I watched this film today. Wow, what an emotional experience for someone who grew up through the influences of Motown and their artists. Memories ran through my mind with a warmth of feeling reminisce of Grandma’s soft cheek.
The tracks, the expressions, the stories of the people behind the scenes make this movie a great journey and an absolute must see for anyone who has ever felt heat in their soul through the sounds of the Motor City. One of my favorite all-time blues artists gets mentioned in the film, John Lee Hooker, and some of these guys played with him.
The rhythm & blues influence of these men has been pivotal to American pop culture, their contributions having given rise to many US & European artists that defined rock n roll in the 60s, 70s, 80s and well beyond; I am thinking about the Rolling Stones at this moment. These are the guys that gave Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Night, Four Tops and many others the funk, the groove, and the back beat that made us jump, made us boogie and made us go out and buy records.
Members of the Funk Brothers were real creatives of their generation, and Berry Gordy the quintessential entrepreneur; together they were innovative, they disrupted their markets with a new musical genre that enabled Motown to redefine and capture a new market opportunity. Another success story of a great enterprise founded by a few guys working in their garage, like Apple and Hewlett-Packard but just a different sense of purpose.
Parallels run through Silicon Valley and the Motor City: start-ups are exciting, emotional and energizing. Was Detroit’s Hitsville USA “Studio A” America’s first start-up incubator?
If there is a business take-away from the movie – don’t forget your Term Sheet!
Watch this movie.