Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Please

This weeks post concerns the accidental discovery of a Top Ten Punk Rock Hit by Max Splodge, enthusiastic motorbiker and leader of the cult punk band Splodgnessabounds.  I’ve performed with Max and escorted him and Wilko Johnson through French and UK Customs after they had both had a ‘heavy night’ performing with John Otway in France.  Here’s a picture of us at a gig:

Max, Peter and Anna Lisa consume 'three pints of lager but no crisps'

Max conceived of the title of this classic song whilst trying to procure said drinks and condiments at a pub in South East London.   Faced with the closing bell, Max kept urging the bar staff to serve him with his refrain ‘Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Pleeeeze”.   Shortly after this experience, he thought ‘that’s the title of a hit record’.  The rest is punk rock history.

What is the punk rock business lesson here?  Well, creativity at work involves seeing something different in the ordinary.  Most other people in Max’s situation would have just seen the desire to procure 1400 millilitres of lager and some munchies.  Splodge saw the potential for a Top Ten Punk Rock hit.  There’s a huge difference in the fortunes that come from noticing the difference.  He also then went on to put the idea into action.  Put in a more arty way:

Spot sublime ideas in the mundane as well as the profane

Ideas are nothing, execution is everything

Whilst we’re in the Punk Zone, grab yourself a free copy of Punk Rock People Management by mailing me with PUNK in the title at peter@humdyn.co.uk or click on the picture to find Kindle and other versions of the book:

Punk Rock People Management - No-nonsense business and HR strategies for busy people - available on Kindle, full colour print book and e-book - Book us for a Punk Rock Business keynote

Thanks to Bob Jones at the University of Manchester for this story.  Bob is a University academic and the ex manager of The Tramshed to boot.   He bears an uncanny relationship to John Peel.  Here’s the classic aspirational beer and potato crisp song to finish with:

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17 responses to “Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Please

    • Heh, heh, yes, it used to be very difficult to get a drink in there. I went to France with the Splodges and Max told me a story about how they sat up all night trying to decide whether to call a song ‘Egg Sandwich’ or ‘Cheese Sandwich’. By dawn, egg had won.

      The words are printed below:

      Egg Sandwich
      Egg Sandwich
      Egg Sandwich
      Egg Sandwich
      Egg Sandwich
      Egg Sandwich
      Egg Sandwich
      Egg Sandwich

      Deep :-))

  1. Punk Rock, it’s creativity and opportunity spotting is to business Clay Christensen’s Disruptive innovation, (a process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves ‘up market’, eventually displacing established competitors)

    Swapping the academic hat for a mohawk; let’s take the Sex Pistols for example. No one in the wildest dreams believed they would be viewed as creative, however their legacy speaks for itself. “Disruptive innovation” on every front! (“An innovation that is disruptive allows a whole new population of consumer’s access to a product or service that was historically only accessible to consumers with a lot of money or a lot of skill.

    Characteristics of disruptive businesses, at least in their initial stages, can include: lower gross margins, smaller target markets, and simpler products and services that may not appear as attractive as existing solutions when compared against traditional performance metrics”).

    The Pistols meet every point mentioned previously. The question remains, was this their strategic intent? I guess Malcolm McLaren may have thought so… Let’s take another simple example; who remembers Generation –X, and the spawning of a certain Mr. William Broad aka Billy Idol…need I say more… hours ago

    One could argue the so called differences of Punk vs. Punk Rock…and to add to the mix let’s throw in Guns & Roses; tell me their “Appetite for Destruction” was not Disruptive Innovation at the time, meshing superbly with Peter’s question apropos “punk rock creativity and opportunity spotting”!…. ….

    (“Because companies tend to innovate faster than their customers’ lives change, most organizations eventually end up producing products or services that are too good, too expensive, and too inconvenient for many customers. By only pursuing “sustaining innovations “that perpetuate what has historically helped them succeed, companies unwittingly open the door to “disruptive innovations”…)

    OI!

    • Now I’m reading this again and again Mark – just love your ‘throwaway’ bracketed point:

      (“Because companies tend to innovate faster than their customers’ lives change, most organizations eventually end up producing products or services that are too good, too expensive, and too inconvenient for many customers. By only pursuing “sustaining innovations “that perpetuate what has historically helped them succeed, companies unwittingly open the door to “disruptive innovations”…)

      That could fill several books if developed

      Oi Oi!

  2. Punk Rock, it’s creativity and opportunity spotting is to business Clay Christensen’s Disruptive innovation, (a process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves ‘up market’, eventually displacing established competitors)

    Swapping the academic hat for a mohawk; let’s take the Sex Pistols for example. No one in the wildest dreams believed they would be viewed as creative, however their legacy speaks for itself. “Disruptive innovation” on every front! (“An innovation that is disruptive allows a whole new population of consumer’s access to a product or service that was historically only accessible to consumers with a lot of money or a lot of skill.

    Characteristics of disruptive businesses, at least in their initial stages, can include: lower gross margins, smaller target markets, and simpler products and services that may not appear as attractive as existing solutions when compared against traditional performance metrics”).

    The Pistols meet every point mentioned previously. The question remains, was this their strategic intent? I guess Malcolm McLaren may have thought so… Let’s take another simple example; who remembers Generation –X, and the spawning of a certain Mr. William Broad aka Billy Idol…need I say more… hours ago

    One could argue the so called differences of Punk vs. Punk Rock…and to add to the mix let’s throw in Guns & Roses; tell me their “Appetite for Destruction” was not Disruptive Innovation at the time, meshing superbly with Peter’s question apropos “punk rock creativity and opportunity spotting”!…. ….

    (“Because companies tend to innovate faster than their customers’ lives change, most organizations eventually end up producing products or services that are too good, too expensive, and too inconvenient for many customers. By only pursuing “sustaining innovations “that perpetuate what has historically helped them succeed, companies unwittingly open the door to “disruptive innovations”…)

    Oi !!!

  3. Peter,

    A collab on a book is easily influenced by riding a bottle of Jack, a past time I have been known to have dabbled in whilst being “EXPLOITED” as one of the ” TROOPS OF TOMORROW”
    Oi !

    Whilst we have the The Exploited in the mosh, who now vigorously claim they are a Heavy Metal band not a Punk band, is this deemed as “punk rock creativity and opportunity spotting”??

    “LONG LIVE THE LOUD!”

  4. Singling out 2 Pints, which was one third of a triple A side and linking it to business as some kind of a strategy is surely similar to Jim Collins picking successful companies and concocting similarities between them ?

    I have met Max Splodge many times over the years and he is one hell of a guy who has led one hell of a life, but shrewd or business minded he isn’t and I am sure he would be the first one to tell you that.

    Love your work though Peter, keep it up !

    • Heh, heh Rob, I’m pretty aware that Max is not a business genius – as in all metaphors, it’s important not to stretch the model – hence I concentrated on his ‘opportunist’ gene, which he does have in abundance. It is a minor work of genius to get a top ten single out of a pub chat. I guess this goes to show that you don’t have to be a genius to be successful for a while in the music business?

      Max has lived a pretty ‘exciting’ life as well, as I found out when we did the gig together, and I doubt I have the constitution to have copied that ! ;-)) I was happy to help him and Wilko ‘walk the line’ through Her Majesty’s customs whilst dressed as a nurse.

      • I’d have to agree about Max’s constitution, I saw him at Christmas in Tunbridge Wells supporting Bad Manners and he is robust to say the least !

        Funnily enough I saw Wilko at the end of last year too at a Stranglers convention in Kings Cross, now that man is another living legend and Norman Watt Roy should be knighted too.

        As for yourself Peter, we met on B825 at Oxford Uni about ten years ago and I sung Jilted John with you, a great evening and the best residential by far !

  5. More from Linkedin:

    Peter Callomon, Energy & Comms Savings Expert • here is a story

    BATA, one of the largest shoe manufacturers in the world decided to open up in Africa, so they sent their best rep to Nairobi on Imperial Airways. This was 1930 after all! He got off the plane, saw the natives all running around in bare feet and immediately wired back to HQ. “No demand for shoes here, send me back”
    They sent a second rep who upon getting out of the plane saw the same natives running around in bare feet and cabled “send me all you have and increase production!!”

    Its all a question of perception. There are only two definitive transaction replies. Yes and No. Yes is the destination and No is the route to get there. If you were selling shoes in Africa and a man came up and said “I’d like a pair of size 9s” would that be it? Would you fulfill the order, take the money and wait for the next one? Or would you say, would you like “shoe polish” or a pair for the children, or a pair for the weekend? Each one of those questions could be answered with a No, BUT they equally could have been answered with a YES. Multiple sales, more profit.

    Peter Cook • Proof positive that the creative person sees something different in the ordinary Peter. Thanks for this story which I shall post to the blog.

    • Having spent time in “Nai-robbery”, not sure how they would feel about being called “natives”…(-:

      Great story Peter!

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