I’m not very business-savvy, but I love the Beatles. Fortunately, there’s a book that will take my slightly obsessive Beatles knowledge and make me a millionaire 8212; “Come Together: The Business Wisdom of The Beatles” by Richard Courtney and George Cassidy.
Now I don’t seriously believe the book will turn me into a business guru, and I haven’t actually read the book 8212; what I know about it comes from a March 19 article from The New York Times 8212; but I am glad to see people are able to find even more ways the Beatles have influenced or can influence society beyond just music.
According to the article, the book contains 100 business lessons that can be learned from The Beatles’ successes and failures, such as how disagreements can still have a positive outcome and synthesis. For example, John Lennon came up with the opening chords to the Paul McCartney-written “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” a song that Lennon didn’t particularly care for.
According to the article, the authors admit the idea for the book is “gimmicky,” but even so, all businesspeople, not just aspiring music artists, can learn from the book’s lessons, they said.
Cassidy said in the article that some Beatles fans might criticize the book because they think topics like the Beatles and business don’t go together well, citing a focus on things such as failures surrounding the band’s Apple Corps Ltd. I am not one of those fans.
As far as any concerns go about the Beatles themselves not being good businessmen, I won’t argue that they were business-savvy. The band created Apple Corps as a dodge around British tax laws that took away more of their fortunes than they would have liked; it even served as the inspiration for the song “Taxman.” The Beatles trusted their wealth to businesspeople who didn’t always act in the best interest of the band, which had financial repercussions for each of the band members long after the band split up in 1970.
The point of the book is, from what I gleaned from the article, that the Beatles were a great example of how good group dynamics and compromise can create business success 8212; in the Beatles’ case, they created consistently successful music. Even during the group’s strained last years in the late “60s, they still worked together and created hit after hit, as evidenced by the “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” example. And from what little I know of business, I know that having good group dynamics certainly heightens chances of success.
Yes, the Beatles weren’t businessmen; they were musicians.
But they worked so well together 8212; or worked together when they had to 8212; that the examples in Courtney and Cassidy’s book certainly are relevant. It’s examples like these that make me laugh to myself whenever I hear someone call the Beatles “overrated.” It’s clear that their influence was, and is, beyond simply their music, and books like Courtney and Cassidy’s prove it.
Associate/opinion editor Marshall Doig is a junior news-editorial journalism major from San Angelo.