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Music CD Reviews
Book Review: Hub Culture
This is a first book written by Stan Stalnaker, the
marketing director of the Fortune group, based in Hong Kong and London. His
book as reviewed, Hub Culture - the Next Wave of Urban Consumers, was in hard
back form (ISBN 0-470-82072-1), and published this year by John Wiley and Sons
The blurb on the back says that the book takes an in-depth
look at “one of the most influential marketing target groups to emerge from
the 90’s - the global urban modernist, a network of modern individualists who
now live in a post-national frame of mind and orient themselves around hub
living, using urban centres as bases for their particular lifestyle.” These
hub people are the developing mass consumer force, according to Stalnaker. And
consumers interest marketers!
In the prologue, Stalnaker defines “hub culture” with
three concepts. The first is that travel and communication are poles around
which hub culture lives. Secondly, hub culture is motivated by three lifestyle
factors - work, leisure and relationships and finally, (and much more broad and
somewhat less ‘graspable’) comes what he calls “identifying factors”
including proximity, anonymity, culture adoption, biculturalism, ending with
disposal of trends with studied ambivalence.
The book then runs through 14 chapters, basically showing
what the hub culture people do, and how they relate to each other. One premise
that Stalnaker uses is that the trendy hub culture folk are really
“connected” no matter where they are on the world stage, and this is
generally by email. I quote, “Some facts worth noting: the average hub worker
sends and receives about 100 e-mails a day. This connectivity is fuelling an
explosion in integrated living, where virtuality and reality become blurred.”
By the way, the last chapter is Stalnaker’s stab at being a seer, and he does
not make too bad a fist of it either.
Interestingly, one of the reviewers quoted on the back cover
was Matthew Anderson, President, Asia-Pacific, Ogilvy Public Relations
Worldwide who intimated that Stalnaker was “letting secrets out of the
bag.” His own founder, David Ogilvy, did just that many years ago with his
books, Ogilvy on Advertising and Confessions of an Advertising Man, and indeed
his business flourished, whilst others ignored his work at their peril. While I
did not consider this book to be a seminal piece such as Ogilvy’s, it is
still profound enough to make the reader stop and consider his position as a
Stalnaker has managed to put the “obvious” down in
print, which is in itself a rare feat. The truths in the book are something we
have all learned to accept, but not necessarily “seeing” its significance.
Stalnaker has, but again it is up to you, just how much use you make of it.
An interesting book and one that should provoke thoughtful
insight. A must for the marketers in our midst - and especially those who might
have designs on the Chinese market. Stalnaker’s book will tell you just how
many Chinese are waiting for your brand name consumer item! This is not the
work of an angry young man, it is that of a clever young man.
Music CD Reviews: Mott the Hoople - Mott the Hoople Part I
***** 5 Stars Rating
Under the guiding eye of late sixties pop guru Guy Stevens a
band called “The Silence” hailing from that Rock ‘n’ Roll backwater
Hereford were signed to the newly formed Island Records in Britain. After a few
days rehearsal, Guy decided that original lead singer and hardman Stan Tippins
was not the man for the job. He was removed and installed as road
manager/roadie/blinder to be replaced through a Melody Maker small ad by a
certain Mr. Ian Patterson on the basis of a half hour audition, where Ian
spluttered his way through a version of Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” and
Sonny Bono’s “Laugh at Me”. The band themselves were not impressed, but
Guy Stevens thought he could see something, and probably recognized a kindred
spirit, subsequently enrolled the young man in the band.
The band, without playing a single gig, were then put into
Morgan Recording Studios in Willesden High Road North London and were given a
They were re-named “Mott the Hoople”, after the Willard
Manus novel. Only lead guitarist Mick Ralphs was allowed to keep his own name,
Ian Patterson was told to stop straightening his naturally curly red hair, let
it grow long, lose 2 stones in weight (he was way too pot bellied to be a pop
star), to wear sunglasses permanently (to supposedly give him that bit of Rony
Orbison mystic, but must of left him feeling a bit of a gherkin in the pub at
night), and rename him Ian Hunter.
Peter O. Watts was told to drop Peter and stick with his
middle name therefore becoming Overend Watts. Terry Allen, too, was told to drop
his first name and adopt his mother’s maiden name becoming Verden Allen.
Unluckiest of all, of course, was the drummer (if there is
going to be somebody to draw the short straw it’s always going to be the man
with the sticks). Mr. Dale Griffin esq. became quite simply “Buffin”, now a
well respected music producer. 35 years later he still gets called Buffin and
After eleven days of rehearsal and getting to know each
other, Guy took them to a recording studio and gave them 7 days to record their
debut album - and this in the days when bands took up to six months to record an
album. This sounded absurd, but you have to add to this that the rest of the
band had only just met their new front man and weren’t even sure if they liked
him. Guy Stevens, their new mentor, was dragging them in a new direction, a
direction they knew was innovative, but had no idea where it was going. They had
never been in a proper recording studio before and had only got two songs
written, which Stevens wouldn’t let them put on the album anyway.
Confused yet? Imagine how these five young lads felt, who had
just become a rock band called Mott the Hoople. But enthusiasm they had by the
bucket load, and record they did. In seven days the new album was down on tape.
Ian Hunter - piano, lead vocals
Mick Ralphs - lead guitar, vocals
Verden Allen - organ
Overend Watts - bass guitar
Buffin - drums
To contact Mott the Dog email: [email protected]
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