Revisiting The Sell By Date

Past The Sell Date?
Past The Sell Date?

Have any of you heard Pink Floyd’s latest album, “The Never Ending River”?  I bought the Deluxe Edition recently on ITunes, and the last tracks showed the band, with the session musicians, playing some of the tracks in the studio. No sci-fi stage effects here. No laser beams shooting their way through the crowd, or psychedelic balloons wafting their way to the heavens. All that you had was a bunch of chaps playing their music in the best way that they know – by being totally immersed in the music. This is one group that has not pandered to the masses by compromising on the music that they create, and while the album is largely an instrumental one, it does provide you with your daily dose of magic. This is why they continue to be one of my favourite bands.

In the studio, what I saw, was a bunch of old guys, greying at the temples, paunches starting to show, and creating magic that many younger ones would find it hard to create.

Unlike corporations these days, where you are considered to be past your sell by date by the time you are in your forties, what I saw was a bunch of chaps who did not seem to have heard the term.

They have not reached their sell by date, simply by staying relevant and outstanding. 

I believe that you reach your sell by date when you start to compromise, become mentally lazy and stop pushing yourself. You may do well in your career by being a good politician, but in reality, you have “expired”.

How do you stay relevant? I believe that you stay relevant, by standing out.

Ann, of The Republic Of Ann, asked me this question in response to my post on The Magic Frame & Yoga: “Should the desire to stand out be a goal, or should standing out it be a by-product of following your vision? “

 This is not the easiest question to answer, but I think that standing out should be the by-product of following your vision. Of course, you need to continuously hone your skills. However, if you follow your vision with your heart, and honesty, you will stand out.

If the desire to stand out becomes a goal, you search for formulas. These formulas may be relevant in an age, or in a situation. They don’t stand the test of time.

I believe that Pink Floyd have followed their vision, which is why they stand out and which is why they have probably never heard of The Sell By Date.

26 Comments

  1. I love Pink Floyd for all the reasons you mention and their amazing music. I watched a documentary on them last week and the thing that stood out was that they were unwilling to compromise and they followed their vision and intuition.

  2. I like Pink Floyd also. You mention formulas. I’ve found that formulas can sometimes work great. But alas, as you say, they all have their “sell-by” dates.

    1. Oh.. The Great Gig In The Sky? I had bhaang and listened to that. It was very surreal. The image in my brain was that of a moving oil painting, in which God drags a screaming woman by her hair through the heavens. At the end of the song, he flings her at The Devil’s feet and says, “Here, one more of your fans”.. That was surreal.

  3. I agree with you, Rajive. And, if you find yourself becoming stale either refresh or reinvent. Don’t expire!
    This is where I am in my current work; I’ve been at the same corporation for 18 years; six different jobs. I like my job; yet I am exploring ways to reinvent myself.
    You do indeed need to be true to yourself.

  4. You are so right about Pink Floyd – they have never seemed to rest on their laurels. Always pushing, experimenting, heading off in unexpected directions…

    Thanks for the link, Rajiv!

  5. Brilliant musicians, and a wonderfully thoughtful post, Rajiv. I saw these fellows perform about twenty years ago on stage–big arena, lots of smoke, the lasers, the whole nine yards. It was fabulous. But I’m also a massive fan of true bare bones music played by people who can manhandle a real instrument that doesn’t necessarily need to be plugged in. These guys are still vibrant, current and worthy. It’s good to know they’re still appreciated as well.
    Cheers

    1. I envy you! I would have loved to have gone for one of their concerts, but I have had to settle for the video version. Yeah, they are still appreciated. They don’t believe in shelf life and this is good for some of us

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