Thursday, February 28, 2008

How to Break Up the Band Without Breaking Up

I started off my morning reading about Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band as the cover story for the Life section of the USA Today. One comment that sticks is that they’ve stayed together and relevant all this time by protecting their interests and the band’s interest by stepping out on their own.

Bruce Springsteen at age 58 and the E Street Band are coming off three new Grammy’s, a critically acclaimed album “Magic”, and kicking off a North American tour tonight at Asbury Park Convention Hall. Seems to indicate protecting the interests of the band is working out. So, what would have happened had the Beatles followed this approach?

For the Beatles it was a choice between stepping out on their own or staying together as a band. This either or choice reduced any future decision to collaborate as a band down to a “reunion”, as huge of an event as that would have been.

While they all did go off on their own, an argument can be made that some of their best work was as a band. The fact they made a masterpiece like Abbey Road while essentially dysfunctional as a band confirms the power of collaboration. Who knows what would have been had they left open the freedom to collaborate in the same fashion as Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band have done.

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