Desperately Seeking Bankers Who ROCK

Here’s a piece of recent press attention in The Evening Standard on a project I’m working on with Dr Andrew Sentance, former Monetary Policy Committee member at the Bank of England:

In the City - With Andrew Sentance

In the City – With Andrew Sentance

So, we’re looking out for City business people (Bankers, Tinkers, Tailors and so on -:) who play an instrument and would like to participate in an open mic music jam sessione.  We are also looking for a venue in the City to do this amazing event and anyone who might want to help with lighting, PA and so on.  How will this work I hear you asking?

  • We’ll supply a backline of equipment and some great musicians to support the evening
  • I will be bringing my bass playing friend John Howitt, who is a session musician who has played with Anastasia, Celine Dion and Shirley Bassey and a great drummer.  I’m sure Andrew will also bring some muso friends
  • We will work up a set list of songs that people might like to play in advance but the evening will also be open to more spontaneous contributions.  If individuals want to replace one or more of the backline members that’s fine or they can just add themselves as a soloist
  • We’re looking to do this easily in Spring to give time for a little bit of mental preparation and incubation

Any questions?  Get in touch.  For those about to rock the Bank of England, we salute you!!

In the spirit of the event, here’s one of the contenders for the performance:


About the Blogger:  Peter Cook leads The Academy of Rock – Keynote events with a difference and Human Dynamics – Business and organisation development, training and coaching.  Contact via or +44 (0) 7725 927585.  Check out our online Business and Music programme for FREE via The Music of Business Online.

The bookshelf


Pomp, Circumstances, Kings, Queens and Punks

The kids are alright – at the Jubilee Concert – Picture by Baroness Ella Melitta

The Royal Jubilee celebrations afforded a rare moment of relaxation to reflect on the pomp and circumstance of such ceremonies.   However ‘punk and circumstances’ contrived to fill some of that time, after we were asked to do a last minute gig with Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine.  In case you missed Carter, here’s The Only Living Boy In New Cross:

I had not really noticed Carter USM when they appeared on the indie punk music scene in 1988.   Razor sharp lyrics that reminded me of Jarvis Cocker and Richard Strange’s skills in this area.  Indeed it seems that Jim Bob is something of an admirer of Mr Strange.  In case you fancy catching up with Richard Strange’s work, you can catch him talking about the moment when the Sex Pistols asked to support The Doctors of Madness at ‘Punk Britannia’ on BBC 4 for a few weeks at:

Watching the Jubilee river procession and its awe inspiring £32 Million bill made me think of the pomp and circumstance of Rock’s most expensive moments in the name of branding.  Let’s sample a few of them:

The moment when Michael Jackson floated a statue of himself down the River Thames – a cool bill of 50 Million dollars for the ‘HIStory’ album that went with it:

Madonna’s ‘Express Yourself’ video – just a ‘modest 5 Million Dollars’ in 1988 by comparison:

Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody video weighs in at a rock bottom price of £4500 in 1974 – that’s about £43 K in today’s terms:

So, here’s the tough question on enduring brand value.  Which of these do you consider will have the longest-term impact on society?

The Queen – £32 Million (2012)

The King of Pop – Michael Jackson – £50 Million (adjusted for 2012)

The Queen of Pop – Madonna – £7.2 Million (adjusted for 2012)

Queen – £43 K (adjusted for 2012)

If you are looking to spend a more modest sum for the Jubilee, M&S report that they have introduced a range of retro underwear (that’s in the sense of yesteryear, not pre-loved 🙂 )for the Jubilee.  For even less money you can get a free copy of Punk Rock People Management from me.  Simply click on one of the M&S women and get your copy for FREE.

Retro underwear from M&S for the Jubilee – hurry now to get yours before it rains again

Rock of Ages

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! 🙂

We will rock you

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: