From Capitol to Columbus: Music is in Everyone with Bruce Garfield

My guest for episode 115 of Gravity is Bruce Garfield. Bruce began his career as a pioneer in band merchandising, signing deals with Led Zeppelin, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Rolling Stones, and many others. He was then recruited by Capitol Records as Vice President of Artist Development and Press, making him the youngest senior executive in Capitol’s history.

We talk about how he found himself in such a place, unpack some wild industry stories, and discuss what helped him succeed in his roles. Namely, he attributes his ability to blend creativity with business instinct as what pushed him over the edge – a common thread we’ve seen and heard in Gravity guests of late. 

He’s seen the way musicians are often treated by people, either idolized or as disposable products. Now, he’s working to establish a new generation of talent in Columbus with a non-profit label that protects artists’ rights. Tune in for a colorful conversation packed with nostalgic wisdom.

What Brett asks:

  • [01:56] Can you tell me about your childhood and family?
  • [12:37] What was it like to work with some of the most iconic musicians in the world?
  • [16:04] What do you attribute your early professional successes to?
  • [25:33] How was it working at a big record company?
  • [31:02] What skills had you developed that made you so good at your job?
  • [37:04] Did the business aspect of music change your relationship to it?
  • [41:37] How did you wind up in Columbus and what are you doing here?

Lesson for intentional living:  1-2 important lessons from Brett’s POV

  • Great things happen at the intersection of business and creativity. Too often people keep these modalities separate, or even worse, only focus on one to the detriment of the other. But exercising your creativity and your business skills allows you to enter worlds very few can.