Neil Diamond Gives a Pep Talk

Today's letter from popular music industry blogger Bob Lefsetz was a piece of hate mail explaining what Record Store Day is from someone who is "involved and knowledgeable" about the day. The author then tells Lefsetz he needs to incorporate more fun into his life. I give Bob major kudos for publishing such a letter. It wasn't too nice, but definitely exhibits a noticeable trend in professional industries lately.

A creator of Record Store Day explained that this day is "an excuse for record stores to have a party with artists who love them and want to celebrate their art..." He said one of the most important parts of what they are doing is having fun and that it is time to "be appreciative about music and the very special people who make it, as well as the fans that love it."

This is not a new concept, but one that is coming back into perspective within the music industry and many others lately. As the opportunities to "hit it big" in various industries fade, the idea of doing something for the love of it is becoming more and more important. Undergraduate finance major dreams of 130K jobs right out of school are not so prevalent right now and buzz on campus is "What do I love?", instead of "What can I do to make the most money?".  

Even Neil Diamond is realizing there is more to life than work, though it seems his quest for fun was less influenced by the recession and more by the realization that life is actually finite (he was born Jan 24, 1941). But, in a surprise Q&A with a few NYU Music Business students last night, Diamond emphasized how important it is to do something you absolutely love. He told the group that there is more to life than work and that he missed out on many great years with good friends because he was too focused on making money for his family. He announced, "If you are here to make a lot of money, you should go do something else." He continued by saying that all songwriters are just trying to "throw a pebble" and see how far the ripples will go. It is all about the music- let us not forget.

Neil Diamond loves music. HeadCount loves democracy and the live music community. The Girl Scouts love to empower girls and Steve Jobs and Apple have a thing for "leading the [computer] industry in innovation."  I usually agree with Bob Lefsetz in his infinite music industry wisdom, but today I have to agree with this corrective emailer. It is time to find something you love and have fun doing it. Thanks for the pep talk Neil.