John Dodds in conversation with
Rick Blaskey is a highly successful music executive and highly unsuccessful football fan. He is a lifelong friend, always in control – until March and Covid 19 arrived on his doorstep. John Dodds is brand strategist at The Sharp End, a jazz radio presenter and a member of 26, Dark Angels and Radio Caroline fan club.
Note 1: March-May
I got it at Brentford with 12,000 people – Wednesday lost 5-0 – or the recording studio with three people.
One week in bed and three weeks in my basement, designed for retirement, not isolation.
I was living inside my head. Only music from my youth. Only dreams about people I had long forgotten, music is medicine for the soul.
It was a long time to dwell. I felt strangely in control, even though I wasn’t.
When I finally walked into the garden, the sun welcomed me back. I ached with an appreciation for the love of my family and home, counting my blessings every day.
And now, my mind is clearer than ever. Amid the uncertainty, entertainment has been our constant everywhere. It will continue to bring joy in ways we have not yet imagined. I am excited about the opportunities.
Aren’t I the lucky one?
Note 2: May-July
Nobody knows if you can get it twice. Half the people are wearing masks and the other half acting as if nothing has happened. I’m more cautious now – my wife is my conscience.
I worry about the younger generation. They tend to feel untouchable. Their friends haven’t caught it yet. They think parents are just over-cautious.
Work is back at full throttle – it’s expected. Bands are ever-optimistic, and concerts are happening in car parks. Is this the new normal?
And creators are always in demand. As usual, they are not getting their fair share. Maybe things will be different now. So much more is consumed online.
There has never been a more significant time for emotive songs. The verse is the foreplay, and the chorus is the climax. Springsteen said “my verses are country, and my choruses are gospel.”
My Aunt was Jude in ‘Hey Jude’, you know.
I hoped football wouldn’t come back, but now it feels like it never went away. Same build-up, intensity, madness, and then depression. Nothing changes. The last time we won the cup was 1935.
Did you realize that Jermaine Jackson is a Wednesday fan? It’s a long story.”
Note 3: July-August
“Three months of Boris at 5pm and now it’s quiet. Shops are opening. We are seeing people. We’re dropping our guard.
Everything is Zoom. It only works up to a point. We need human connection. Artists are wired differently. We miss interaction. It’s a dynamic that has been underestimated. It’s irreplaceable.
I realize I am defined by my ‘work’. It is how people value you. Having a purpose is everything.
So much will change. Will we need the offices with our gold discs to define our identity and credentials?
Companies will be stripped to their basics. People will need to redefine themselves, and understand their true value once their shelter is lost.
This has been a cathartic time for me – putting things into perspective. All of my relationships have been re-examined.
What is my favourite restaurant? My kitchen with my wife’s food, and the ambience. There is nowhere else I would rather be.
These conversations have been special. They have made me think quite deeply. How many people do you have in your life with the reference points spanning 50 years of friendship?
We just pick up where we left off.”
Note 4: 26 tracks for 26 weeks
Press play to hear Rick’s interview.