Last week I was honored to join an invite-only gathering of my peers at the City Vineyard in NYC (owned and run by one of my colleagues, Michael Dorf and one of the hosts of this reunion event).
The gathering was meant to honor us crazy visionaries who saw the future of the convergence of music and tech over 20 years ago…and who lived in a crystal ball waiting for the world to catch up with our visions for what would be possible. In my case the future started at the beginning of 1988 when I was part of a small team who birthed the music and entertainment focus at Apple.
It was a real blast to see these colleagues — some of whom I stay in active touch with and run into at various industry conferences each year, and others who I rarely get a chance to see and engage with. I felt a buzz and a sense of pride in the fact that we were acknowledging and honoring each other; taking great satisfaction in knowing our predictions were solid — even if our timing was a little off. The world IS different because of what we envisioned, and we each made our mark and a contribution to a field that we all cared about passionately. Many of us continue to make our living driving innovative technologies and emerging business models in music/tech. Others have moved on to greener pastures in venture capital, big media, running clubs/wineries, and as philanthropists.
Nothing makes me happier than to interact with colleagues and friends who I hold in such high esteem, so I was in my element that evening. We had an unanticipated surprise guest as a bonus in Robert Kennedy III (grandson of RFK); he had been invited by one of my colleagues and we had a great chat. He’s directing a documentary on Hunter S Thompson this Fall and brought along his crew.
The Kennedys are as close to royalty as we have in the US. I asked him if he’d be in Hyannisport in August, and he mentioned that 250 of the Kennedy clan had just gathered there for the 4th of July.
All in all, a really fun and memorable evening — with any luck, maybe we’ll reprise the event on the West Coast soon so that more of my colleagues out here can participate and be honored too. I’m really proud to have been one of the pioneers (and futurists!) in this space, and am fortunate to continue to make a living in the music/tech arena as we continue to blaze new trails and make dents.