I’ve been reading stuff from Bob Lefsetz for years. Overflowing with content, always opinionated and usually on to something, Lefsetz is the last patriot in the land of thre music business. His writing focuses on the disruption and transformation in the sector that brought us jet-setting rock stars but now delivers bespoke music for small, intimate audiences.
Lefsetz, more than any other writer, chronicles the power of individuals to make a difference. Whether it’s the latest one hit wonder or a cruise through music history, he illuminates the power of vision and authenticity (both in and by his writing). While the music industry continues to pan its streams in the hunt for gold veins, Bob sermonizes about the importance of playing for the sake of playing. He’s the representative for the notion that fame is fleeting but quality work lasts forever.
Bob has fits (and sends them to you in his voluminous emails) when he sees someone with no talent being driven by the hunger for fame. They always try to find shortcuts; they think they’re entitle to your time based on their ambition; they’re sloppy and undistinguished.
When Bob finds something good, you’re the first to know about it. As a music fan I relish the people he’s turned me on to. Ever since radio died and the kids left home, I’ve been at a loss for finding new things to listen to. Lefsetz fllls the gap.
He’s got opinions and no shortage of them. When he’s at his best, he sizzles with focus. When he’s at his worst, he moralizes about the irrelevant.
He’s on way more than he’s off.
People who make a difference are never all sugar and light. Like I do with Lefsetz, you take the good with the bad, mostly because the good is so amazingly good.
We should hold ourselves to such high standards. Rather than a passing grade in all subjects, excel in some and fail at the others. That’s what makes the difference.
Here’s the conclusion of Bob’s most recent piece about the kinds of people who make a real difference.
“In other words, one man or woman can make a difference.
But these people who do make a difference, they listen only to themselves, they categorically can’t work for someone else, unless that person gives free reign, which is incredibly rare.
If we’re looking for breakthroughs, we need to look outside the system. Don’t expect the usual suspects to deliver them. And sure, many obtuse ideas will fail, but enough will succeed to change the paradigm.
20th Century Fox was not a believer in “Star Wars”, I saw the trailer multiple times and the audience laughed, it was so cheesy. Not only did “Star Wars” become the biggest grossing movie of all time, it spawned sequels and imitations and created the merchandising paradigm.
Capitol refused to release the first Beatles album.
And Apple fired Steve Jobs. Because he just couldn’t get along, he was a troublemaker.
Now ultimately these people needed help to succeed. But they didn’t share power, they were dictators, it went down their way, their vision was unsullied.
There’s no safety net when you’re trawling the far reaches of creativity. But that’s where the next big thing is gonna come from.”