Sunday, August 26, 2007

Wake up call

I've returned to the first draft of my book. The One & Only - which was the original title for this blog and which might explain its name (perhaps you though it was simply blogerati narcissism?).

The simple thesis is that brands that don't clearly speak in their own voice are doomed to be homogenized, dull and interchangeable.

As Gerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead once said:

"Don't be the best at what you do.

be the only one that does it."


So while I am dutifully suffering through the Diana Princess of Wales concert (it takes time for these things to filter through here on the edge of the world - though I understand why it didn't get a high priority…it's a little variable in quality) - while I have the show in the background I'm thinking about iconoclastic performers.

Check this out:



He's big.
He's old and dyes his hair and eyebrows.

But when he sings…he's Pavarotti. The One & Only.

I worked for the Auckland Opera Company in the early 90s when the entrepreneurial and charismatic Stephen Dee was at the helm. I had to learn enough about opera very quickly (and I think I acquitted myself rather well given that my experience of opera before winning te account was Malcolm McLaren's Fans album). We sold shows out using a fun, inclusive approach to the brand. That and the fact the product was genius.

While I was in that period my wife Megan hated/didn't get opera.

If I wanted to listen to it I had to go into the garage - which was separate from our house.

So I would go to the garage and goof around with my 1949 Sunbeam motorcycle. I'd have a few beers and sing along with opera's greatest hits. I'd like to say 'you should have been there' but the truth is you should be grateful you weren't.

One night I was in my cave (garage) mucking about with the front forks. Listening to Nessun Dorma. Full noise. It's about 11pm. There's a loud banging on the door. "What the!..." I pick up a wrench and open the door. Standing there is a council officer. 5'3" in his socks.

"We've had a complaint..."
"Whaa?…
"WE'VE HAD A COMPLAINT…"
"No, I'm ok…thanks…
"I'M REQUIRED TO INFORM YOU THAT YOU ARE IN BREACH OF BYLAW…
"What a minute…I'll turn the music down
"Thank you
"For what?…"

At the time I had no idea that Nessun Dorma means…

None shall sleep.


I have to confess the Diana show sends me into a maudlin mood. Diana died within a week of Megan.

The outpouring of affection by the people of the world for Diana reflects back on me as if it was for Meeg.

She deserves it too.

Megan died of cancer. She was 29.

Daffodil Day is coming up to help fund research into cancer cure and prevention.

Make a donation

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