Don Henley’s “Cass County”: The Sweet Ache of Loss and Reflection

Saturday, November 21st, 2015

I knew I was going to like Don Henley's recently released country album, Cass County, the moment I heard Miranda Lambert's graceful vocal and the sweet harmonica on the opening song, Tift Merritt's "Bramble Rose." The melodic harmonica evoked "Sweet Virginia" from the Rolling Stones's Exile on Main St., and ...

“Sticky Fingers”: How an Album Cover Defined the Stones

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Some album covers are memorable because they perfectly express an artist's image (or brand, if you will) as well as music. Such is the case with Sticky Fingers, the 11th American studio album of the Rolling Stones. Sticky Fingers, newly re-issued to celebrate its 44th anniversary, created controversy in 1971 ...

Visual Storytelling in Today’s “All Access” Era

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

Access. It's the most valuable currency of celebrity journalism. Photojournalists Bob Gruen and Ken Regan built celebrated careers by getting access to coveted rock stars such as Madonna, whom Ken Regan photographed as she was about to become a star. Regan, who passed away in 2012, was welcomed into the ...

My Cold-Weather Rock and Roll

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Winter has tightened its grip on Chicago. On a Friday afternoon in early December, the temperatures feel like they are dropping by the minute. The sun escapes the chill of the day early, leaving behind long shadows and an occasional gust of cold wind. This is the time for staying ...

5 Marketing Lessons from the 121212 Concert for Sandy Relief

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Rock concerts for causes have come a long way since George Harrison and Ravi Shankar organized the Concert for Bangladesh in 1971 and raised $250,000 to help refugees in war-torn Bangladesh. The Concert for Bangladesh was an untelevised rock show (actually two of them) witnessed by 40,000 people in Madison ...

It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll and Technology for the Rolling Stones

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

How do rock and roll bad boys stay relevant when they grow older and less dangerous? The Rolling Stones no longer symbolize youthful rebellion and decadence as they did 50 years ago. So like a smart business that refines its brand, the Stones now focus on one core asset: their rock ...

From Eminem to Warhol: creating art out of vinyl

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Daniel Edlen makes art out of vinyl LPs. Yup, I'm talking about the shiny black LPs that defined how we experienced music in the pre-digital era, which have become in vogue again more than 60 years after vinyl was introduced. Daniel's business, Vinyl Art, offers stunning images of iconic musicians ...

How Facebook perverts the English language

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

I certainly do not “Like” how Facebook perverts the English language by forcing us to us words inaccurately. Case in point: recently, I heard about the launch of a Facebook page for a forthcoming (at the time) biography of Mick Jagger. I wanted to learn more about the book, get access ...

How the Rolling Stones got their mojo back (and you can, too)

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Let’s say you’re an aging business or marketing executive with your back against the wall. You’ve accomplished great things in your career but nothing substantial lately. A brash generation of upstarts threatens to muscle you aside with their attitude and fresh ideas. What would you do? If you wanted to follow ...

Would "Exile on Main St." have survived Twitter?

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

The build-up to the May 18 re-release of Exile on Main St. has been nothing short of astonishing especially for an album that received mixed reviews on its release in 1972. Jimmy Fallon hosted Rolling Stones Week culminating in the premier of a new documentary about the band, Stones in ...