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Innovate, or die.

Three weeks ago I caught Tom Peter's talk at Quinnipiac U in Connecticut, then attended a weekend Beatles fan fest in New Jersey (to interview Beatles' colleagues for my book). I soon realized it was the same message at both events.

Tom: "Be different." "Hang out with freaks." "The Peters Principles include… creativity, imagination, vitality, joy, surprise, independence, spirit."

Norman Smith (original Beatles recording engineer): "I'd seen a few long-haired groups, a few weirdos, but nothing like the Beatles. They were unique. Their hair. Their sense of humor."

Terry Sylvester (fellow musician at the Cavern Club and later member of the Hollies): "We were all wearing gold lame suits while the Beatles were wearing leather jackets."

Larry Kane (author of Ticket to Ride and Lennon Revealed): "The band's music was liberating, along with their dress and style. [It had an] ageless vitality."


A few opening remarks...

Welcome to Business Lessons From Rock, designed to connect the dots between business and rock & roll.

Background: I cut short a promising academic career in the later 1960s to jump into the world of pop music. Rather than hang with slackers on campus whom I knew wouldn’t amount to anything (ne’er-do-wells like John Kerry, George Bush, and Howard Dean) I left New Haven with my folk-rock band, the Morning, and in the Summer of Love headed to New York where my band got to play with Frank Zappa, Al Kooper, the Grateful Dead, and Sly and the Family Stone—all great Americans—before moving onto LA and even wilder times.


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