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Business Lessons from ‘The Wrecking Crew’ Documentary

From training to incentives and public acknowledgement, are you giving thanks to your Wrecking Crew—the unsung heroes behind this industry?

George Tucker

“Obscurity is the realm of error.” — Attributed to Luc De Clapiers.

The Wrecking Crew is a documentary about an elite collection of musicians. These Troubadours were studio musicians who helped add to the sound of rock n’ roll from the mid 1950’s to the present day.

Despite their incredible influence, their names and body of work were known only by a small set of music industry insiders. Their names do not appear on any albums nor do they have a hallowed space in the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

During the the time from the mid 1960’s to early 1980’s, bands would often write records while in studios. This creative time would also include weeks of no actual recording, an expensive process which became a bean counter’s nightmare. 

Studio time is not cheap. The space and access to technology provided a catalyst to creating song structure and album concepts. It also often left little time and budget for the actual recordings. Bands are not always known for a sense of urgency, but albums had to meet deadlines. Enter the Wrecking Crew. 

Working with label project managers and producers, these nose-to-the-grindstone musicians would work to fill out the remaining parts. It is said that the crew could bang out tracks for a song in one third of the time of the band they played for.

Related: The One Thing You’re Missing at Every Tradeshow

Without the talents and work ethic of the Wrecking Crew members, many seminal albums would never have been completed or achieved recognition. A good number of ‘touchstone’ songs and whole albums were, in part, achieved because of this deus ex machina.

A few members of the working group broke out to become famous in their own right; Glenn Campbell is one notable. Those who did not continued at their craft, making great music in the studio and the occasional live gigs.

Our clients in the integration world often associate a project with the face of a company’s frontman, the project manager. But the PM’s presentations and processes have a backing band behind it all.

Unless you are a one man band, there is always a dedicated crew behind every successful install. Let’s be honest, in the studio a single person can create magic, but live performances leave a lot to be desired beyond the novelty of it.

Given the tightrope nature of the integration business, we would be lost without these individuals.

Are we, as an industry and as companies, giving these folks their due adulations? From training to incentives and public acknowledgement, are you giving thanks to your Wrecking Crews?

Where would your business be without the people who make the music happen?

Next: Novelty’s Limitations: A Eulogy For Older Technologies

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