Thursday, October 24, 2013

Way To Give: The Buffet Family at NY Public Library

You have 40 years in a lifetime to make an impact. 

Howard G Buffet has a 40 year plan to feed and employ the world through agriculture.  He was joined by his dad Warren, son Howard and Tom Brokaw at the NY Public Library last night.  He runs a self titled philanthropic organization that is globally trying to change agriculture.  He has written the book 40 Chances.  

Howard G, Warren, Howard W Buffet
Their conversation last night had great spirit and humility.   Yes Warren is one of the wealthiest people on the planet, but he didn't payroll his kids.  Howard G told the audience that his dad made them do chores around the house for a 50 cent allowance which was paid in dimes.  Warren kept a slot machine in the attic which only took dimes.  Howard said he spent most of his allowance trying to get the big payday of three cherries.  Essentially the allowance went back into Warren's pocket.  

Tom Brokaw suggested that this is the century of women.  Warren agreed and said he was very optimistic about the future of this country.  "Look how far we've come with only half our talent."  With women now in prominent places, the future looks brighter.    Howard G added that his experience in Africa was that if you wanted something done quickly, put the women in charge. 

The greatest lesson:  fail sometimes. 

The "Impossible" Morrissey

Sasha Frere-Jones has written a very entertaining review of Morrissey's "Autobiography" in the New Yorker.  Morrissey's writings sounds self indulgent, self serving and all over the dial.  I don't know if I can stomach reading this one.  Apparently his ex-band members in the Smiths all hate each other which is broadcast loud and clear.  I read Mike Doughty's book and quickly got sick of his hatred of ex-band members.  I also have no tolerance for ramblings either.   This book sounds like a thorn in the side. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tips from Graham Nash

Music is the presiding factor in Graham Nash’s life.  He opens his book, Wild Tales with this line:  It always comes down to the music.  It is his driving force. It’s the reason he kept agreeing to Crosby, Still, Nash and Young regroupings.  From the moment he met David Crosby, he knew they had a connection and it was through their music.  He became good friends with him, which is probably why Crosby’s descent into drug addiction is the hardest part of the book to read. 

I was never a CSN fan, but appreciated their talent.  Me being a sucker for musician memoirs, I had to read Wild Tales.  I can’t say it’s one of my favorites, but it was a nice read. 

Tips from Graham Nash:

On Managing Money:
“When it was over, the entire tour made close to $12 million, but David, Stephen, Neil and I only got $300,000 each.  That Left $10.8 million unaccounted for, by my arithmetic.”
(Summer 1974 Tour CSNY.  There was crazy excessive spending on that tour and of course, lots and lots of drugs.)

On Dating:
The first date with his not-yet-wife Susan:  “I spent most of that night trying to figure out how to make myself more attractive to this woman. Aha! Now I knew what to do.  I’ll get up in a tree, I thought.  (Don’t even try to attempt to follow this reasoning.) So fifteen minutes before she was supposed to show up, I climbed into a tree outside our bungalow at the Chateau.    And, believe it or not, this stunt actually worked. 
(She told him she had been to a self-exploration conference, which prompted him to think of hiding in a tree.)

On the drama of being in a band:
I know what you’re thinking; didn’t we learn a thing or two about four superegos trying to coexist in one studio?  Why in heaven’s name were we gonna do that again?  But it’s the music.  It’s always the music.  It’s like a drug, irresistible.  And we’re both smart enough-and-dumb enough-to recognize that. 

What I didn’t know about Graham is that in 1990 he started Nash Editions, which is  a fine arts digital print making company.  

Graham will be touring on the West Coast in November.   
Howard Stern's interview with Nash.