The John Otway World Tour - an experience in the glory of failure
0: Keynotes and Masterclasses 1: Online offerings 2: Musical Inspiration 3: Our Books 4: Coaching and Mentoring 5: Creativity and Innovation 6: Client testimonials 7: Press, Media 8: Interviews with Music Legends 9: Our work in Education 10: Our interview with Sir Richard Branson 11: The real Spinal Tap tour
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The real Spinal Tap Tour – Leadership lessons from failure

How do you plan and organise the greatest Rock’n’Roll tour on the planet when you have a 250 000 Pound hole in your budget, a "reliable track record of failure", only two hits to your name in 25 years and a cult following that barely stretches beyond the UK? This is exactly what English eccentric cult punk rocker John Otway attempted to do...  You've probably seen or heard of Dragons Den?  This is the live and dangerous story of how the greatest Rock'n'Roll tour in the world failed, with transferable lessons for businesses, leaders, entrepreneurs and people trying to make new things happen.

John Otway, Peter CookJohn Otway, Peter CookJohn Otway, Peter Cook

Peter and John, busking and playing at corporate leadership events at Pfizer and Brands Hatch

We chartered an Airbus, tried to fill it with 300 people, to play the greatest rock venues on the planet, taking in Liverpool’s Cavern, New York Central Park and The Carnegie Hall, Las Vegas, Tahiti, Sydney Opera House, Shanghai, Dubai and London on a record breaking tour that would see a birth, death, marriage and a car crash, although not necessarily in that order ...  This was a massive undertaking which eventually failed in a comedy of errors on the same scale as classic spoof rockumentaries 'This is Spinal Tap' and 'The Blues Brothers'.  However this monumental cock-up contains valuable lessons that are directly transferable to leadership, marketing, HR, operations and project management.  Indeed, sometimes failure teaches us more potent lessons about success than best practice!  Some of the remarkable things that happened on the tour include:

  • How and why John Otway turned down much needed help from Sir Bob Geldof
  • How the team hired a jet that was too big to take off from the airport, creating the 'un-Rock'n'Roll itinerary' John Lennon Airport - Rotherham - JFK
  • How we got a prime time slot on BBC Radio 2 with Jonathan Ross and then failed to sell the ultimate Rock'n'Roll fantasy experience to 11 million listeners
  • How we booked the Sydney Opera House for a punk rock concert, having been turned down by the Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Gardens and CBGB's
  • Why the Cheeky Girls were considered 'unsuitable' for the 'Viva Las Vegas' punk cabaret leg of the tour and replaced with an unknown tribute act
  • How the President of Tahiti was to host an official welcome to an ex-dustman from Aylesbury

We offer a unique insight to the front of house and backstage lessons of this tour with transferable lessons in business strategy, marketing, HR, teamwork, psychology, finance, PR, project management, creativity and innovation and so on.  Just consider what your company could gain from this:

  • Practical lessons about project execution from the greatest Rock’n’Roll failure on the planet
  • How you can lead your projects successfully as a result of this
  • Greater levels innovation and entrepreneurship in your company
  • How to build winning teams and motivate them to succeed
  • Sales, marketing and PR skills

We show you how we did this, relating the lessons in ways that will engage, inspire and call them to action.

View the Pfizer Aftershow - A cameo performance delivered after the keynotes - Not the same as a Prince gig - no smoke or lights! Nevertheless, judged to be the best item in the month long run of events. Read Pfizer's review.

See the moment John Otway got signed for 10 x the amount that Paul Weller and The Jam got from Polydor Records, due to falling onto an amplifier, injuring vital parts, on BBC's Old Grey Whistle Test:


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