The myth of the lone inventor.
(Note: in adland, I often write short pieces to set up ideas. This post traces its roots to just such a piece, which, by the way, was rejected by the client withou so much as a comment!)
The solitary genius. We can all imagine his greatest moment.
He was alone at his piano.
Alone at her typewriter in a cabin in the woods
Alone amidst a sea of empty cubicles and darkened overhead lights.
But the lone inventor is a myth.
Worse, it’s a lie.
The true heroes are unsung. They are those on whose shoulders all so-called lone inventors have stood. Because while the ideas that fundamentally change and advance human culture might come to us when we are alone, they are born not of one mind, they are born of many.
Ideas bloom where people mix and coalesce,
where people cooperate and communicate,
where we isten to each other.
I’m thinking about all this now, as I near the end of the journey for completing my first album. I started the project alone and more or less hell bent on finishing it that way. Why? I wanted control, I did not want to be challenged, I wanted to do it my way.
What a fool.
Early on in the project, while not necessarily recognizing the bigger problem of trying to be a lone inventor, I switched gears. The catalyst: a talk with my friend Toby about the first session tapes. He pronounced them to be utter shit (my words, not his, but the meaning is the same). He was right, and so I started over, and built a team that I continue to work with to this day. In the years since late 2006, there have been a few key additions to the team, all suggested by earlier team players. And as a result, everything is so much better — the songs, the playing, the sound, everything.
I am deeply indebted to everyone who has worked with me on this. I could not have done it alone. No one could. And no one does, despite what you might hear or read.