For those of you who know me, you know there are few artists I hold in as high esteem as I hold Ryan Adams. For those of you who don’t know Ryan Adams, you can check out the recording company he own called PAX AM Records and check his funky home site or go to iTunes and start immediately downloading his entire catalog. Its that good (You can thank me later). I also remember seeing John Mayer several times at small hole in the wall bars all throughout college when it was just him, an acoustic guitar, and about 50-100 fans talking moderately loudly over the entertainer, and I remember leaving each show having had a pretty decent time overall. I lost more and more interest in John Mayer the larger he grew and the longer the list of celebrities he slept with, not because of jealousy or envy, but because I simply enjoy a good songwriter and an acoustic guitar.
I realized today that I truly enjoy guest appearances, especially during live concerts, and even more so when they are well thought out and well planned. (A quick example of that was at the Guster show at Radio City Music Hall back around 2003. Ben Kweller happened to be playing in New York the next night, and stopped by Radio City for the encore to play “I Hope Tomorrow is Like Today” which is a song they co-wrote together, so it was just a perfect storm and a well thought out live collaboration.)
Another aspect of collaborations I really like is when two people who have no business being together, get together and create a pretty decent project (Remember that Nelly and Tim McGraw song “Over and Over”). But it really made me think about all of the collaborations I have participated in over the last ten years of my practice as a physical therapist and as student. It made me think about the many that I rocked out that I knew exactly what I was doing and what I was taking about and the ones that were in my wheelhouse, and I think about the ones I had no business being a part of, and ones that I added little to nothing in the way of value to, and I came to one generalized truth: You can learn from nearly every collaboration. One of the general themes of my many blog posts will be about INTELLECTUAL TRESPASSING. This is a term that describes when somebody in one profession or group or line of work, meanders in to another profession, or group, or line of work and learns something that is applicable to their situation. For example, if I, as a physical therapist, work with an occupational therapist who is a hand specialist and makes custom splints and braces for hand injuries, and they teach me how to make simple pinky splint, and I then go and use that splint for some of my PT crush injury patients, that was a successful utilization of intellectual trespassing.
ONE THING I LEARNED TODAY: Don’t ever take for granted what you can learn from other people, and don’t be closed minded as to how you can use that information. Just because an accountant taught you a lesson, doesn’t mean it only applies to accountancy. We need more “cross pollination” across the healthcare field as well as outside of the healthcare field. Go to a professional conference other than your own profession’s and see what you can learn from it.
And in the mean time, enjoy John Mayer and Ryan Adams collaborating on Come Pick Me Up…