Friday, July 20, 2012

What makes a great partnership? Ask Shane MacGowan.

1 + 1 = 3

We live in a new era of collaboration, where the value of a strategic partnership should be greater than the sum of its parts. According to Deakin, "partnerships provide the capacity to achieve what might otherwise not be achieved."

For inspiration and demonstration: I give you the duets of Shane MacGowan, the drug- and booze-addled lead singer of the Pogues and the Popes.

My friends and I once saw MacGowan play First Avenue in Minneapolis, and he was so loaded he could barely walk. He'd stagger up to the mic, sing a verse, plunk himself down on the drum riser (beer in hand), stare off into space, and struggle back up when another verse came around. 

Musically speaking, however, MacGowan's duets are some of the best ever recorded. I've spent more time than I care to say pondering the greatness of these tunes and what they say about partnerships (especially ones in which a collaborator has issues).

Here's what I've come up with:

1. The optimist/pessimist, sober/loaded, beautiful/ugly dynamic works.

2. Showing up counts for a lot.

3. Survive.

4. Authenticity and honesty go a long way.

5. The ability to sing on key isn't a requirement to creating harmony. 

Did I miss anything?

Shane and his friends collaborating:

1 comment:

  1. I like your take on collaborations. It does seem like opposites do seem to work well together. I wonder if Shane uses the alcohol, drugs, etc. to bring out his creativity or if its a crutch because he is insecure and needs something to tell him that he is talented? Maybe it's the other people that he sings with that brings out his best. Interesting to think about.


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