Who’s the leader of your band?

//Who’s the leader of your band?

Who’s the leader of your band?

Think of your all time favourite band.  Now think of your all time favourite song.  I want to ask you a question:  Who is the leader of the band?  Is it the lead singer or is it the lead guitarist or…?  I am guessing that the majority of my readers will not choose the drummer, but I wonder how many will agree with me and choose the bass player? 

For me; as in business, I find that the best leaders are those that are content to lead from behind, only stepping to the front when they really need to. It’s not important for them to show off, front of stage.  They are absolutely fine with simply coming up with the strategy and vision and then letting their team achieve the results and reap the glory.  After all, that’s what a leader needs to do if they want to keep everyone motivated.

To illustrate my point I have come up with my all time favourite backstage leadership, bass driven songs.

  1. Robbie Williams: Let me entertain you
  2. Ian Dury: Hit me with your rhythm stick
  3. Pink Floyd: Money
  4. Bob Marley: Jammin’
  5. Peter Gabriel & Kate Bush: Don’t Give Up
  6. Stevie Wonder: Think of me as your soldier
  7. Jeff Beck: Cause we’ve ended as lovers (with Tal Wilkenfield on bass)
  8. Gene Chandler: Get Down
  9. George Michael: Cowboys & Angels
  10. Led Zeppelin: Whole Lotta Love

Now some might say “where is Lou Reed’s ‘Walk on the wild side’ or Rory Gallagher’s ‘Messin’ with the kid’?”  But the choice is almost impossible.  The common denominator must be that the bass should drive the song without becoming the solo instrument (so in a way Pink Floyd’s ‘Money’ should really be excluded).  The trick is to listen to the song by focusing only on the bass.  If you take time out to listen closely to only my first two choices, I think you will find that they illustrate my point perfectly?

As an alternative approach try taking a really crass song like Queen’s ‘Under pressure’ (sorry Queen fans) and remove the bass line and you are left with absolutely nothing.  On a bass line like that you could literally play anything on top and it would sound great.

So, let me ask you one more question: what are your top ten bass driven tracks? And do you agree that often the real inspirational leaders are playing bass, rather than singing upfront?

Have a good week.


2010-11-09T01:10:04+00:007 Comments

About the Author:

Harley is a dynamic 'we can do this' kind of person with a successful track record of working for a wide variety of companies in all kinds of sectors. From very small family run businesses right through to giant multi-nationals. Over the last thirty five years Harley has built a reputation for inspiring those around him to rout out and tackle the core problems facing their organizations. Armed with a wide range of pragmatic tools that he has developed over the years, Harley is able to help his clients bring about long-term, sustainable solutions, while having fun at the same time. Harley is a motivational 'people person' who is nonetheless tough on efficiency and delivery. Apart from being well known for his highly entertaining and motivational speeches, Harley is also a blogger and author of four books; 'The Change Manager's Handbook', 'Transition', 'Inspirational Leadership’ and ‘Making a Difference’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvaATmb9_zg

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