Friday, August 24, 2007

When I was in school I often felt that I wasn’t as smart as the other kids. It took a while to understand that the school system was mostly geared toward academics & left brain thinking. Naturally, a “right brain” thinker (such as myself) might not feel “at home” in such an environment.

It was while working in the marketing department of one of Canada’s chartered banks that I noticed differences between myself and my “co-workers”. The workers that were chosen as management excelled at left brain technical skills...the “number crunching” & processing data ( interest & exchange rates, etc.). Often, the individuals chosen as department managers seemed devoid of creative skills.

I sat in on some meetings, loaded with information about RSP’s and mutual funds and how to solicit interest from potential clients. It’s not difficult to understand why all this “left brain” stuff was boring. The right brain is not only the source of creativity, but is also connected to emotion. The left brain data was leaving me feeling,...pretty dry.

It occurred to me that right brain thinkers are invaluable to many corporations. The right brain/creatives understand the emotional side of the corporation's potential clients. People tend to make a lot of buying decisions based on emotion.

You don’t get the “warm fuzzies” from looking at a television screen full of "jargon & technical data”, but you do from seeing two people sitting on a beach...snuggled together & watching a beautiful sunset while sipping on martinis (or some other exotic beverage). Creative people have a knack for dreaming up these wonderful images, and are usually paid handsomely by corporations who want to lure the consumer to purchase their products.

I mean yeah,...I admit I get a good feeling from balancing my checkbook, but when I realised that some of these bank executives had lost touch with their creative/emotional side and that was the motive for hiring a bunch of right brainers (like myself) to do their marketing, I didn’t feel like I missed out on anything at school after-all.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Paul Lovejoy (July 27, 1952 - August 4, 2007)
I lost a good friend this past week-end.
Paul Lovejoy, was a friend as well as a mentor for me.

He had a remarkable memory for song lyrics. Paul was always top of my list to call as a sideman for any gigs that came up. Not only was he an outstanding vocalist and back-up singer, he was also one of my favourite drummers to work with. You could always put a song list together very quickly because Paul seemed to know almost every song that was worth playing...AND not only did he know the lyrics, but he could sing lead OR back-up if you needed him to.

Most importantly, Paul had a real “zest for life” and an incredible sense of humour. He excelled in being able to laugh at himself! Many of the “one liners” that I still use on a regular basis came from Paul. It wasn’t stand-up comedy because it usually came while he was seated at his drum throne.

Paul Lovejoy, you touched a lot of people’s lives and you will be sadly missed!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Joni Mitchell
Before embarking on a full time music career I was a student at the Alberta College of Art, in Calgary. Originally, it was my intention to become a full time graphic artist, and to further pursue my “love” for drawing & sketching.

At the time I was also performing with a rock ‘n’ roll band on the week-ends. It was a great way to earn “gas money” and a little extra cash. At some point however, I decided that I wanted to play music as a career and keep drawing & sketching as a hobby, so...I asked to meet with Stan Perrot (who was the head of the art college) for some advice on what to do.

Stan Perrot shared an interesting story with me.
Apparently, another student had approached him with the same dilemma about 6-7 years previously. Her name was Joni Mitchell. As I understand it, Joni Mitchell was performing in the pubs and coffee houses around Calgary, while working diligently with her passion for art and painting.

It got to the point that Joni Mitchell was experiencing so much success with her music that she could no longer “juggle” both music and school and she decided to “give her all” to the music. Well, I guess we all know how that turned out!

The best part is that Joni Mitchell somehow still managed to find time to paint, as she has “adorned” many of her album covers with her excellent paintings!