9/10/20: David Berri on Economics and Music


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[00:00:01] Hey everyone, this is Lynn Vartan, and you're listening to the A.P.E.X. Hour on KSUU Thunder 91.1. In this show you get more personal time with the guests who visit Southern Utah University from all over, learning more about their stories and opinions beyond their presentations on stage. We will also give you some new music to listen to and hope to turn you on some new sounds and new genres. You can find this here every Thursday at 3 p.m. or on the web at suu.edu/apex. But for now, welcome to this week's show, here on Thunder 91.1.

[00:00:46] Okay, everyone, well, this is just the coolest thing ever. So this is the A.P.E.X. Hour and this is the Fall 2020 edition and we're trying something new. I'm trying something for the very first time. I'm so excited to be here. I'm actually doing this radio show live over the air and also on a Zoom call, with one of our very own faculty members. So I'd love to welcome in David Berri. Welcome, Dave.

[00:01:15] Hello, everybody!

[00:01:17] That's so awesome. How are you doing today? You sound like you are fighting a little bit with the computer.

[00:01:23] Yes, we are all adjusting to teaching via Zoom. I am doing all of my teaching this semester from my living room, which is, by the way, phenomenally cool. I don't know if I'll ever come back to SUU. Living room teaching is easily the best teaching ever. My morning class, Zoom crashed in the middle of it. So, actually, no, it wasn't Zoom that crashed, the entire computer crashed.

[00:01:49] Oh my gosh!

[00:01:51] It crashed, but I have two laptops, so I was able to do a second laptop and continue. But Windows did tell me later it decided to update during the class and it crashed the computer.

[00:02:02] I see. So that's probably what happened. Well, hopefully.

[00:02:06] Thank you, Windows.

[00:02:07] Our time together will go much better than that.

[00:02:10] I hope so.

[00:02:12] Well, I'd love to start with you just telling us a little bit about your background. And I should preface this by saying the reason we're having this conversation is because this semester I'm teaching a brand new music business class, and that's really cool and really exciting and I love it. But the thing is that I put a call out to colleagues and friends to say, "Hey, is anybody interested in collaborating and finding any cross references or different things that we can talk about that have to do with entrepreneurial ship in the arts?" And Dave Berri said, "I'd love to talk to you about any crossovers and blends between sports economics and the arts." So that's kind of how today's talk came to be. So, Dave, tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.

[00:03:03] OK, so this is what I do. My primary area of research is sports economics. And I've been doing this or I would say twenty five years or so. And I've written books and I've written a textbook and I've done lots of academic articles and I've done lots of writing for the popular media. I get interviewed a lot by the national media. I was on NPR like three or four times this summer. So this is sort of what I do. I do a lot of stuff with sports. And so you said, "Hey, do you have any comments on music and business?" Oddly enough, I started off life as a music minor.

[00:03:38] Oh, I didn't know that!

[00:03:40] Yes. And I was really awful at it. That's not something that I was good at. I had this idea that I would be a musician. I like singing and I like music. But it turns out that requires an awful lot of effort. And I was not liking that. So effort, not something I want to do. So I would say sports economics became my default because it was easier than the music was going to be for me. I did spend my last year writing a book for my history class and the history - what I do, it's a first year history class and so I incorporate a lot of references to music and movies throughout the book, so my book has links to like, one hundred or more than one hundred music videos, all things from my own personal collection of things that I listen to. So music's like a big part of my life, but I'm not good enough to actually do much with it beyond listening. So when you talked about this whole thing with, you know, music and business, I was thinking, you know, there's a lot there's a lot of connections between sports and business. And so I was thinking, you know, what would be some lessons from sports that you would want to convey to musicians? You know, and I think when you think back on sports. When we look at sports, we tend to think about the sports that have, already have an audience that, you know, Major League Baseball, National Football League, they already have an audience and people sort of look at this and say, "Well, there's always been an audience for that." But when you study the history of sports, you learn there is, historically there was no audience. I just finished a book on the economics of the Super Bowl and one of the stories we tell in that is the very first title game in the NFL was in 1932. They came up with this idea because the NFL didn't have any money. They were very poor. 90 percent of their first 40 franchises failed completely. They went out of business. There's only four franchises left from the early history of the NFL. They had franchises all over America and they all failed.

[00:05:51] Wow!

[00:05:53] They were very poor. So in 1932, when the season ended, they had two teams that had one loss, and they got like, a marketing idea. They said, "Why don't we have those two teams play each other in a title game to be the champions of 1932?" Well, the problem was one of the teams was the Chicago Bears and they decided they'd be the home team, but the problem was it was December. They had just had a major blizzard in Chicago. And they were like, nobody's going out to Wrigley Field and watch a football game in a blizzard. So we're going to move indoors. We're going to move it in to the Chicago Blackhawks arena. Well, that doesn't work so well either, because a hockey rink is only like 60 yards long. So OK, we're gonna rewrite the rules so that we can have a football game on 60 yards. So what we'll do is once you cross midfield or the 30 yard mark, we're gonna move you back 10 yards to make the field longer. We're going to make it so that you can't kick field goals because that would be too easy. You have to score touchdowns or nothing. And so they just made up a bunch of rules so that they could do this game. They got like 11,000 fans to show up, and what I thought was really interesting about the game is the star quarterback for the opposing team, which was the Portsmouth Spartans, and they became the Detroit Lions later on, but they were in Portsmouth at the time. Their star quarterback couldn't come. And the reason why he couldn't come is he was the head basketball coach at Colorado College and his college president told him, "You can't get time off from your basketball job to go play in a football game that wasn't actually on the schedule. So you can't go. I'm not going to give you release time for that." So the very first title game, the star quarterback couldn't show up because he had another job.

[00:07:33] Wow, that's insane.

[00:07:35] So that's where the NFL starts. It starts at that point. There's no fans. Nobody cares about this. And why don't anybody care? And I think this is what's relevant to music. They don't have any emotional attachment. Nobody knew a Chicago Bear was. Nobody knew what a Portsmouth Spartan was. And so therefore, they weren't interested in seeing these teams play because they don't know what they're looking at. They had stars from college. Red Grange played for the Chicago Bears. And he was a major star. But the Chicago Bears were not a major star. It would be like creating a music group with famous people that, you know, but calling it something totally different and saying it's the same people. Is it the same people? Are you sure? Because I remember that person from that group. And now they're in a totally different group. And I don't know what this group is. So maybe I'll like their music and maybe I won't because I don't know who they are. I would imagine when Paul McCartney goes from the Beatles to the Wings initially, people are like, "I don't know what a Wing is. I know what the Beatles were." What kind of music are you doing with the Wings? And I bet you he had trouble with his audience at first because people were like, "I don't know what that is, what actually is a Wing? I knew what a Beatle was."

[00:08:47] Yeah.

[00:08:47] And this is something that when you're when you're engaged in the entertainment industry, I think you have to be cognizant of the idea that you've got to create an emotional attachment to your audience. They have to care about you. It's much easier to do that when it's an individual because people can connect with individuals. So individual stars, if it was Paul McCartney by himself. And that's how Paul- actually, Paul McCartney mentioned this later on. He was in the Beatles, then he was in the Wings and then it was just him and he actually mentioned this. I remember seeing him at a concert in the 1980s and I think he mentioned this. He said "The people who are backing me up have been with me longer than the Wings were with me. It's my group. But we don't call that a group anymore, we just call it me." Because he learned if it's me, I can sell out a football arena. If it's the group, people don't know what that is.

[00:09:44] Well, that's a really interesting thing. Do you think that young musicians should build their career off of their name rather than an entity then?

[00:09:53] I think that is something to understand, that if you're going to build it off an entity, you got to understand nobody is going to know what your group is initially. It's much easier to connect to a person. And that is typically, isn't that, I mean, has that been your experience, if you think about how people market groups, that usually, they center in on one specific member of the group and focus on that person? In fact, I'm trying to think of it. What's the group, No Doubt, right?

[00:10:23] Yeah. Gwen Stefani.

[00:10:26] Gwen Stefani, right? She actually has a song about that. Isn't that the whole song, the whole song is that everyone in the media is focusing in on her, and the group is like, "What about us?" People in the group are like, "Well, if we focus on Gwen Stefani, we sell tickets and if we focus on you, nobody knows what a No Doubt is. They know what Gwen Stefani is.".

[00:10:44] Yeah.

[00:10:45] "Oh, you are the backup people." And they're like, "I thought we were like a group." "No, she's the group. You're a nobody."

[00:10:55] Yeah, that's a great point. Wow. But how do you build an emotional connection? I mean, in your experience in sports, how does that come about? How does one do that?

[00:11:06] Well, in terms of team sports, the history is it takes decades, which is probably something you don't want to hear.

[00:11:13] No, not at all!

[00:11:15] So in team sports, it does take decades to do this. The NBA started in 1946. Today they draw about 17, 18,000 fans a game. As recently as the late 70s, early 80s, attendance was under 10,000 fans again.

[00:11:34] Right. Wow, even that late.

[00:11:36] 40 years into it, it took them well over 40 years to get to 10,000 fans. Same thing in baseball when Babe Ruth was playing. He often played before very small crowds. The Yankees drew, but a lot of people did not. The problem is in sports, it's a generational thing: you become a sports fan because of your parents. And so you learn about what teams you like. That's what you grew up with. It's hard for an adult to suddenly become a fan of a team. They don't have any history with it. So they don't know what they're rooting for. I've been cursed in my life with always being a Detroit Lions fan. I grew up in Detroit. That's the team I followed as a kid. They're awful. They never win. They're never going to win. They just disappoint every year. We haven't started the season yet. So right now, every Detroit Lions fan is like, "I think we're gonna be winner this year." And they're going to start playing on Sunday and about one quarter into that first game, when they're down by two touchdowns, we're all going to realize it's just the same team that we've always rooting for. They're going to be losers. They're always going to losers. I haven't lived in Detroit in nearly 40 years. I could never live in Detroit. I've lived in the western United States for a very long time, for almost this entire century, I've been in the West. I've tried to find teams to root for in the West. That would make a hell of a lot more sense. I can't! I don't have any connection with them. You know, I look at like the Chargers or the Cardinals or the Raiders. I'm like, but that's that's not my team, I don't know that team. And I don't want to get to know that team. I don't have any history with them. I have a history with this stupid team that I follow. And I don't want to start following this other team because they never were the team I followed. So I don't feel any kind of connection with them.

[00:13:19] Well, I wonder if there's something there. I mean, you know, you were saying that it takes decades and of course, that's true, but I wonder if there's a way to sort of develop that personal connection early with an audience and then turn them into those fans and let it grow over time.

[00:13:36] Yeah, I think in terms of musicians, obviously this has to happen a lot quicker because clearly, a good example of this, is if you follow K-Pop Korean music.

[00:13:48] Right.

[00:13:49] Blackpink is is phenomenally huge. And obviously they've only been around for like a couple of years. They only have like about twenty-five songs and they have a phenomenally huge following. So they, they were able to make a connection with obviously, millions of people very quickly. There are other K-Pop groups that are very similar to blackpink. ITZY's a really good example of that. They're very similar to Blackpink. They have a following. It's not Blackpink, it's not quite the same thing. It's close. My wife, by the way, cringes in the fact that I know this stuff.

[00:14:24] That's a badge of honor, are you kidding? I'm sorry. What was that?

[00:14:31] In my book, I actually put in some links to K-Pop songs. I started listening to this like, a year ago. I really enjoy this. This music is fascinating to me.

[00:14:39] That's great. Well, but what do you think it is that separates one group from another? And what do you think it is that really gets one group? You know, what makes them different?

[00:14:47] That's such a good question. I don't know that we know exactly the answer to that. I think a lot of music companies are desperately trying to find the formula that allows them to say, "If you do it this way, that works." Typically, what you see in music is a lot of imitation, right? Come up with a way of doing things and other people follow the same type of thing, because the music company is saying, "You know, that works for them. Why don't you do something like that?" And then the artist's like, "But that's not me. I'm not that person. And I want to do my own music and that music" and the music company's like, "Yeah, but your music doesn't have an audience and there's no one's made a connection with you yet."And so, music is replete with stories of musicians saying, "I want to do it this way," the company says, "I need you to do it that way," and then they have these big giant fights. And what we always hear is that the stories where the musician was right. So [Toby Keith,] that's the story of the song, "How Do You Like Me Now?" So he was already a star to some extent, and he goes to his music company, says, I want to do the song called "How Do You Like Me Now?" And his music company's like, "No, that's awful. I don't want you doing that. That's offensive. People are going to get [offended]. That's the image we have of you is of this big, good looking cowboy guy. And you're doing this in your face, obnoxious thing that's totally different from your image. So no, don't want you doing that." Well, the story he tells us, he went to the company. He had to buy back his song because they owned it. And then he released it himself. And it became a phenomenally huge hit and it totally changed direction of his career. So we we have this, Toby Keith has this idea about how he thinks his music should go, and then the music company is like, "No, no, no, no, that's not it." And so they have this big fight. And what we learned from that is both parties probably don't know, they don't know what's going to work. They both have different ideas about what's going to work and they're both guessing. And Toby Keith's case, I guess I would be willing to bet if you went to those music executives that you were clearly wrong on the Toby Keith thing." They would say, "Yes, we were. I admit it. But these other artists want to do these things. And we told them not to. And they did this over here. And they're also huge hits and so on. These people were totally right. Yeah.

[00:17:01] That's so cool. Thanks for sharing that. Well, I'm going to take a musical break now, but let's get back and talk more, I have some more questions for you. This is so fascinating to see these cross references between sports, economics, sports culture, music culture, and who knew that you had such a background in music. I just love this. Well, as always, on the A.P.E.X. Hour, I like to play some new music for you, and I tend to really go towards world music. So this script that I've been listening to is Bokante. And the song we're going to listen to is called "Maison en Feu." So let's take a listen, and just as a reminder, you're listening to KSUU Thunder 91.1.

[00:22:01] All right. Well, welcome back, everyone. You're listening to KSUU Thunder 91.1. This is the A.P.E.X Hour. That song you were listening to was by a group called Bokante, B-O-K-A-N-T-E, and that song was "Maison en Feu" or "House on Fire" in French. So I'm here speaking with Dave Berri. Welcome back, Dave.

[00:22:55] Glad to be back.

[00:22:56] All right. So we're talking about the intersection between sports, economics and music, entrepreneurial activities. And we've been talking about how you want to have, you really want to build an emotional connection to your audience, and that's a great way to build an audience, and some thoughts and ideas about how the individual versus the group, it's a little easier to back an individual as opposed to a group. I'd like to get into a little bit of discussion about identity, you know, because I know when we think of athletes and we think of sports and we think of teams, the identity of that team or the identity of that of that particular athlete is so much of what we are drawn to. And I think music and musicians, it's the same. And I was just wondering, you know, what are your thoughts on that from an economical standpoint or from a building standpoint or how important is identity, do you think?

[00:23:53] I think it's everything in terms of, in terms of what you do in terms of building an audience. I think it's everything to, if you're going to grow your business, you've got to find a way to get the person who's listening to the music or watching the sporting event to somehow form some kind of connection to what they're seeing, because what the audience is doing is they're living out their life in terms of the artist. So that's really, so if you think about a song connecting with you, typically songs connect with you because it talks about something in your life that you can relate to.

[00:24:28] Right.

[00:24:29] So that's the key is is is you have to find a way to get the person to basically live their life through you. I think it's has got to be very bizarre, both from the artist's perspective and the athlete's perspective, is that they are constantly then for the rest of their lives, meeting people who feel like "I am you. I know you. I've listened to your music. I've lived your life." And then they're looking at them, "I don't have any idea who you are.".

[00:24:58] Yeah.

[00:24:59] Like, well, you know, when you wrote about, like Miley Cyrus has done this in the last few years, right? So she has these songs when she's in love and getting married that are all about, "I'm in love and I'm getting married and this is forever." And then if you listen to her songs from the last six months, they're like, "I will never be with you again and I hate you." Are we talking about the same person here? Because that's a totally different message. And what she's doing is "This is my life and I'm writing about that." And so now everybody who listens to that music is like "I've lived your life. I've lived this experience." And they're like, "But you didn't. I did that." But I'm relating it through, and so that's what has to in order for an artist to be successful, they got to make that kind of connection where people feel like they've done that, like, you know. And the same thing happens in sports. When your sports team wins, you win. And when they lose, you lose. And you see that when people, when the sporting, when the team they follow loses, they get mad. They're unhappy. You're like, "But you didn't lose anything. You weren't playing. What do you care? Your life is the same, whether they win or not." It's like, "It's not the same. I was really counting on winning that and now I'm sad. "

[00:26:16] Well, actually, you wrote an article on that, right? And it's I think it's kind of in, is it in the article that's titled "The Lasting Effects of Testosterone", where you talk about sports fans are definitely impacted by the outcomes of the games we observe?

[00:26:31] Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, I think that's absolutely what's going on when it comes to sports is that people are very much living their lives and experiences. And this is one of the things that sporting teams take advantage of this. So the way in which, one of things that people may not be aware of is that in the United States, professional sports is heavily subsidized by the government. So when you walk into a stadium or an arena, the odds are the government at least helped pay for some of that or in some cases entirely for the entire thing. The Indianapolis Colts play an arena that was totally built by the government for them,.

[00:27:06] Really?

[00:27:07] According to the team's specs, the team goes to the government, says, "I want an arena that looks like this and I want you to build it for me the way I want it." And the reason why they can do that is because they say, "If you don't, we are leaving. And then all of your voters are gonna say, 'you took away my life.'"

[00:27:30] Right.

[00:27:32] "Living my life through this team, and now it's gone." And this is not like music, right? If Miley Cyrus suddenly moved off to France, her fans wouldn't care in the slightest, I don't care where you live. But if the Indianapolis Colts moved to San Antonio, everyone in Indiana would be like, "Well, that's not the Colts." Even if they were called the San Antonio Colts. They'd be like, "It's still not the Indianapolis Colts. That's a different team. I'm not rooting for a team. I root for my team. I don't have a team now. Now I'm sad." And so this is something that you have to be aware of is that these people are they're living their lives through the art that they follow and the sports they follow. This is all part of their lives and their identity is wrapped up in this thing.

[00:28:15] I'm curious about you know, in modern times, it seems that we see some vulnerability in athletes, you know, as a even more of a way to connect. And I wonder if you noticed that also. I've been watching the French Open. Sorry, not the French Open, the U.S. Open; French Open's coming up. But I've been watching the U.S. Open and they've been talking about especially the female athletes who are moms and and just the connection that that has really brought out the enthusiasm that that has brought out and not that that's a vulnerability, but that that opening up a bit, I, I feel like I'm seeing that more with athletes. And I wonder if you're seeing that and then I'm thinking about how that's applicable to musicians.

[00:28:59] I think it is the case that certainly one of things that you're saying right now is athletes are coming out a lot more on social issues than they were before.

[00:29:06] Right.

[00:29:07] And so, there's some cynicism people have with respect to that, that that's a good marketing ploy. And so I don't think that's, I don't think, certainly in Colin Kaepernick's case, that did not turn out to be a great marketing ploy. But it is the case that you can't create a bigger connection with people by saying, "I'm on your side on this issue." And likewise, when you come out on the on the side of the issue that you're not on, it creates a wedge with you and your fans. The tennis star Djokovic came out. He wanted to create, he wants to create a union that's only for men in tennis.

[00:29:46] Right.

[00:29:47] Really a very tone deaf, this is not the time he would do that. We've had the Me Too movement for a while. It's really, and so he's created a lot of hostility among his fan base because they're like, "Well, that's really not what we believe in or we want." And so I think it is a case that it's, people are following athletes for issues beyond just what's they're seeing on the field.

[00:30:11] Yeah.

[00:30:12] So you can make this kind of connection by saying, "Look, I'm into the same issues that you're into. I think the same things that you think. I thought about these things."

[00:30:20] So if you were coaching, let's say, a young athlete right now, it just, you know, or or a young musician, you know, how, what advice would you give them in terms of building their identity part? I mean, you know, obviously the craft is going to be specific to whatever you're doing, specific to what musical instrument or what band or what sport or what event that you're doing. But on the side of sort of creating your your character, creating everything else around it, what advice would you give a young athlete or musician?

[00:30:56] I would emphasize that you're your audience goes beyond your abilities. In the way I would illustrate that is think about, I'll give you two musicians from 60, 70 years ago, Andy Williams, Frank Sinatra. Who's the more talented singer?

[00:31:15] Well, I mean, I guess it's a personal preference. What would you say?

[00:31:19] Let me ask you this. If you were in a room and it was a blind audition - I don't want you to think about Frank Sinatra, a young Frank Sinatra. Frank Sinatra post, "I had my throat ripped out.".

[00:31:31] Well, that's a different story.

[00:31:33] The Sinatra from 1965. Andy Williams from 1965. Blind audition. Who sings better at that point?

[00:31:41] Yeah, I think I would say Andy Williams.

[00:31:43] Andy Williams by far. So not even close. Andy Williams was a way better musician at that point than Frank Sinatra. Who has a bigger audience?

[00:31:49] Frank Sinatra.

[00:31:52] Why does Frank Sinatra have a much bigger audience? Because the kind of music he did was he would tell stories and he would connect with his audience. Andy Williams would sing songs very, very well. I mean, he hit the notes exactly right. But the problem is you'd listen to him and go, "I can't believe that's you. I don't think that story. This is not autobiographical. You're not singing about yourself. You're singing notes. You were just performing the notes." And Frank Sinatra would stand up there and say, "Let me-" He would do this on his albums. He would introduce the song. "I want you to understand the song I'm singing." Standing in a saloon, "And the woman I was with just left me. This is the song I'm going to sing about this." And you'd be like, "I can imagine you doing that. I can see you in the saloon singing that song. I get that." Andy Williams could never pull that off. He didn't have the personality for it. And so if you're thinking about "How do I build my audience," you got to make this connection with them where you understand "When I'm singing the song, I'm telling a story. I'm not just a singer. I'm an actor. I'm acting out the words." And I think Sinatra would emphasize that in interviews. You've got to be an actor. You're going to believe what you're saying, that this is you. I am singing the song. It's about me. And I want you to understand that I'm taking you on this trip with me and whether I'm hitting all the notes exactly right, that's not really the most important thing. Important thing is that you understand that you're with me on a trip.

[00:33:25] I love that. I think storytelling is a key. It certainly is a key. And that goes right along. You'd have to bring your audience right inside the circle. Is it the same with sports? Is that storytelling element just as important?

[00:33:39] I think it is. I think when you're watching a sporting event and you see that the athlete is is emotionally connecting with what's going on, where they're frustrated when things aren't going well and they're excited when things do go well. So in baseball, they don't like it when somebody hits a homerun and they stand there and they stare at it. The players and the coaches get infuriated when you do that. But the fans say "That's the greatest thing in the world!" Because the fans, that's what they're thinking! And, you know, you go back in the history of sports and you think about the athletes who had the biggest fall. Muhammad Ali was very big into marketing. He understood that. He understood that you've got to create the mind of the person who's going to watch this fight. Me and Joe Frazier don't like each other. And he would do that. And one of the things that you would pick up in interviews with him is that a lot of that was playacting. He goes, "I don't have any feelings about Joe Frazier. I don't really care." It'll be so much better if when we get in the ring together that people are taking sides and they're rooting for one or the other of us because then they care. But if it's just two guys fighting, I don't care about that. I need to know that that you both care about this, that there's some kind of animosity going on here. And I need you to create that for me. And if you do that, it makes this whole thing and makes the emotional experience so much better for us. We'd much rather watch two tennis players who don't like each other play tennis than two tennis players who are just out there going through the motions.

[00:35:19] That's true.

[00:35:21] It's like, yeah, you're technically correct. You did everything right. You hit the forehands right. You did all great. But I never felt like you were emotionally into it. I think you're just, you're just going through the motions out there. I need to know that you care about what's happening here.

[00:35:37] Well, it comes down to feeling once again, I'm going to play one more song and then maybe we'll come back and just do another few minutes of a couple of quick things before our time is up. So the next song I have for you, oh, this is a great, this is a couple of musicians, Terri Lyne Carrington, amazing. John Patitucci, amazing bass player. They've come together, and this song is called "People Get Ready." You are listening to KSUU Thunder 91.1.

[00:41:09] All right, everyone, welcome back to the A.P.E.X. Hour KSUU Thunder 91.1. That song was "People Get Ready." I just love that feel. I love those sounds. I love that groove. And that's a few artists, but namely Terri Lynn Carrington, John Patitucci two of my favorites. And the song was called "People Get Ready." This is the A.P.E.X. Hour. I am back and I am in the studio via Zoom with Dave Berri. Welcome back Dave.

[00:41:38] Glad to be back.

[00:41:39] We are talking about all the different things that you can find that are relationships between sports economics and musician entrepreneurialship. One of the things we got to talking to over the break was kind of about different themes in music as musicians and also in athletes. So in athletes, you kind of see good guy athletes, bad guy athletes. And then you are mentioning in musicians that you tend to think that some really disparate musicians can be all exactly the same. They're essentially doing the same thing. Can you talk about that a little bit?

[00:42:13] Well, let's let's think about that for a second. I think if you think about Frank Sinatra, one of his classic songs is "My Way", which, by the way, if you've seen YouTube videos of this, he admits he hated that song. There's actually a great YouTube video where he introduces the song and he says, right after he says it, he says, "God, I hate this song. I really hate this song." And the audience goes, Why? "I've been doing it for 10 years and I hate it. It's a horrible song." But the song sort of captures with the way we think about Sinatra that he was an individual standing on his own against the world. He has a number of other songs that are very similar in theme. "That's Life" is like that. It's a very, it's a song where I'm standing alone and I'm against the world. Toby Keith, very similar artist, has a lot of songs, same kind of theme. Toby Keith stands against the world, against everyone else. Iggy Azalea. Exactly the same way. She has a whole host of songs where she says the same thing. Nicki Minaj doesn't sing. Cardi B doesn't sing. A lot of rap artists do exactly the same kind of thing. And so when you think about rap musicians and Frank Sinatra, you're like, "That's totally different."

[00:43:19] I know that's wild.

[00:43:21] Yeah. But you listen to the lyrics and you listen to what they're saying and how they're connecting with their audience, they're all connecting in the same way: "Look, the person who listens the song is an individual who stands on their own against the world, and that's who I am. That's who you should be." And so that's a theme that comes all the way, the K-Pop group, Blackpink, a lot of their songs are the same exact thing. They had a song that just came out this summer. "How Do You Like That?" That's the song. "How Do You Like That?" It's the same song! It's the same song as "How Do You Like Me Now?" From Toby Keith. A totally different genre, totally different group. And I think you see the same thing in sports where you have these athletes who very much adopt a persona. Michael Jordan had this persona, "Everyone's against me." Michael Jordan, in his Hall of Fame speech, basically listed every single person he ever had a problem with. That was the entire speech going all the way back to, like, grade school.

[00:44:21] Oh, wow.

[00:44:22] His whole life is spite. That's the only thing that motivated him. He did an interview when he was 40 years old playing for the Washington Wizards, and they asked him, "Why are you still playing?" And he said, "There are people out there who don't believe in me." And they're like, "People think you're the greatest player that ever played. Who's out there that doesn't believe in you anymore?" But in his mind, he created this image that people are against me and I'm standing against them.

[00:44:47] That's amazing. That's such an amazing thing, and I think that, I'm sure it's the same in sports, you probably see the same thing in sports.

[00:44:55] Yes. So I think that's, I think people are motivated by that. I think spite is a huge motivation for people. It helps motivate people to do what they're doing. "I'm doing this because people believe I can't do this."

[00:45:07] Well, cool. Well, thank you so much, Dave. We are almost out of time here, but I have my last two favorite questions to ask you. This has been so much fun. I really appreciate you spending the time. And this has been so cool to find these really unusual connections between things. But I have two personal fun questions. My first question is, if you met the yourself from 10 years ago in a bar fight, who would win that fight?

[00:45:35] I'm in a lot better shape than I was 10 years ago.

[00:45:37] Really?

[00:45:38] Yeah. Yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah, I, yeah. I've actually been in a bar fight.

[00:45:44] You have?

[00:45:45] Yes. I've been in a bar where, I've been in a bar where a fight has happened. They are a chaotic experience, I will say that. So typically bar fights are always a toss up, but I'm in better shape than I was 10 years ago, so I'm going to put my money on me right now.

[00:46:02] Cool. OK. And then my other question for you is what's, and I ask this to all of my guests, what's turning you on this week? And this is just a fun way for people to get to know other things about our guests. It could be a TV show. It could be a movie. It could be whatever you want. What is turning you on?

[00:46:20] Well, I mentioned earlier Korean music. I've really been into that. But the thing that's exciting me this particular week for us is we launched school at SUU. We're doing this whole thing where you can teach on Zoom online. And I'm learning that I really love this idea that I get to teach out of my living room. I'm thinking that's the coolest thing ever. I wish I was doing this a long time ago. Sit in my chair in my living room and lecture. Wow, that's so damn, we couldn't do that. That technology didn't exist when I started teaching. This is amazing. When I started teaching, the only technology we had was chalk, so this is really cool!

[00:46:56] Well, thank you so much for that. Well, it's been such a pleasure talking to you. Stay on the line. I'll say goodbye to you afterwards. But I'm going to play my little outro. And on behalf of all of our students and everybody listening, thanks so much, Dave Berri. I really appreciated you being here.

[00:47:13] Glad to be here.

[00:47:14] All right. Well, we will see you for the beginning of this season. And here's our goodbye.

[00:47:18] Thanks so much for listening to the A.P.E.X. Hour here on KSUU Thunder 91.1. Come find us again next Thursday at 3 p.m. for more conversations with the visiting guests at Southern Utah University, and new music to discover for your next playlist. And in the meantime, we would love to see you at our events on campus. To find out more, check out suu.edu/apex Until next week, this is Lynn Vartan saying goodbye from the A.P.E.X. Hour here on Thunder 91.1.

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