I was delighted to interview Steve Peer recently. Steve started life in a host of bands, ending up playing at CGBG’s with The Talking Heads alongside TV Toy, The Sex Pistols, Iggy Pop and so on.
He was asked to join Bill Nelson’s Red Noise and has a set of fascinating stories about how to work in the music business with transferable lessons for anyone trying to achieve success. Great insights for everyone.
Here’s a rare clip of the beginning of the 2nd Red Noise that not ever happened – Steve played drums on “Ideal Homes” and “Instantly Yours”.
And this is the wonderful John Peel introducing Steve’s band TV Toy.
Find TV Toy at https://www.facebook.com/tvtoy.newrockmusic
The Crown Vics at https://www.facebook.com/thecrownvicsband
Just out, a book which provides support for people wanting a Better Britain in a Better Europe for a Better World …
“Let’s Talk About BREX .. it” offers a practical companion for those of us who are not prepared to let Britain slide into oblivion, just because it is not the English way to point out that we’ve had 2.5 years and achieved absolutely nothing:
- No Deal is widely recognised as a catastrophe.
- Theresa May’s deal does not secure business continuity through the lack of a customs union, the Northern Ireland border and freedom of movement for our children to live and work in Europe.
- Quite simply none of the deals on offer compare with our current arrangement with the EU.
It is always a mistake in business to pursue a strategy in the face of compelling evidence that it will fail. If I waited 2.5 years to give a business proposal to my clients I’d rightly be sacked. Brexit is indeed more complex than my business proposal example, but 2.5 years is a fair test. We must stop before further irreversible damage is done to the UK.
“Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time has gone, the song is over
Thought I’d something more to say”
Pink Floyd – Time
We have reached a point of what I call “Brexit Apathy” on both sides of the false binary debate that has atomised our United Kingdom. Brexit voters are rightly tired of Remainiacs, proselytising, cajoling, shouting, singing. In some cases they attempt to hug Brexit supporters to death, “killing them with kindness, understanding and warm fuzzies.” By the same token, some Remainers are also unimpressed with the ongoing tsunami of Brexit resistance, as active protest is not the “English” way. Some Remain supporters are now paradoxically of the view that we must follow the “will of the people”, especially if that avoids civil unrest.
My brother is a case in point. He voted Remain but now exhibits what academics call “learned helplessness.” In other words, he does not know what he could do to change the course of history. Nor does he believe he has the right to interfere with the will of the people. He also fears street violence. This in spite of the fact that the evidence suggests that the vast majority of people have fallen asleep about Brexit. Some even believe we have already done Brexit in my area of “Brexit Central.”
You will find “Let’s Talk About BREX .. it” of value if you want to know how to:
- Deal with Brexit apathy on both sides of the binary debate to change minds such that we stop the rush into Brexit self-harm.
- Overcome the sheer despair of offering reasoned debate to leave voters, only to be shouted at with such platitudes as “Get Over It – We won – 2-Nil – End Off.”
- Cope with verbally and physically aggressive leave voters in their attempt to silence democracy. I myself was punched in the face, receiving two black eyes, by 7 people who had run out of words to conduct a dialogue and found it easier to use fists as an instrument of persuasion. If you are to conduct what I call “Brexorcisms” we must expect aggressive reactions at times, although physical violence is very much an exception.
- Win the battle for hearts and minds in populist media.
- Heal strained relationships with friends and family after Brexit, at home, on the streets and on social media.
- Ride the roller coaster of personal emotions that Brexit uncertainty has thrown at us – what J.K. Rowling would call “Defence Against the Dark Brexit Arts.”
In “Let’s Talk About BREX .. it“, I’ve set out strategies, tools and techniques that I and others have used over nearly three years of anti-Brexit activism. They are illustrated with stories that give example as to how to turn around some of the most closed minds on the subject. I have done this in the hope that these will offer some inspiration and support to others.
Are you ready for some Brexit ghostbusting?
OK, a snappy AC / DC song title to lure you into my “Brexit Venus Fly Trap”. Truth be told, I’m sick of it, more so that many as I’ve been fighting to drum some sense into our politicians for two years now.
I’m proud to present this article on Brexit End Games, written for Europa United. It has racked up a phenomenal number of views and a few bits of faint praise. More importantly, the scenarios it outlines seem to be coming true, although we all know the inherent danger in predicting the future.
One unpredictable event was that the author of “50 Shades of Grey” liked the article so much that she shared it !! Click here to read it now. Please share and comment.
If you think Brexit is inevitable, think again. I’d say the probability is now about 30% and declining with every day that passes. Meanwhile I’m bemused by the fact that I did not have to look very hard to find a picture of Theresa May “taking back control” through the medium of BDSM aka Brexit Dystopian Self Mutilation …
But we must respect “the will of the title” of this blog, so I leave you with AC / DC.
I must say I’m not a fan of America these days – For me Donald Trump has contaminated the “brand” with his mean-spirited attitudes towards building a wall, threatening wars, rolling back progress on environmental stewardship and so on. It is a perversion of the notion of MAGA (Making America Great Again) and the whole genre of fake news … but one must never generalise, and the magazine US of America supports and celebrates the values that make America a great nation. Contemporary yet nostalgic, presenting stories from across the cultural landscape of the USA. From Alabama to Wyoming, the magazine shine a light on every US state, showcasing the weird and wonderful of everyday American life.
The 2nd edition is just out. Here the editor in chief Nicole Nodland explains what’s in store:
Our cover star Dua Lipa discusses the importance of using your voice to affect change and break boundaries. Bruce Gilden captures the resilience of the people of Detroit, while Lucas Foglia presents an utopian-like image of the prisoners of Riker’s Island. From Larry Fink’s photos at the Women’s March to Alec Soth’s reflective series on the recent election, we capture the beauty of a collective spirit in times of uncertainty.
Minnesota is this issue’s special focus. Visit the land of 10,000 lakes with us as we look at the state’s lesser known stories and pay tribute to its most famous resident, Prince. It’s just over a year since Prince left Planet Earth and his loss to the world still leaves a huge vacuum. Featuring an exclusive interview with Mayte Garcia, a feature on Ida Neilsen, his bass anchor for 6 years and a piece on the musicology of a genius.
We go bicoastal to look at California cults and Brooklyn Biker gangs. And back in time with 70’s photos of Hollywood Boulevard and the NY subway system.
Catch up with Giancarlo Esposito, Mayte Garcia, Ida Nielsen, and Amber Mark to find out about their upcoming projects. And spend time in LA’s Inglewood neighbourhood with rising stars Ill Camille, Daniel Farris, Davion Farris, Tay Walker, Kenyon Dixon, and Jeff Bernat.
Grab your copy of Us of America now. In the meantime, here is my tribute to Prince recorded just a year ago with Meatloaf’s singing partner from “I would do anything for love” Lorraine Crosby, recorded without practice or soundcheck, so there are a few ongoing adjustments to live guitar sound levels in the first few seconds.
We live in disruptive times and who would have predicted a snap General Election after Premier May had stated there would not be one? It’s a good time for her to do this as Labour is depleted of followers and funds. The Lib Dems face the same shortage of cash. UKIP are in disarray. So it’s the perfect time for her to call a snap election if things stay the same as they are ….
… Except they might not … Disruption begets disruption and many of the events we have faced since Brexit have been unpredictable – who would have thought we would threaten to go to war with Spain if we do not get our own way in negotiations? Who would have thought that the European Union would undertake a “dirty trick” such as making their position on negotiations completely open and transparent? Who would have thought that the election would be used as a means to close down discussion on meeting our environmental commitments? And so on
Today I’m meeting with Open Britain and others from The European Movement to discuss our tour of the UK to change the course of the General Election. Please support me. This is a vital business and personal issue for all of us and, most importantly, our children. We did not vote for self-destructive Brexit and the game has changed compared with what we were sold. I know many people are weary of electioneering and politics, but let’s not have “buyers remorse” over Brexit.
I’m doing my part to create MayHem with the “Strong and UnStable” Leadership of Theresa May’s Government with the aim of seriously leavening or reducing their majority. I’m doing this so that a more considered debate may be held on our self-harming Brexit for the sake of our children, rather than just to be bloody minded or a saboteur, as I have been accused of being by some. This included being punched in the face by one angry young Brexiteer and threatened by another sad old musician. I myself wanted EU reform and thought that the best way to achieve this was to be at the negotiating table as a full member. You cannot negotiate with a club once you have left it !!
Some ask me, are you not part of an elite, a Guardian Reader or a snowflake Liberal Democrat? Politically, if you cut me in half (as some would like to do ! :-), you would find blue, gold, green and red blood running through my veins. I don’t seek to depose Theresa May because of her Conservatism, more to leaven her desire to force through a self-harming Brexit in the wake of a complete lack of an effective opposition.
We plan to deliver a series of grassroots events that will inspire, consult and engage all people with the intention to change voter behaviour. The core of this will be a “People’s Question Time” backed up with some superb non-partisan facilitation and support for tired remainers and floating leavers. Please take a look at our fundraiser and support / share the project if you feel able.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
- Network the concept with key opinion formers to help with funding, infrastructure and so on.
- Ask corporate decision makers for financial backing – We accept contributions from £10K upwards.
- Contribute directly to the Go Fund Me initiative. We have had donations from £20 to £100.
We are also looking for direct sponsorship from businesses, political figures and individuals – please see our Slideshare deck on the topic:
We plan to collaborate with Liz Webster who runs Flock Brexit, a group seeking securely define EU citizenship for all Europeans (including British) to ensure our rights and freedoms are not stripped or curtailed by any nation state withdrawing from EU. In doing so to halt the progress of Brexit. All people from 28 member states are equal in EU law and united as EU citizens, which affords huge privileges. Brexit (or any other exit) potentially damages all EU citizens. Flock Brexit’s objective is to ensure EU citizenship becomes teflon coated to ensure we are EU citizenship can’t be removed or altered.
Come join us and let’s BREAK BREXIT BEFORE BREXIT BREAKS BRITAIN. To finish, here’s a video of our musical antics opposite No 10 Downing Street, where we have had celebrities, MP’s, the BBC and Breitbart in attendance or reporting on our acts as “saboteurs” 🙂 If you want to join us please connect with the No 10 Vigil on Facebook. We have a lot of fun and our message is getting through to the parts that matter, including Jean-Claude Juncker and Michel Barnier last week.
Peter Cook leads The Academy of Rock and Human Dynamics, offering outstanding keynotes, masterclasses and longer term Business / OD, Coaching and Mentoring. He is author of 7 and a half books on business leadership. Check them out at Amazon.
I’m performing with Bernie Tormé , celebrated guitarist with Ozzy Osbourne, Ian Gillan, Dee Snider and GMT this Saturday 8 April in Brighton. It’s part of my “official birthday” celebrations so I hope to see you there !! 🙂 Tickets, just £13.25 available here.
Bernie will be playing songs from his triple box set album “Dublin Cowboy” plus a selection of old favourites. The album features a whole album of new rock songs, an acoustic album rooted in Bernie’s Irish and other traditions and a live album. My wife and I went round to Bernie’s for dinner the other week and there are some exciting developments in the pipeline … shhhhh …. 🙂
So, I’m ready with my bucket, spade, shades and suedes to hit the town of Brighton, famed for its rock, cock and royalty … Come join me for an unforgettable afternoon and evening.
And the inspiration for the title of this post. The magnificent Brian May and Queen : Brighton Rock. One of my early inspirations was the guitar playing of Brian May, alongside Ritchie Blackmore and Jimi Hendrix and they taught me much of what I know now. Bernie Tormé‘s playing is out of this world, a fusion of psychedelia, hard rock and irish roots. R U Experienced?
Peter purges your inner business demons through music. Check his keynotes and longer masterclasses out at The Academy of Rock. For 1:1 mentoring and coaching on a worldwide basis contact him.
“Mixing Pop and Politics, You ask me what the use is
I answer with embarrassment and my usual excuse”
Quite simply music reaches people much better than a spreadsheet and I’ll be performing some songs of Rebellion opposite Downing Street tonight Friday 10 March, with the Richmond Terrace Group. The group protest against Theresa May’s “deal or no deal Kamikaze Brexit” every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 6 pm till 9 pm.
For the occasion, we have re-written Rod Stewart’s Maggie May, OMD’s Enola Gay, Bruno Mars Uptown Funk and The Wild Rover by The Dubliners. The Wild Rover needed few modifications to turn the story into one I’ve heard many times of late – the tale of a Brexiter who has realised they were ‘played’ by the tabloid press and now wish we could escape Theresa May’s appropriation of “the will of the people” for her own personal gain and a place as The Iron Lady II, when comparisons are at best restricted to fashion and hair styling.
Come down and singalong with the “Remoaners” !! 6 pm start and Boris is making an appearance …
It is rumoured that Theresa May will invoke Article 50 on Tuesday once she has savaged her elder and wiser colleagues in The House of Lords once again, in fear of a revolt from her own party and a surprise formation of a credible opposition to an unelected dictatorship.
Find The Richmond Group on Twitter – Use hashtag #No10Vigil
Finally, one of my favourite protest songs from the great Billy Bragg.
What a pity he is not the leader of the opposition – we would not have this mess.
Peter Cook leads Human Dynamics, delivering exceptional business and organisation development without sex, politics or rock’n’roll. He is also CEO of The Academy of Rock, offering keynotes that blend MBA themes with parallel insights from music, reaching your head, heart and soul. Author of 7 1/2 books on leadership, innovation and creativity. Check them out on Amazon.
Part I – 2016 Reflections
I hate the passage of time, as I believe that every moment should count, but I’m willing to make an exception in the case of 2016, which took so many beautiful and creative talents from us. As if it could not get any worse, we lost George Michael on Christmas day (My wife and I were reflecting that I gave my son George Michael as middle names today). This followed the tragic losses of Prince, Bowie, Carrie Fisher and so many more people during the year. 2016 has been such a crap year in so many ways. I recorded my thoughts about 2016 overall in an Advent Blog for Kate Griffiths-Lambeth, so there is no need to repeat them here. Suffice to say, I have been blessed to interview Prince family members such as Ida Nielsen, Marcus Anderson, Sheila E and George Clinton in 2016 and before. In 2017 I am planning a Worldwide Prince Photographic Exhibition with Maverick Productions, currently touring The Rolling Stones “Exhibitionism” as another tribute to the genius of Prince.
But all things must pass and I’m marking the end of 2016 by giving a LIVE performance of Purple Rain at Battersea Arts Centre from 12 midnight – 2 am, after a two hour Vinyl Prince DJ set – the story of how this came about is a great example of the power of networking. I met DJ Nick, driving a van on a busy street in the City of London. Nick called out to me from then van, recognising my Prince Symbol T-Shirt. After a brief exchange, I left a card and ran, since I was in danger of being run over by angry drivers as I stood in the middle of the road!! To my surprise, Nick e-mailed me to explain his evening job as a DJ and now we are collaborating on this venture. I’m hopeful it may lead to other things in my day job at The Academy of Rock delivering events around the world.
Battersea Arts Centre is also a fascinating venue. Partly destroyed by fire in 2015, the centre showcases some of the most amazing creative talents. It’s very much in the mould of my work on improvisation, by operating a “scratch” methodology as part of its “ladder of development” for new work. Performances are shown at various stages of development to an outside audience, whose input and criticism guides the further evolution of the work. Scratch has been adopted as far afield as Sydney and New York and Battersea Arts Centre has successfully sparked new approaches to creativity across the globe.
What then does 2017 hold in store for us? I’m going to leave that part of this blog until Part II. For now, here’s the end piece of a performance I did in Italy to honour Prince, at an impromptu aftershow for 300 people after a keynote on improvisation in business. Admittedly, nothing compares with the real thing but I did my best …
Part II – Towards 2017
I have two global hopes for 2017 – Firstly, that our obsession with war will diminish. Aleppo stands as yet another monument to humanity’s inhumanity. Secondly that we will turn back from “mob rule” as characterised by the election of Donald Trump and our own Government’s Brexit. A sub-goal for me in terms of contribution to society is the SIX B’s :
“Break Brexit Before Brexit Breaks Britain”
In business terms, my plans for 2017 include:
- A new book for Routledge, focusing on how we will respond to a society where intelligence are the main ingredients of personal and business success. Read more about it at Brain Based Enterprises.
- I’m hoping to deliver consultancy assignments in Greece, Italy, the USA and make a return to Mauritius.
- And the Prince Photography Exhibition will be a major legacy project, to honour his memory. One of the images from the current Exhibitionism project is shown below:
Peter Cook leads Human Dynamics and The Academy of Rock. Author of 7 1/2 books on Leadership, Innovation and Creativity. Find his current books on Amazon which include cameo articles and insights from Prince and other music giants.
Following the success of his two recent crowd-funded albums, 2014’s Flowers & Dirt and 2015’s Blackheart, former Gillan and Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Bernie Tormé has announced plans for a new album. ‘Dublin Cowboy’ will be a triple album comprising a studio CD, an acoustic CD and a live CD. The album is scheduled for release in March 2017 and, again, fans are being asked to support the production and release of the album via a crowdfunding appeal.
“I’m so psyched to be doing my third crowd-funded album on Pledgemusic, and in celebration of number three it’s also a triple album. Triple offender! Titled ‘Dublin Cowboy’ – because that’s what I am, its going to be a studio album, acoustic album, and a live album altogether in a dinky little slip-box. It’s a totally new experience for me, and that’s the best thing about it! It’ll be released in March 2017, and we’ll be rocking it live throughout the UK in April 2017.”
The success of his two recent solo albums heralded the start of a real career renaissance for Bernie Tormé. He even claimed that I was part of it when all I did was buy the beer!! Seriously I’m also seriously geeked to have played a small part in Bernie’s renaissance alongside Arthur Brown, Ginger Wildheart et al. I’ve also performed on stage twice with Bernie and the band at London’s Borderline which is a kind of baptism by fire …
Both albums were assisted by highly successful crowdfunding campaigns that helped reconnect Bernie with long-standing fans as well as bringing new ones. ‘Dublin Cowboy’ continues that renaissance.
Full details of Bernie’s Pledgemusic appeal can be found at Dublin Cowboy. Here’s some highlights:
- £25 buys you a copy of the ‘Dublin Cowboy’ triple CD (and the first 100 physical CD orders will also get a free Bernie Tormé ‘Stratocaster Gypsy’ DVD
- £36 buys you a signed copy of ‘Dublin Cowboy’ (together with a free DVD for the first 100 physical CD orders)
- £200 buys you a Guitar Masterclass with Bernie
- £350 buys you a day’s recording at Barnroom Studios in Kent with Bernie producing
- £500 buys you Bernie’s vintage pirate coat, as worn on stage by Bernie during the Gillan era
To tie in with the release of the album a new 2017 UK Tour has also been announced:
1st April SOUTH SHIELDS The Unionist Club
2nd April GLASGOW Nice n Sleazy
3rd April EDINBURGH Bannermans
4th April GRIMSBY Yardbirds
5th April MANCHESTER FAC25
1 6th April WOLVERHAMPTON The Robin
2 7th April LONDON The Borderline
8th April BRIGHTON The Prince Albert