Crimson flames tied through my ears
Rollin’ high and mighty traps
Pounced with fire on flaming roads
Using ideas as my maps
“We’ll meet on edges, soon,” said I
Proud ‘neath heated brow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now
Bob Dylan, My Back Pages
Most people like Fridays because most people do work that they are relieved to be free of for a couple of days and Fridays are the gateway to that temporary freedom.
Not me. I have a whole different attitude towards Fridays. And it goes way back.
In the 1970s, the world was a rolling green space of endless possibilities. I was on the first leg of a long journey through the world of advertising, starting with the agency business.
I was married to a beautiful girl (still am) with her head screwed on right and a profession of her own. There were no kids then. And very little in the way of domesticity. No, we were all balls-to-the-wall, building reputations, staying high, kickin’ ass and taking names. partying hard, and being good friends to each other.
We were a tribe. There were about 20 of us. All writers and art directors and broadcast producers…friendships that developed through the propinquity of being thrown together for 10 to 12 hours a day. Or meeting up at supplier parties or awards shows. Or at a great Italian Restaurant called Rugantinos whenever somebody had a birthday. We would all chip into to pay for that person’s meal. And this all usually happened on a Friday. Because nobody gave a shit about anything on Friday.
We were a band of brothers and sisters. It was a different kind of dog-eat-dog world back then. There were more jobs than people to do them. The competition was to see who could outshine everybody that week with a great radio or TV commercial or print ad. And there was no jealousy, because we were a team working for an industry. Our job was to do great work and have fun doing it.
We were Friday afternoon movie goers. When there was a new movie that we wanted to see, we would all come in to work extra early and meet up at whatever theatre it was playing for the first show. Usually we were the only ones in the theatre. Somebody likened being the first people in the city to lay eyes on a new film to making love to a virgin. I thought that was pretty good.
We were all young. We were all blessed with wit and energy and drive, and we all knew we were in the same boat, rowing like crazy on the blue ocean of bubbly goo that was marketing.
We dressed the way we liked. We all had long hair like musicians. Our wives and girlfriends all liked each other. This was a whole world unto itself. And most of the good stuff that happened in it happened on a Friday.
Could have been a dinner or barbecue at somebody’s house. Could have been a concert in a club or cafe. Could have been Second City. Could have been anything. We were just happy to be together. Because these were your friends and this was your life.
Forty years later and the Fridays still roll around. I am still close to half a dozen or so of that group. Some are no longer with us. Some retired early. Some left the city to pursue a more pastoral existence. Some are teaching advertising and thank God for that. Some are into fine art. Some own their own agencies. And some of us are still rowing, but maybe not as hard.
But I know where they all are and one of these days somebody will put something together and we’ll all be there.
And there is no doubt in my mind that this will be on a Friday.
Before I started posting my Top 5 lists on a Friday I used to save Fridays for columns like this. It was a free-form kind of piece, mostly based on whatever was in my head when I woke up that morning.
A few weeks ago I started missing that Friday thing. So I moved my Top 5 To earlier in the week to free up the day.
It’s definitely a different world these days. My band of brothers and sisters is mainly here on the web.
Phil Friedman, Gerry Hecht, Debesh Choudery, Lisa Gallagher, Robert Wright, Joe Yencho, Martin Wright, Thomas Jackson, Rod Loader, Pam Williams, Paul Drury, John White, Milos Djukic, Jeff Strickland, Paul Croubalian, Howard Fox, John Marret, James Saelzler, Bruce Johnson, Franci Hoffman, Ms Shelley Brown, Paul Kearley, Leslie Jo Chase, Patrick Scullin, Corey Galbraith, Robert Fay, Sarah Elkins, Sally McCabe, Barb Munshaw, Tsufit, Richard Di Pilla, Samantha Bailey, Alan Geller, Jake Volt and a whole lot more.
We don’t get together and go to movies or dinner or have a barbecues or anything. But we are as connected as people get these days, especially when they live miles and sometimes oceans apart.
As much as I criticize LinkedIn, and Lord knows there is a lot to take them to task for, a big part of me is thankful that it exists. I have gotten to know a lot of extraordinary people here, and they have gotten to know me.
And frankly, at the end of the day, it all comes down to people. People who support each other and develop an odd kind of kinship with each other.
Yeah, it’s a strange world, with all kinds of weird shit going on all the time. But on Fridays, my focus is on all the things that don’t have the potential to give me a headache or heartache.
I’m glad to be getting back to that. And hope your Fridays are all good ones too.
I am a communications professional. Through my own core skills as a strategist, writer & art director and with the help of a select group of insanely talented associates, I work with primarily B to B clients, large and small to create hard working communications in whatever sector of the marketing universe their strategy dictates the need to travel through. I am also a mentor, blog post editor and a pretty decent photographer.
If you have a marketing or communications challenge you would
like to discuss, (no obligation), there are three ways you can contact me:
Direct Line: 416 463-3475
Link To My WP Portfolio Page
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Copyright © 2016 by Jim Murray