Business-and-music-related observations and comment.

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Protecting your brand from heathens.

Uncle Crusty & the Venice Canaligators was an LA-based honky-tonk boogie band I performed with (as mentioned previously), sometimes in the street, sometimes in bars.

The band gained in popularity in the '70s & '80s—helped by television appearances on NBC's The Midnight Special. Eventually the Canaligators became "adopted" as the band of choice by a renegade motorcycle club, the Heathens. A mixed blessing, as it turned-out.

It seemed like a harmless enough partnership at first. (What's not to like about large, menacing, hirsute hulks, sporting skull-and-crossbones, in wild Bacchanalian revelry?)


More random musings.

One nice thing about being repeatedly hacked in your email and social networking accounts is hearing back from old friends and business colleagues you haven't been in touch with for years.

In my case I can't say that everyone on my spammed contact list has been entirely pleased to hear from me—or who they thought was me—but their responses have got me thinking.

Hundreds of folks are now wondering how I've been able to start so many multi-million-dollar home businesses this year and successfully sell cheap meds on the side (while maintaining a consulting practice).

Well I've decided to exploit this opportunity and share my trade secrets in a new book, How You Can Make Millions From Getting Hacked & Spammed In Your Spare Time. (The first step will be "don't give up that AOL account.") Subtitle: Business Lessons From Viagra.


A case of The Weepies.

In my eternal quest for interesting and creative rock/pop artists to glean business lessons from, I've expanded my search to include acoustic performers, singer-songwriters, and contemporary folk artists.

In the process I've discovered a bonanza of twenty-first century musicians who are doing innovative (and fun) stuff. Exhibit A is the Weepies, a fast-rising indie-folk-pop duo whose music has been featured on 'Grey's Anatomy', the Sex and the City movie, and an Obama presidential campaign ad.


No job experience? Cool. You're hired!

About fifty years ago (the exact date is debatable) a small business team that would become the most commercially successful entity in the history of the performing arts made a significant—and risky—new addition, which would forever alter the organization's brand.

What made the hiring risky was the fact that this individual—who immediately became a full partner in the fledgling enterprise—had zero performing experience and almost no technical ability to do the job.

But the senior partner, John Lennon, prevailed on his mates, Paul McCartney and George Harrison, to bring his friend Stu Sutcliffe on board—and the band that was to become the Beatles began to take shape. (Pete Best would join a few months later.)


Business lessons from the Dead

The March issue of The Atlantic carries an engaging article, "Management Secrets From the Grateful Dead."

In it, Joshua Green writes: "The Dead's influence on the business world may turn out to be a significant part of its legacy… The band pioneered ideas and practices that were subsequently embraced by corporate America."

This is not headline news to blfr readers (see my earlier post and comments) but it's nice to see some mainstream acceptance of the notion that rock bands have a few things to teach us in business matters.

Green goes on to argue that the Dead were savvy businessmen who jumped all over merchandising as a key revenue source and were ahead of the curve in their "customer first" orientation and determination to deliver superior customer value.


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