An extremely unusual event came up recently. I was invited to attend “Rock of Ages” at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London by Angel Trains and Oracle Consulting. It is quite exceptional for clients to invite consultants to socialise with them outside the more usual formal relationships that exist between such parties, so I was shocked and surprised by the invite, which spoke volumes about the two companies concerned. To get us into the groove, let’s hear one of the show’s hits by Whitesnake:
Rock of Ages is a classic rock’n’roll story of love, truth, authenticity and the joy of relationships. The theatre production breaks some of the conventions of theatre, as the actors directly address the audience from time to time. Set in the 1980’s with a roster of glam metal songs from that period, ranging from Styx, Twisted Sister, Pat Benetar, Bon Jovi, Whitesnake to Europe.
The core of the story concerns the reconstruction of the Hollywood strip with a massive shopping development, devised by a soul-less German business entrepreneur and his son. The rockers rebel against the plan, trying to keep the strip’s rock’n’roll heart. In this case rock’n’roll wins over the entrepreneur’s dream. The property developer is converted to rock’n’roll and all live happily ever after.
It is often said that there is no such thing as a free lunch and this evening was no exception. I nearly had to sing for my supper as it turned out that Angel and Oracle decided to go to a live jam session in Covent Garden afterwards at The Roadhouse. We arrived too late to get on the list of singers. Well, there’s always another time!
So, what did we learn from Rock of Ages?
- That authenticity often wins over a carefully crafted but emotionally bankrupt plan.
- That music touches every part of us, even if we are bankers, computer specialists, scientists or train enthusiasts.
- That, sometimes in life, the good guys win.
More lessons like this coming up at our Open University Business School event.
Finally, the musicians were absolutely superb and the evening reminded me to get some of Journey’s music out: