Is it a surrender to a process that makes the highest paid musicians excel? Or is it that surrender is not even part of their vocabulary; thereby no thing gets in their way? What makes certain artists rise and stay at the pinnacle of the music industry? It is certainly much more than writing great songs, or being the most talented singer, guitarist, drummer. If it were only about writing great songs, then the list of top musicians would be quite different. Take for instance Rush, after 41 years of making incredibly complex and accessible hard rock and selling out stadiums around the world they finally will be gracing the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine when it is officially released tomorrow.
The band are quite humble, leaning more towards geek than cool. They surrendered to the art for the sake of music. For decades they crafted well produced songs and gave all to their fans. They are artists, more than fan-adored rock gods and they are a rare exception to the rock’n’roll elite.
There are commonalities in traits of the rock’n’roll elite. In my experience, these successful musicians work harder than professionals in any other industry. They rarely know sick days and they always have to be on top of their game. One could argue that top tier artists crave attention. One could also argue that perhaps the opposite is true and they surrender part of themselves for the happiness of the fans who crowned them.
While it may be difficult to decide whether they are surrendering, one thing for certain is that for these top level artists the word quit does not exist. The old adage “the show must go on” is the very ethos that is etched into all of these pinnacle artists.
At a recent Foo Fighters concert in Gothenburg Sweden, Dave Grohl had a misstep, fell off the stage and into the security section of the floor, breaking his leg.
While laying down on the floor, likely in excruciating pain, he tightly held the microphone and told the audience he got too excited and needs to go to the hospital, because he broke his leg. Still laying down on the floor, unable to stand, he promised the audience that he would go to the hospital and then be back soon to finish the show.
True to his word, he went to the hospital, had X-rays, his broken leg was put into a cast and he came back to the stadium hobbling, on crutches, onto the stage and sang “There Goes My Hero.” I am not sure about you, but I would have called in sick to my job for the rest of the day.
A similar thing happened to Madonna this year at the Brit Awards when a costume malfunction involving a cape choked and pulled her backwards. She fell down the riser stairs. Although hurt, she kept on giving 100%, nothing less.
In 2013 at a Beyoncé concert in Montreal, she walked too close to a whirring fan and her hair got sucked in. With her head pulled to the fan, she kept singing while security guards tried to release her trapped hair. She did not miss a beat.
This kind of commitment is rare, so rare that only a few artists get to wear the crown of the pop mainstream collective consciousness. Its rarer to find this kind of commitment to the art accompanied with a surrendered desire for accolade and adoration. No doubt, Rush are celebrating their appearance on the Rolling Stone, but I am sure this means more to their fans then it does to Geddy, Neil and Alex.
Since 1994, Rishi Deva, founder and CEO of RishiVision and entrepreneurial coach, has empowered thousands of businesses. Rishi has an MBA in marketing and entrepreneurial studies and a BBA in accounting. He has spent nearly twenty years coaching, consulting, managing and supporting thousands of businesses from new startups to active global leaders.