While there is plenty of evidence that many crop circles are of human origin, a number of witnesses have seen “mysterious lights”, flying objects, and crop circles created in a matter of seconds as the FTM logo began showing up near cities where the famed business blues company has been delivering programs. The complex formation at the left was sighted just outside of Tarrytown, NY on May 8, 2006–the day before Face The Music did an event there for General Electric
. Thus started the strange phenomenon where just before FTM events, these strange patterns would be sighted in the fields near the city where the events were to be held. It was nearly epidemic in Charlotte, where FTM did five events in 2006. Farmers near the Ballantyne Resort, site of the gigs, said that if it continued, that the catchy logo was going to noticeably impact their yields.
This is not the first incidence of extra-terrestrial interest in the blues. Misunderstanding the lights and intensity of the ET’s presence in 1937, Robert Johnson wrote Hellhound on My Trail: “I got to keep moving, I got to keep moving, Blues falling down like hail, And the day keeps on remindin' me, there's a hellhound on my trail.” And of course the telltale: “I can tell the wind is risin', the leaves tremblin' on the tree,” referring to the approach of the spaceship. Some experts believe that hearing the blues on radio waves traveling through space is what originally attracted the 20th century wave of extraterrestrial visits. Nuf said.
Below is a map of the US with UK inset of the places where crop circle sightings took place in 2006:
So besides the interesting, but somewhat minor incidents of visits from non-human intelligent life forms, we’d like to share some interesting (maybe) short narratives from the FTM road experiences in 2006. Enjoy.
Backstage at Jazz at Lincoln Center:
While performing at Jazz at Lincoln Center for the Fortune Innovation Forum
Nov 30th. 2006 (click here to read the FIF speaker’s catalog article
), Ken McGloin, our musical director was rehearsing two groups who had written blues songs about their innovation challenges at work, preparing to perform on the main stage at Jazz at Lincoln Center
. The rehearsal was taking place backstage in a dressing room, the door was open and jazz great Wynton Marsalis
, walked by peeking in curiously at us. Thank god the guitar was in tune.
New FTM musical form in Orlando:
At our most recent Ernst & Young
conference in Orlando November 2006, Steve Howe (America’s Area Managing Partner–not be confused with famous guitarist from YES) played a freely improvised electric guitar solo with the Face the Music Band. This was supposed to be a clever way of introducing Steve for his speaking presentation. But give a VP who doesn’t play a musical instrument an electric guitar with distortion and the volume on 11 and see what happens: avant-garde magic that would have made Ornette Coleman smile!
In the 1960’s blues and rock greats from England and the USA joined together to create the London Sessions: featuring Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Eric Clapton, and Steve Winwood, among other greats. In October 2006 FTM revisited this theme and created its own version of this genre, giving participates from the Bank of America at the Nutfield Priory the opportunity to jam on their own intercontinental blues songs. Though sales of the recordings from this second version are lagging well behind the original, the program got great reviews from the participants.
The spur of the moment conga line:
Though not a designed element of any Face The Music programs, the extemporaneous conga line made a big surge this year. Not unknown in the past, the conga line showed up at no less than five different events in 2006, as participants celebrated their performances and insights and danced around the room to FTM’s closing song, Let the Good Times Roll. Unfortunately the respective companies have classified all conga pictures as confidential. Concerns about effects on stock price, I think.
We also had more calls for encores last year (that often turn into open mic sessions). I’m having trouble getting the image of four financial advisors singing Smells Like Teen Spirit out of my mind (No pictures here either...)
House of Blues–Las Vegas
Back for second time at the House of Blues Foundation Room atop the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas to do an event for Ernst & Young, E&Y CEO Jim Turley expressed his appreciation for the spirit that FTM programs bring out in his people. The Foundation Room, a private club richly decorated in Buddhist and Hindu tapestries and art (don’t ask, I never could get an answer as to why...), has hosted many top acts in an intimate setting, and we felt like we were in good company. The usual business blues performances were followed by one of the most extended and lively open mic sessions we’ve ever hosted.
We’ll keep our eyes and ears open for any and all out of the ordinary stories as 2007 unfolds; in the mean time best wishes for prosperity, happiness and giving in this new year.