The music community will effectively disown me after this post…provided they even know I exist as a so-called guitar player with a voice that shatters glass. I had been attending some conferences last week which gave me a lot of free time to think, over the noise of grown men discussing IT. Anyway, the point I am trying to make is when you come to think of it, being in an office, or working is more or less like a Rock Band.
Wait…wait…before you unleash the forces of hell on me and banish me into the dark alleys of permanent-corporate hood, hear me out. Think about the analogy. In an office, in a team, in order to have the perfect team that delivers, you need to have good complementary skills and people who can work off one another…exactly like in a band. You need the ppt guy(bass player), the presentation guys(lead vocalist or guitarist), the data analysis guy(drummer), the guy who gets everyone coffee(groupie)….all integral parts of the successful office band…I mean team. And in that team, you need two dominant forces that are perpetually creatively at logger-heads with one another, like Lennon and McCartney, that help drive the entire team to work. These are generally represented by reporting manager and head of the team. The consultants are something like an Eric Clapton, who played with a band, but then are better off alone.
All team members, in the initial stages need to use and redo old presentation material made by other greats in the office (or perceived greats in the office) until they are mature enough to start doing their own thing and being recognized for it. Exactly like a band starting out. You have to play covers and improvised versions of great songs before you are recognized and are given due liberties to work on your own stuff. And once you work on your own stuff, there is a constant requirement to bring out improved material each time that blows the minds of clients (analogy for the fans…or the peeps) away. And work that is not accepted is instantly torn down….kind of like a bad record. (Thinking of Metallica’s St.Anger) But then, you need to put these out occasionally, to ensure the crappy ideas are out of your head, kind of like Metallica’s St.Anger (again).
When it comes to performance, there are no off days for the true rocker and the disgruntled minion. Every time you’re under the lights, which most of the time is the glow of your monitor or the projector, you’re expected to deliver one heck of a show. You can party afterwards, but showing up drunk for a show, or a presentation does not go well with fellow colleagues or band members. And definitely not with bosses (analogy for the guys at the recording studio). Rockers travel a lot, so do ambitious sales teams. Difference is probably in the number of women that would kill to spend a night with a rock star (or so I’ve heard….has not worked for me so far….but then again, bedroom guitarist in college band is not exactly rock star material) is definitely way more than the number of women who want to spend the night with VP-sales. The previous thought may sound cheap, but its true and you know it.
Here comes the part of creative differences. Similar to how Jason Newstead left Metallica, people in companies join dream jobs to find out that after many years, despite them loving the job, they need to quit purely because other people in the team are over bearing or simply a pain in the butt. (The pain in the butt could be attributed to the non-ergonomic chair at the workplace too….but we’d rather blame the boss, or the guys at HR for this). And they tend to walk out…and sometimes over the silliest of disagreements. And then you have these super-bands, which are guys from various bands who get together and jam on a single album which is then despised by their native bands and these guys get fired….you have dudes from various companies who form this consulting thingie and are made to quit their jobs and become self-sufficient folks.
With all these similarities, why is it that working in an office is not considered an ounce as glamorous as playing in a band? Tell me guys, how many chicks have you struck up a conversation with “hey, I play guitar in a band!” v/s “ hey, I’m marketing manager in a company!” . Personally, my count is zero on both, but then, that’s just me. And I know some of my friend’s who still play music would say that it is about ‘passion’. But then, there are those who are perfect examples of our corporate-driven lifestyle who actually love to work and that is their passion, but even then, they can’t stand up against a rock star. Put Bill Gates and Axel Rose in a room… a majority of the women would choose Axel Rose. Well, Billy boy might get some if he flashes his…. Bank balance(What were you thinking?), but even that would not be sufficient. I guess that’s why we all love Tony Stark….corporate guy who lives like a Rock Star, fast cars, loose women, the works. And this is guys and girls alike.
Anyway, I’m done digging my grave for musicians who know me to throw me into for even daring to try the analogy.