Everyone has someone who does what they do better. Orders of magnitude better. Scary better. Like two different planets.
In ‘65, Bob Dylan emerged from Fourth Street obscurity to a global comet the Beatles felt compelled to hear in person. And just as Dylan was actually changing the world – how many people have done that – the British media was equating him to Donovan. Mellow Yellow man. Vanilla ice cream man. 60’s bubble gum man. So Dylan gets pissed. Tsunami pissed. This wedding singer is being compared to me! To Mr. Rolling Stone. To the Bard Redux. I will humiliate the musical crumb!
And the time comes. The King is in his hotel room a few days before he is to command Royal Albert Hall and the Yellow flake shows up to sing for the Dylan entourage. And he actually croons what sounds like a gem. A really good song. With the glow of pride still on his face, Dylan – the alpha male – is ready to crush Donovan. Flatten the fairy. So he commandeers the guitar from Mellow and a second after the former sings his syrup, Dylan rolls in to Baby Blue. Case closed. There is one songwriter in the room and one forgettable prop for the history books. A footnote.It’s the same in business. You think you have a great coffee shop and then you see Starbucks. You believe you have a cool hotel and then you stay at a W. You think making cars is enough and then you examine a Toyota.
Life is short. Business is unforgiving.
Dylan had no patience. Donovan had no talent. Is your business Dylan or Donovan? Are you Dylan or Donovan? If you don’t insist on greatness (and I don’t mean dime a dozen goodness) the angry bastard next to you will grab the Fender out of your hands and show you how mediocre you are. Ready?
And Today May 24 is Bob Dylan’s 66th Birthday!
Happy Birthday to the man who changed the world!