January 6, 2016

George Lucas, Chip Kelly, and Billy Corgan; and more on Michael Shepard

I published a new article today; I finally ventured outside the world of indie music and into relevant culture...

George Lucas, Chip Kelly, and Billy Corgan

I had been brainstorming about this article for a few months, and after seeing The Force Awakens twice and after Chip Kelly was fired, I knew I had to write it. My love for Billy Corgan is going on almost 25 years, and I have always been fascinated with the inconsistency of his music.

Billy Corgan by Dido
My story comparing Kerith Ravine and Lovedrug, Michael Shepard's two bands, that I published in October hinted at an idea I mentioned in that story: in rock music collaboration is essential, and that one of the reasons why Kerith Ravine and early Lovedrug is so great is because of the other musicians that helped Shepard create. The same of course is true with Corgan's bands Smashing Pumpkins and Zwan.

Just after I wrote that piece, a new interview about Lovedrug was published and Shepard had this to say:
"I’ve come to discover about myself is that I actually work better as a writer by myself. That’s something that hasn’t been 100 percent clear to me until now, not so much with the image, so to speak, but having other opinions in the room, whether it’s a manager or a producer or a record label that has their other interests, whatever those might be. There was always another voice being thrown in the ring in the past, except for the first record, because I was just doing that by myself, for the most part. So I guess that was kind of a big discovery for me, having all of those voices just quieted and being able to hear just my own voice. It really allowed me to breathe, and that was really, really exciting."

These thoughts from him confirm another point I haven't written about: the key to collaboration and accountability is relationships! And Corgan, Lucas, and Kelly are bad at them. I'm not going to point to all the data that is out there to support it, but I think it is obvious.

What Shepard says above is true of Corgan, Lucas, and Kelly. They prefer to work alone. They think they work best alone. But they don't. Their work is better when they get others involved and learn to trust other creative individuals. Shepard honestly believes he works better as a writer by himself, but over 17 years of music, it is clear that the opposite is true.

I can relate; as a quiet introvert, I prefer to work alone by myself. Early on in my coaching career I struggled to delegate because I didn't trust others to do things for me. But I identified my weaknesses, and sometimes it is important to share the responsibilities of even the things one is good at. I haven't perfected it by any means, but I will do my best to collaborate as much as I can in the future.

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