Like most of my family and friends, you’ve probably never heard of them before! However, if I told you that they sang the theme song for the TV show, the Sopranos, you might know who they are: "I woke up this morning, and I got myself a guuuuun!"...
Anyway, I’ve been thinking about the band, and looking beyond their music, how they role. Larry Love, The Very Reverend Dr. D. Wayne Love, Rock Freebase, the Spirit and the rest of them!
Alabama 3 haven’t won any awards and haven’t had a number #1 hit. However, that don’t matter. They’ve got things right and do things their way! They’re not in the business of winning awards, they’re doing it to please themselves and their fans (read: customers).
The band are unique, polarising and live life on their terms.
And isn’t this what any successful business should strive for?
Yes, this Brain Fart is attempting to link one of my favourite bands to entrepreneurship. Hopefully it sparks some thought in you, rather than add to the pile of similar blogs, which draw tenuous links between entertainment and entrepreneurship! E.g. 10 Business Lessons from Game of Thrones. (Either way, I don’t really care cos I’m writing it anyway!).
The band are very upfront and direct about who they are and who they’re not. The first paragraph of their about us page is beautiful (warning, it contains naughty words so if you’re offended by this, tread with caution!):
“We're the Alabama 3. We make Sweet Pretty Muthafuckin Country Acid House Music. All night long. We're not from Alabama, and there's not three of us. We're from Brixton, London. We're the fellas that did that Soprano's theme tune. That tune bought someone a swimming pool, but it sure wasn't any of us…”.
Alabama 3 are so unique, they can’t (and won’t!) be defined by existing music categories so came up with their own! And like anything that is truly special, they are polarising - people equally love and hate them.
"The best live band in the country" - The Guardian
“A monumental waste of time” - NME!
Finally, they tour the UK about twice a year, every year and they always sell out! In fact, the tour I’ve just bought tickets for was only for England. However, due to an overwhelming response on the band’s facebook page, they added a Scottish date to their English tour!
It just goes to show that all of the stuff we read in entrepreneurship about having to be a “world-class rockstar” to be really successful is shit! You can have a smaller community of rabid fans that truly love what you do, buy every product you sell and rave about you to everyone they can!
So how do you want to grow your business? Are you vanilla and boring, blend in to the crowd? Or do you boldly stand out so much that people love and hate you in equal measures?
And how do you define success? Winning lots of awards, having “hit songs” and having thousands of fans? Or doing what you really love, expressing yourself and having a smaller community of 1,000 true fans?
Right brutha, I’ve been Converted so I’m about to hop on the Last Train to Mashville (but I Ain’t Going to Goa!), and I’m gonna visit the Mansion on the Hill. Peace out and say a good word for me, cos I’m Too Sick to Pray. Keep Your Shades On!
Kallum with a K
*Almost every time I go to see the band, I go with someone else! Bar a few, most of my friends can’t handle the Alabama 3 experience a second time. Fortunately, my amazing girlfriend can!