Black Sabbath and the wrong reaction to disapproval

STEREO - RETRO : BW

Santiago built the world’s loudest stereo.

It wasn’t just a loud stereo, though. It was also the stereo with the roundest tones, the most powerful heart-pounding bass, the most tear-inducing clarity on the high notes. This was a stereo to make the gods weep.

Santiago strode out to share his gift with the world. His heart was trip-hammering with excitement, anticipating the joy and appreciation of passersby as he serenaded them with selections from his favourite heavy metal band, Black Sabbath. They would throw bouquets, buy him a hot dog, get their names tattoo’ed across their ankle. Who wouldn’t want to hear War Pigs shaking the concrete with absolutely perfect clarity and menace?

Ah, Santiago, we all know this won’t go well.

The group waiting at the bus stop were profoundly unimpressed by the strains of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.

One man in a suit actually walked down the road to the next bus stop to get away.

Santiago was perplexed and hurt. Maybe it was a bit too loud? His mother had always told him that she didn’t like the way the bass shook the walls. So Santiago turned down the bass, losing the counterpoint of Paranoid. It sounded awful without the bass riff.

Perhaps knocking down the treble would help? Now the guitar solo was a muddy warble instead of a clear slicing, but the people weren’t looking as upset by the music.

Encouraged – there must be a way to make these people enjoy Sabbath, of course there must – Santiago played around with the settings. Eventually, all that came out of Santiago’s beautiful stereo was a low muttering. It didn’t sound like anything, let alone Black Sabbath.

This is not the end of the story. (Although often it is.)

Close to tears and feeling a great void inside, Santiago went to the town centre and said, “To hell with it.”

Every setting was cranked to its most glorious maximum, and Santiago ecstatically played air guitar as the stereo pumped music into the world.

Then a teenage girl with four piercings and a System of a Down t-shirt walked up and said, “Hey, isn’t that Snowblind?”

Santiago nodded so hard his head nearly came off. “Yes, how’d you know?”

“Oh, System of a Down covered this song. I have everything they’ve ever done.”

“Do you know Black Sabbath?”

“No. Is their stuff good?”

And it was.

Very few people like your best work.

(Or Black Sabbath.)

Every time you try to adapt, tone it down, make it palatable to most people… you get more and more boring.

The majority still don’t like your work, and the glorious few can’t connect with it. (If the industrial metal girl had heard the stereo with all the settings on low, would she have recognised it?)

Can you afford not to turn all your dials to eleven?

Are you ready to deliver your absolute best work and looking for help figuring out what it is? Goddamn Radiant is your dependable roadie, ready to hand you the bass guitar of destiny. Rock it out TODAY.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Marcus Vegas

  • And the truth shall set you free!

    So often when I want to do something distinctly me, I wimp out and do something that’s not totally me to avoid the risk of upsetting others. And this is just regular, everyday kind of stuff I’m talking about. As I work harder on establishing a business this year, I absolutely need to remember that I have to be me. That I have an obligation to myself and to my potential clients to give what I have to offer in all its glory. πŸ™‚

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention This is why you're boring: -- Topsy.com()

  • Your story makes this so powerfully clear! The deeper I go, the more I get it.

    Thanks!

    Andy

  • This is encouraging, Catherine. Thank you. Even if it’s just a few, you remind me that the ones who do like my work are gold, and to stick to my guns so the gold keeps on coming back.

    • I went and had a look-see at your website to see what had changed since we talked. You are SO CLEAR about this now, it’s lovely. Well done!

      • Thanks! Some changes are still in the making and I have a lot of clarity to guide them thanks to you.

  • I really enjoyed this. I’ve yet to find my customer and sometimes have thought about going to a more ‘shabby chic’ style and not so random collaging but I must not give in! One day I’ll have my break and that’s what this article has re-inspired me about

    • Hello there Elexa! Yes, you have to keep moving toward your best work. Once you figure out what kind of people would love it instantly, you’ll know who to market it to.

      Good luck. πŸ™‚

  • I never thought of it this way. Great post. So true. The niche is narrow but a powerful thoroughfare all the same.

  • Oh, there is always that! πŸ˜€

    Grumbly, but resigned, sorta. πŸ˜€

    Or rather, resigned-but-also-really-excited-and-yes-I-know-that’s-two-contradictory-things-in-the-same-space-that’s-just-how-I-roll! πŸ˜€

    • I get that. There’s the thrill of “Wheeee! Doing my thing!” mixed with “Argh, so very visible up here!”

      (That’s what it feels like to me, anyway.)

      • Yes.

        Like that. πŸ™‚

  • OMG, Catherine…. Black Sabbath AND System in a totally sensible post about product integrity? You’re a friggin’ goddess!

  • Pingback: Resources to Further Your Creativity « Nina Miceli()

  • Pingback: Resources for Creativity « Nina Miceli()