I’ve been thinking a lot about the beginnings, where we’ve been and the future of He Spoke Style recently. Maybe it’s because we’re getting close to the end of the year, which is always a great time to reflect. Maybe it’s because in just two months we’ll be celebrating our five year anniversary. Maybe it’s because one chapter of our story is about to end and the excitement and anticipation around what we’re poised to achieve once the page turns is invigorating.
Whatever the reason for this moment of reflection, one thing is certain and that is this journey has been incredibly special. And I’m talking about all aspects of it. The opportunity to communicate with, educate, inspire and empower an amazing audience. The creative opportunities. The travel and experiences. Yeah, yeah, the very cool cars I’ve been fortunate enough to test drive (like this 1964 Shelby Cobra, for example). But most of all, the people I’ve met and friendships I’ve made.
I’m drawn to people who are passionate about what they do – their career, their hobby, it doesn’t matter. There’s something inside this type of person that I just “get” innately. There’s a magic – a spark – when you talk to them and it’s not only incredibly interesting to hear them talk about their passion, but it also inspires me to explore my own passions even deeper.
My lifelong passion has been music. I started playing the saxophone when I was eight years old. Although I knew there was nothing else I wanted to do other than play music, it wasn’t until high school that I got really serious. During that time, I remember a few life-changing moments.
The first was hearing Jimi Hendrix’s Woodstock National Anthem for the first time. The way he was able to take a song known to everyone and transform it from something incredibly predictable into an expression of a moment in time was mind-altering. And, in doing so, completely redefining how the electric guitar could be played. A true innovator. He should be on American currency. Along with Leo Fender.
The second instance was the first time I heard Le Sacre du Printemps by Igor Stravinsky, another musical innovator from an entirely different era. When “The Rite”, premiered in 1913, there were riots in the concert hall. Today, not only is the composition a monumental work, but it still sounds fresh and modern.
The third instance was hearing John Coltrane’s landmark album, Giant Steps. I had heard Coltrane on late-1950s Miles Davis records, but the Coltrane on Giant Steps was a completely different player. It’s not untrue to say that this album, this single tune, forever altered the trajectory of modern jazz. Just when it seemed like everything that could be done with chord changes had been done already – that there was no further exploration possible, harmonically or melodically – the world was turned upside down.
A photo of Coltrane I bought in the West Village when I was 16 still hangs in my apartment, serving as a constant reminder that there is always more to explore and more to any story you think has already been written.
I mentioned that the best part of this journey has been the people I’ve met along the way. And for this story, the story of one watch, the entire Carl F. Bucherer team are some of those special people. (Actually “team” isn’t quite the right word – it’s a family.) There is a passion and a singularity of purpose that I “get” and am honored to have been given the opportunity to be a part of that family.
Thanks for reading.