The Subtle and not so Subtle Art of Collaboration

I have always viewed collaboration as the lifeblood of every creative endeavor. My world view having expanded in recent years, I have come to regard cooperative effort as an essential component of a life well lived. As a front man for a Rock & Roll band, some of my greatest moments have been spent with four other guys in a basement, all of us trying to figure how best to crush this rock of a song into a diamond. There was always lots of pushing and pulling going on, but really what made it work was listening and communicating, something I was never particularly good at in my day to day life. I loved every minute of it, even when the end results were bupkis. Figuring out the presentational aspects, including what the Gas House Gorillas looked like, the general point of view and promotional angles involved a similar process, sometimes not overt, but collaborative none-the-less. 

By far, the most important collaboration for me was the one that took place between our band and our audience. We were determined that our people would know that we considered them to be one of us. From the very beginning we refused to pander, speaking to them in the same unflinching way that we spoke to each other. Some people did not appreciate our evil sense of humor, or unwillingness to bend to outside creative pressure. But the people who stayed seemed to somehow be in on the joke. The result being that we felt a closeness to our little musical community that was, for me, miraculous and life affirming. For a grown man such as myself, one who remains to this day, shy, awkward and riddled with self-doubt, that connection was and is a life saver. Thank you for allowing me to feel ten feet tall in your presence. For allowing me to feel connected to something bigger than myself. 

This will be a year of firsts for me. I will be launching a crowdfunding campaign tomorrow morning. We are raising funds for my first solo recording. It will also be the first time I have ever sat on a stage alone with a guitar, without a net. I know that there are plenty of you that do it all the time and you have my respect and admiration. But that’s never been me. I’m not going to lie. I feel both terrified and exhilarated. I may land flat on my face. Won’t that be funny? Not for me, but for someone. 

In any event, the collaboration continues, and I am eternally grateful for the opportunity. 

When you get my email tomorrow morning, please visit my Indiegogo page, contribute, share, chime in, and be a part of it in some way or another. Whatever you can do will be appreciated. I pledge to keep up my end of the bargain. Like a good collaborator should. Thank you. 

Yer Pal, 

Rick

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