Category Archives: Reinvention

The Prince of Reinvention

Prince 2It is a sad irony that shortly after praising David Bowie’s career as being hallmarked by reinvention and visual presentation, we should lose yet another music icon who epitomizes reinvention: Prince.

I’ve heard it said that our immortal soul is the legacy we leave for others to remember us by,  Prince’s gift for generations to come is that he truly lived and breathed his musical talents; never letting himself be walled in to any genre. For those who are reinventing themselves so that their lives align with their true passions, Prince’s presence within the world and within himself serves as a beacon of light for how to be true to your unique gifts and talents so that you can bring value to your own life and to the lives of others.

Prince 1When will you realize the full potential of you?

Have you set a date?

Are you going after a goal?

Tomorrow may never happen. What are you doing today to realize your dreams and aspirations? You don’t want to hear yourself lament, “Say say two thousand zero zero party over, oops, out of time.”

Prince made many stops along his reinvention road to greatness: from Little Red Corvette, one of the first videos by a black artist on MTV, to his Academy Award for Purple rain, to his creation of The Family, to Nothing Compares 2 U made famous by Sinead O’Connor, to his name and wardrobe changes and everything he created inbetween.

Practice your craft, embrace diversity, become an expert of you, improvise and make the cream rise to the top of your dreams.

“This is it
It’s time for you to go to the wire
You will hit
‘Cause you got the burnin’ desire
It’s your time (Time)

Never, ever go by the letter (Never ever)
You’re so cool (Cool)
Everything you do is success
Make the rules (Rules)
Then break them all ’cause you are the best”

(Prince and the New Power Generation)


David Bowie’s “Happy Land” of Reinvention

English singer, songwriter, actor and record producer David Bowie’s influence on pop music spanned over five decades. His legacy of work during the ’70s, the decade I was fortunate to be with London Records, is considered by critics and musicians as showcasing the seeds of his genius which would sprout record sales of 140 million worldwide. David Bowie received five platinum and seven gold certifications here in the States and he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

David BowieDavid Bowie’s self-named debut album on the Deram label of London Records was released on June 1st 1967, the month and year of my graduation from high school. Three years later I would be overseeing the mastering and production of re-releases of that first album. Ironically, David Bowie and I met one day at the studio when he was working on Space Oddity shortly after Deram Records had dropped him due to poor sales in 1968. Somewhere between conversations about his first album and what fans deem his first masterpiece, Space Oddity, we talked about his lyrics; a conversation I will never forget.

David Bowie ImagesIn 1973, London Records repackaged the album “David Bowie” and combined it with various singles and B-sides to create the compilation album “Images 1966–1967” (London Records BP 628/9). By then I had become an avid listener of his music so when I had to listen to test pressings from pressing plants across the country there was no reluctance on my part; only joy.    David Bowie’s career was marked by reinvention and visual presentation, his music and stagecraft significantly influencing popular music.

Although London’s compilation album gained Bowie a significant 1973 hit, “The Laughing Gnome,” “There Is A Happy Land” lyrics play to my passion for reinvention and the need for each of us to push back the voices of what others would have us do versus what we need to do to find and live our own true passion. We need to be open to reinventing ourselves to be who we are meant to be by listening to the music of our own inner voice.

“There is a happy land where only children live

They don’t have the time to learn the ways Of you sir, Mr. Grownup”





You CAN Always Get What You Want

If what you want means following your true passion…

If what you want brings value to you and others…

If you’re willing to totally commit to achieving what you want and overcoming all obstacles…

Yes, you CAN absolutely and always get what you want.

early StonesAmong my many musical influences was The Rolling Stones when I was performing solo and in bands during the ’60s. The albums The Rolling Stones, 12 x 5, The Rolling Stones, Now!, December’s Children (And Everybody’s), Aftermath, Between the Buttons, Their Satanic Majesties Request, Beggars Banquet and Let It Bleed were my treasure chest of musical inspiration. So, walking through the doors of industry giant London Records at 539 West 25th Street in New York City for the decade of the ’70s and past the Rolling Stones gold records hanging on the walls of the hallway to my office was living the dream.

Rolling Stones Hot RocksWorking on the mastering and production of Hot Rocks 1964–1971 moved the dream from real to surreal. Released December 20, 1971, the double album compilation was The Rolling Stones’ biggest-selling release of their career spending 262 weeks on the US Billboard 200 chart and peaking at #4. The album sold in excess of six million copies and was certified twelve times platinum.

Among the gems on Hot Rocks 1964–1971 was “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” from Let It Bleed. Like most music from that era, when I listen to the songs today they take on new significance, especially the lyrics.

Rolling Stones Let It BleedYou can’t always get what you want

You can’t always get what you want

You can’t always get what you want

But if you try sometimes you

You might find

You get what you need

You Can’t Always Get What You Want lyrics © Abkco Music, Inc.

Author and speaker Jim Rohn: “If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.” Negative self talk like telling yourself that “I can’t have what I want” is a guarantee that either you don’t want the right things or that you’ll never realize your true passion. And, the more you tell yourself these messages over and over and over again, echoing what your parents, teachers, coaches and significant others told you, the more likely you will live your life unfulfilled and longing. You might “get what you need” but surviving is not living in the truest existential sense of the word. The price will be living a life of repeatedly lamenting, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” So, better to send messages to your inner negative voices and tell them, “Hey! You! Get Off of My Cloud!”

“I Hear You Knockin'”

Fats DOminoOne of my rock & roll influences growing up was listening to Fats Domino’s 1961 hit cover of the Dave Bartholomew and Earl King penned, “I Hear You Knockin.'” Although Fats drove this song on his keyboard, my parents didn’t have the money for a piano so I learned the chord progression on my guitar and played along with Fats endlessly.

Dave EdmundsYou can imagine my thrill in 1970 when I worked with Welsh singer, guitarist and record producer David WIlliam “Dave” Edmunds at Media Sound Studios in New York City to master his version of “I Hear You Knockin'” which reached #1 on the UK singles charts and #4 here in the States. The unique guitar sound meshed incredibly with his voice effects and that augmented piano chord strike on the turnaround never fails to grab me.

Today, when I listen to the lyrics of “I Hear You Knockin,'” entirely new thoughts come to mind. How many people have had dreams growing up and into young adulthood of what they wanted to do in life; not jobs but real passions that got squelched because of what their parents, teachers and mentors told them they “should” do. And, even when that original passion creeps into their consciousness later in life, that super strong superego pushes it back down and doesn’t let it come to fulfillment. These lyrics strike a chord, don’t they:

You went away and left me long time ago
And now you’re knocking on my door
I hear you knocking
But you can’t come in
I hear you knocking
Go back where you’ve been
(Dave Bartholomew and Earl King)

Just like “resolution,” the move of a note or chord from dissonance (an unstable sound) to a consonance (a more final or stable sounding one), needs expression in music so, too, we need to give our dissonant, repressed passions full expression if we are to live fulfilling lives and give value to ourselves and others. Make sure you follow your passion when you “Hear it Knockin.'”



“Rock Around The Clock” Anniversary: Is It Yours?

Rock Around the ClockOn April 12th, 1954, Bill Haley and the Comets had their first recording session at Pythian Temple studios in New York City after signing with American Decca Records. The landmark recording session almost didn’t take place when the band was traveling on a ferry that got stuck on a sandbar en route to the Big Apple from Philly. The 12-bar blues song, written by Max Freedman and James Myers, became a number one single on both the US and UK charts and opened the door to rock & roll as a commercial tsunami.

Find your own passion in life and career and live it every moment of every day: “Rock Around the Clock” with it. Will you look back a year from now and celebrate the anniversary of the realization of your own passion? Don’t let any psychological sandbars stop you!





“Stand Out” Author Dorie Clark

Dorie ClarkToo many people believe that if they keep their heads down and work hard they’ll be recognized on the merits of their work. But that’s simply not true anymore. “Safe” jobs disappear daily. To make a name for yourself, to create true job security, and to make a difference in the world you have to share your unique perspective and inspire others to take action. And, Dorie Clark is THE person to show you how.

Dorie Clark is a marketing strategy consultant, professional speaker, and frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, TIME, Entrepreneur, and the World Economic Forum blog. Recognized as a “branding expert” by the Associated Press, Fortune, and Inc. magazine, she is the author of Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future which has been translated into Russian, Chinese, Arabic, French, Polish, and Thai and her most recent book, Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It. Clark consults and speaks for a diverse range of clients, including Google, the World Bank, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, the Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Yale University, the Mount Sinai Medical Center, and the National Park Service. She was also named one of Inc. magazine’s “100 Great Leadership Speakers for Your Next Conference,” and recognized in Forbes as one of “25 Professional Networking Experts to Watch in 2015.”

Listen to Garrison’s interview with Dorie Clarke:

Find out why Stand Out was named the #1 Leadership Book of 2015 by Inc. magazine

Check out Dorie’s website and follow her on Twitter

Disrupt You! is a Must Read for Entrepreneurs

Disrupt You book coverDynamic entrepreneur and intrepreneur Jay Samit has been described by Wired magazine as “having the coolest job in the industry.” He has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for startups, sold companies to Fortune 500 firms, transforms entire industries, revamps government institutions, and for three decades continues to be at the forefront of global trends. And, in his new book, Disrupt You! Jay tells you how to master personal transformation, seize opportunity and thrive in the era of endless innovation.

Buy Disrupt You! It’s the single best investment you can make in yourself. Check out Jay’s website and follow him on Twitter and Instagram

“What makes Garrison stand out from other radio and podcast interviewers is his unique ability to draw out the best stories from his guests.  His masterful preparation melts away any distance between the guest and the audience until one feels like they are sitting in a booth at a favorite diner listening to dear friends reminisce after years apart.” Jay Samit, business icon, entrepreneur thought leader and author of Disrupt You!