Clive’s Book-2

He takes so much credit!

Bruce Springsteen? The way he runs around the stage, uses all the space? That’s CLIVE!

I don’t expect you to believe that, and I certainly don’t, but I barely knew Ahmet and he loved to tell stories, but he wasn’t the punch line of each, they all didn’t end with him winning.

As for the man with the golden ears… Hell, we’ve all got a little gilt around the edges. But don’t we give the most credit to Mo Ostin? Who built the world’s greatest record label essentially from scratch (with the help of Joe Smith, who does want the credit…)

Now Mo’s the nicest of the bunch, he’s the most civilized, but he’s got sharp elbows too. That’s what these guys were, businessmen. To recast them as artists, other than Ahmet, who actually wrote a song or two, is to rewrite the history of the music business. It’s like saying Steve Jobs was responsible for the Apple II. Oops, he took a lot of credit! But really, that was Steve Wozniak’s brilliant creation, Jobs just egged Woz on. But Jobs would be forgotten if that’s all he’d done. And Malcolm Gladwell posits that in fifty years Steve Jobs will be a footnote, and I’m beginning to believe he’s right. Gladwell said odds are better that Bill Gates will be the one people talk about, not because of Microsoft, but because of his charitable efforts.

Life is not about legacy, it’s about being there. If you think you’re gonna be remembered, you’re sorely mistaken. And what’s weirder is people who are giants during their era are forgotten, and those who were obscure are oftentimes held up high by future generations. All you’ve got is your stories.

And Clive’s got plenty.

We’ve all got plenty, it’s the nature of life.

But Clive interacted with a slew of famous people, who touched all our lives, like Neil Diamond.

Clive made a deal for Neil with David Braun. Talk about forgotten… Not only was Braun the most powerful lawyer of his era, he went on to head PolyGram. Now both are gone. Ask a kid what PolyGram is/was, and he’ll scratch his head.

Anyway, Neil’s still signed to MCA, but Clive poaches him. And hangs out with him. And Neil’s got strong opinions. He likes to argue. About music. For hours.

Like my friend George Drakoulias recently told me, he used to get in fights about records!

That’s not the kind of discussion we have now. You quote sales statistics, say something is good or it sucks, and you change topics. Part of this has to do with the music, a lot of it has to do with the people.

Neil and Clive were from Brooklyn.

Yes, there is a difference between east coast and west coast people. East coasters are more opinionated, they like to hash it out. West coasters are more about lifestyle. So that’s your opinion, that’s cool, I’m going surfing!

And on one hand that’s liberating. East coasters browbeat you into submission. You’re not from the right neighborhood, you didn’t go to the right school.

And speaking of school, that’s what we did my entire four years at Middlebury College. Argue out our opinions. Night after night. There was no cable TV, only the college radio station, all we had was ourselves.

Critical thinking, it’s gone by the wayside.

As for today’s students…it’s all about being a member of the group. You don’t want to be a loner today. You want to be part of the social network. Baby boomers are about individual excellence, youngsters don’t want to stand out.

Youngsters date in a group. They applaud winners and losers.

And something’s been lost in the process.

Go online, you’ll find people yelling at each other. On TV too. I’m right, you’re wrong. But there’s rarely any analysis of the other person’s position. Imagine Bill O’Reilly telling a left wing guest, YOU’VE GOT A POINT!

Never gonna happen. Because Bill’s about bullying and winning, not truth.

Truth has gone by the wayside.

And the way you get to truth is by having strong opinions, expressing them, and digesting the response.

The thing people hate most about me?

I’ve got strong opinions.

Wait, there’s something else. I’M TOO NEGATIVE!

Let me tell you a secret… There’s no positive without negative. Life is a spectrum, and unless there’s bad, you don’t know what good is.

But you can’t handle this. You want everybody to say your music is good, the same way you got a soccer trophy despite being unable to kick the ball.

Does this mean I’m always right?


Only a fool feels he’s infallible.

But by putting it out there, I get a response. Most of the time, I get black and white e-mail, you’re a god, you’re an idiot. Then there are people who express their opinion cogently and I’m made to think, my horizons are broadened, I’m affected, and sometimes I even change my mind.

That’s what I hate about the whole Wall Street/banking thing. That these people can’t be criticized because they’re rich. You went to an Ivy League school and then got a gig at Goldman Sachs? Would you have taken the job if it topped out at 50k? OF COURSE NOT!

Everybody’s pursuing cash, and trying to separate themselves from everybody else.

But cash is not the point. And we’re all in it together.

And life is not about inert objects, like an electric sports car and a NetJet account, but interaction with other human beings. Life is a search for insight and truth.

They know that better on the east coast.

But even there, life has been skewed.

You’re rich or you’re poor.

You’re good or you suck.

Trying to get people to explain why?

That’s a whole different issue.

Clive’s Book – 1

The Soundtrack of My Life

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