The Things You Learn From Rock And Roll

Yannis Philippakis singing with Foals at the B...

Yannis Philippakis singing with Foals at the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you have read my posts about David Bowie, or the Rolling Stones, you’ll know I like music created by established artists.  Having said that, there’s nothing wrong with newcomers, with the right attitude.  That attitude involves doing what you love for reasons other than wanting to be famous, straightaway.

That attitude is voiced neatly in a recent BBC News article on the Foals and the Maccabees.  The Foals frontman, Yannis Philippakis, gives a great quote to the BBC about his musical ethos.  He says:

“Music is its own reward and making music is what you do it for, it’s for the fulfilment and the beauty of the creative moment”

Equally important is the nurturing approach that record companies have toward their artists.  If the company is into making quick money from the talents of the winner from a singing competition like the X Factor they will drop the artist quickly if sales don’t meet expectations.

As a side note, I guess it helps if you have a robust sense of your own talent if you are entering those talent shows – like Will Young or JLS seem to have – since you know your abilities are strong enough to transcend the here-today-gone-tomorrow environment which introduced to the spotlight.

Anyway, record companies interested in developing their artists, rather than quickly exploiting them, form substantive working relationships built for the long term.  The BBC article notes what Martin Mills, founder and chairman of the Beggars group says about longevity being vital in the independent sector.

“You’re looking for artists that are more than just one moment, people that we think can grow over a period of time and become even greater”

The moral for the creative musician (and maybe for the person seeking a fulfilling non-creative career) seems to have a flavour of Laura Berman Fortgang’s philosophy: find your reward and fulfilment from doing what you love to do; build a relationship with an employer who supports your growth over the long-term; live the best life you can.

Where Are We Now?

English: Duncan Jones with his father David Bo...

English: Duncan Jones with his father David Bowie at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival for the exhibition of Jones’s film Moon. Photographer’s blog post about this event. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have always admired artists.  To my mind there is something liberating about starting with a blank piece of paper, or canvas, or roll of film and then making a unique impression on it


If you can be that creative, to your own and perhaps others’ satisfaction, then you can probably do anything you set your mind to.  Who knows, you might even inspire your off-spring to do something equally artistic too.


David Bowie has always seemed to understand that proposition.  His music, his art and the way he presents himself have all carried the signature of someone who is open to the idea of experimentation and inspiration.


I like the fact that the video for his latest single, directed by Tony Oursler, is set in an artist’s studio and captures an atmosphere full of possibilities.


I also like the canniness of Bowie quietly announcing his return to creativity on his 66th birthday and letting the media build the momentum for his upcoming album and retrospective exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum, both of which arrive in late March.


All this happening at a quiet time of the year, is icing on the cake.  A way of capitalising on a point in the calendar when many people are already in reflective mode, creating To Do lists for themselves.


Significantly many people are contemplating major change now,  I’m sure I read over the festive season that December can be a pressure cooker for many people, holed up for an extended period with friends or family and their own thoughts.  Unsurprising that January is a peak period for trial separations, and divorce petitions, as well as diets.

So, if people are already in the frame of mind to be asking questions, like:

–       When will I start living the life I should be living?

–       How do I change my occupation in favour of something fulfilling?

–       What can I do to create more happiness in my life?


Hopefully they will have support at hand to start working on the answers.  I expect supportive family, friends, faith groups and coaches will be in demand over the coming weeks.