Thus spoke David Bowie in 1971. And yet when Bon Jovi sang “Livin’ on a prayer” at the Sandy Relief concert last year, it was as if nothing had changed in his world since the song was originally released in 1986. Were rock stars the only profession left in the world that hadn’t had to ch-ch-change in the last 30 years?
In that time I’ve been through 6 or 7 jobs and reinvented myself at least a couple of time. I’ve had to learn new technology to survive and I spend a bunch of my time working with small businesses that need that technology to get ahead in this very different world. My lovely wife is going through a series of gut-wrenching ch-ch-changes in her medical world, with new laws, new technology and new demands for productivity that are turning her world of treating sick people upside down.
Last night I went to see Glenn Tilbrook, the lead singer of a great band, Squeeze. Squeeze was huge in the 1980’s and early 90’s (remember “Tempted” and “Hourglass”?). The band have reformed on and off over the years and Glenn still tours with a variety of other backing bands. His set consisted of some new songs and a bunch of “golden oldies” from the glory days of Squeeze. Again I thought – how cool to be a rock star and still be doing things the same way for 30 years.
And then he threw in a big dose of technology! He had not one, not two but three iPads with him on stage. One was for lyrics. One was for backing tracks for a couple of songs. And on the third he did an instant recording of the audience doing some “ohs & ahs” which he then replayed over and over as backing for the song he was singing. Fantastic!
And I guess that’s the moral of the story. We can fight ch-ch-changes and hope that all this internet and social media stuff just passes us by and we come out the other side unscathed. Or we can embrace the ch-ch-changes and use the technology that’s available to us to deliver a better product to our audience – whoever or wherever they are.