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Book Review: Six Thinking Hats

by Lang Reid

Edward de Bono shot to prominence many years ago with the concept of lateral thinking, and in case you had forgotten, that was the reason for printing the cover picture sideways! Six Thinking Hats (ISBN 0-14-029666-2, Penguin Books version published 2000) is a 1985 publication that was revised and updated in 1999. Perhaps the style in hats had altered in the 14 years. On the flyleaf the promise is given that the “Six Hats method provides, for the first time, Western thinking with a constructive idiom instead of adversarial argument.” It is claimed that one large corporation cut their project discussions from thirty days down to two.

Dr. de Bono describes the Six Hat method as a way to get disparate groups to stream their thinking in the same direction. The distinction being made between “what is” and “what can be”.

Looking at the problem, using six different ways, but with everyone involved looking in the same direction, is the principle behind the Six Hats, taken from the ‘What hat are you wearing?’ idiom. He states that, “The biggest enemy of thinking is complexity, for that leads to confusion.” The Six Hats method is designed to unravel the complexity by having everyone looking in the one direction, as stated above, but all concentrating on the one ‘hat’ at a time concept.

The ‘hats’ are explored and explained (a little too often for my liking, but I am wearing a red hat as I write this). Examples are given of ‘thinking’ while wearing any particular hat, to make it very easy to understand the differences that are being elicited. The six hats are White, Red, Green, Yellow, Black and Blue, corresponding to Information, Emotions, Creative Energy, Optimism, Carefully Cautious and finally the ‘Blue’ overview.

Dr. de Bono does point out that for the Six Hats method to work best in any group discussions it is best that all the people in the organization (or discussion group) understand the meaning of the different hats. He writes, “You should then follow up by giving those people a copy of this book to read.” I believe that the first point is obvious and the second point is a sales pitch, but never mind!

I was heartened to read, right at the close of the book, that there would be times when agreement, or final decisions were not possible. “If it is not possible to make a decision, then the final blue hat should lay out why it is not possible.”

The review copy was made available by Bookazine, and should be stocked by all good bookshops. The RRP was B. 450, but unfortunately I must once again complain about the quality of the printed item. An excellent and almost timeless work, published on cheap pulp paper and undoubtedly will fall to pieces after you have passed it on a couple of times. Of course, that may be Mr. Penguin’s fiendish plot. Make us buy more books. Planned obsolescence about which Vance Packard wrote many moons ago. Silly me. A good book, but see if you can get a hard cover version.

Mott's CD Reviews: Aerosmith - Honkin’ On Bobo

Pawed by Mott the Dog
re-mastered by Ella Crew

5 Stars *****

‘Honkin’ On Bobo’ is only Aerosmith’s fourteenth studio album in their 34-year career (if you count live albums, compilations, greatest hits, etc., it would run into the hundreds) and is very much a return to the original earthy sound that made them America’s favorite rock ‘n’ roll sons in the mid seventies. In the eighties they returned with a more commercial style, blasting off phase two of their success story with a collaboration with Run M/C on ‘Walk this Way’. This was not only a great radio hit, but also a firm favorite to this day on stations like MTV.

Aerosmith finally achieved a number one hit with the slushy ‘I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing’ from the movie ‘Armageddon’, which starred Aerosmith’s Steve Tyler’s beautiful daughter Liv Tyler. During the 90’s and 2000’s Aerosmith put out some classy polished rock albums, namely ‘Permanent Vacation’, ‘Pump’, ‘Get a Grip’, ‘Just Push Play’, etc., which were all commercially very successful and backed up by extensive world tours. On record, Aerosmith was a very smooth animal, but on stage the beast would come out and they would rock like a tornado. So if the polish of ‘I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing’ is your tipple, these nuggets may be a bit rough for you.

For ‘Honkin’ For Bobo’ the band have gone back to their roots, even bringing back producer Jack Douglas, who last worked with the Aerosmith in 1977 on their ‘Draw the Line’ album. Of the twelve songs on this album eleven are covers, but this is not a kop out by the band, as long have gone the days when they had to do anything to put food on the table. In fact with their now over a decade of clean living, one wonders what they do spend their fortunes on.

So what you get is a band in a studio having some fun, and at the same time turning out an album that their legions of fans have been waiting years to hear. You can actually feel the guys enjoying themselves on this recording, and the feeling is infectious.

The album opens up with Steve Tyler wailing over some distorted guitar licks from Mr. Perry and Mr. Whitford. ‘’Laaadies and Geeentlemen, step right up, let’s go see the boys.” With that Joe Perry rips out the lead riff from Ellas McDaniel’s (Better known as Bo Diddley’s) ‘Roadrunner’, bringing the rest of the band crashing in on the beat. This is Aerosmith at their best as it says on the album wrapper “This is Blues done Aerosmith style”. You can hear the sweat running down the guitar frets and see the smiles on their faces. This is not a collection of blues songs moaning their lot for all to hear, this is a collection of tunes celebrating the joys of life. The closest the band actually get to a ballad is the self-penned ‘The Grind’, which fits in wonderfully well with this collection of classic songs.

With every song you know that it is undoubtedly Aerosmith. Steve Tyler’s vocals are amongst the best he has ever laid down in a studio, plus he is given plenty of room to show off his harmonica skills.

Joey Kramer, the heartbeat of Aerosmith, thrusts each song along with almost indecent haste, while Brad Whitford’s guitar as usual compliments Joe Perry’s perfectly, who occasionally steps up into the spotlight to joust with his guitar brother.

Tom Hamilton, the rock on which Aerosmith is built, gives a sterling performance, and is given a chance to shine when the bass is placed way up in the mix for the band’s take on Big Joe Williams’ ‘Baby, Please Don’t Go’, which is also the band’s first single off the album.

But above all this is Joe Perry’s album. His guitar playing is all over the songs, including a jaw dropping performance on the Peter Green penned Fleetwood Mac song ‘Stop Messin’ Round’. (Yes, I know it is hard to remember that Fleetwood Mac was originally a blues band.) Not only is the guitar playing out of this world, but Joe Perry actually gets the opportunity to sing lead vocals on this song and ‘Back Back Train’.

Other highlights include a dramatic version of Mississippi Fred McDowell’s ‘You Gotta Move’, where Aerosmith out-stone the Rolling Stones, who had covered the song on their 1971 album ‘Sticky Fingers’, plus a moody reworking of Willie Dixon’s ‘I’m Ready’. The album is brought to a celebrating climax with ‘Jesus Is On The Main Line’ with some wonderful pump organ from Paul Santo and additional lead vocals from the very talented Tracy Bonham.

As the last Aerosmith studio album said, “Just push play”, and you get forty-four minutes of classic blues/rock.

Representing Aerosmith are
Steve Tyler - Lead Vocals and Harmonica
Joe Perry - Guitar and Vocals
Brad Whitford - Guitar
Tom Hamilton - Bass Guitar
Joey Kramer - Drums


Roadrunner, Shame, Shame, Shame, Eyesight To The Blind, Baby, Please Don’t Go, Never loved a Girl, Back Back Train, You Gotta Move, The Grind, I’m Ready, Temperature, Stop Messin’ Around, Jesus Is On The Main Line

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