
Uh-oh. Hold the presses! After doing a little research, I just found out this band is actually from Moscow! (They record their music in Kiev—so "Ukrainian" may be a useful "cover.") If you’re from the U.S., I know what you’re thinking: first they steal our elections, then they steal our music! Only the beginning, only just the start!
Yet here at Business Lessons From Rock we always look at the bright side of things. While we watch our Republic fade into the sunset, we can bathe in the nostalgic warmth of our distinctly American classic rock hits—sung back to us by Rooskies—as time goes by.
I’m already guessing that our President-elect will invite Leonid and his comrades to perform at his Inauguration next month. And at the rate things are changing in Washington, the band might not need to sing in English.