Exit Strategy

Exit Strategy

Easy to start, harder to finish.

Exit Strategy is about Finishing Well, it’s not about the finishing line. Or perhaps, it’s about when to call it Quits in a dignified way.

This is my philosophical blog about Finishing The Race, Starting the race is the easy part, it’s how (and whether) you finish the race, that’s the hard part.

I call the above image, “The Passage Of Time“. It’s about one’s journey along the event-filled road of Life. The well-worn passageway of the ironsmith’s shop symbolises beauty, wisdom and legacy. And do not neglect the bright Light at the end of the Journey.

I wish to pay my Respect to the inspirational rock bands and rock stars, in their 70s and 80s, who are still doing what they were meant to do. Their wellspring of songs are still in their subconscious. In particular, I’m talking about Bob Dylan, Buddy Guy, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, Dolly Parton, Barry Gibb, Neil Young, Willie Nelson, Cliff Richard, Bruce Springsteen, Blondie, Black Sabbath, Def Leppard, Metallica and Eric Clapton. They had, in turn, got their inspiration from their elder statesmen mentorsChuck Berry, Little Richard, BB King, Jerry Lee Lewis, John Lee Hooker, Howling Wolf, Muddy Waters and Bo Diddley,

Add to that list, these other admirable wellspring warriorsWarren Buffet, Steve Wozniak, Jane Goodall, Yayoi Kusama, Jimmy Carter and David Bailey. These legends are still doing what they love to do.

Playing on stage to fans is the easy and pleasurable part of touring. It’s the travelling part that’s hard on the mind and body. Endless hours of grueling traveling and sponsor/label/corporate obligations (planes, buses, airports, hotels, media interviews, corporate meet & greets etc.) just to get to perform 2-3 hours on stage or their fans.

I love photographing the rock bands right behind them on stage when they do their Bows to their fans after performing an awesome concert, giving their all. I can feel the aura of appreciation (claps and shouts) from the crowd to their rock icons on stage. It comes like a Wave, an unbelievable feeling! It’s what they live for, this Climax. I had the good fortune of experiencing this several times in my life, for all of ten seconds on stage. But what I saw for that brief privileged moment, lives on forever in my photographs!

Try for two hours, remembering song lyrics, maintain vocal mojos, remembering guitar chords, drum beats, hand/eye coordination with fellow band members, prancing around the stage looking excited and pleased – having blown out candles from over 70 birthday cakes. Two words – Not Easy! Not recommended for the faint hearted.

Friends sometimes comment that a certain star looked a tad tired at a concert, I immediately retort that they should try enthusiastically running around the stage for two hours.

One of the perks of hanging with my older rock legend friends is I get to see them out of their rockstar outfits, in their mere-mortal mode. It’s fun hanging out with them, they still have this Child in them.

It’s at this candid situation that they truly inspire me – dignity, magnamity, graciousness and wisdom. It’s always Fun to hang around them, learning from them, laughing, walking, eating with them. They are happy to finish the race with a guitar/microphone in their stiff cold hands.

I told one of them, Congratulations!, he managed to stay alive long enough to collect life-time-achievements awards. A first-world elder statesmen problem!

Exit Strategy is never easy. It’s easy to buy, it’s harder to sell once you own something, at a Profit. This applies to stocks, bonds, real estate, businesses, watches, cars, luxury goods, investments etc, Did anyone mumble relationships?

They say there’s two happy moments when owning a boat, when you buy it and when you sell it. In between then, you have to keep pouring liquid assets (money) to maintain it. Exit strategies should be thought out in a cool, calculated and calm way – unlike the frenzied herd-like manner of exiting the concert hall (above image). I should call the above image – “Run On Banks“.

Do remember that the end of something is the beginning of something else. When one door closes, another door will open. Do enjoy your Never Ending Tour (to borrow a term from my hero Mr. Dylan). In fact, Bob Dylan is the only artist with whom I will pre-order CDs from, whenever he has a new album out, regardless of the songs. Oh, and Blondie too,

Onward through the Fog!