THE RIOT POINT

The Lab

The fruits of riotous experimentation.

Are you living off your interest?

Now, it may not be obvious from the snapshot, but the two ‘cats’ in the picture revolutionised the Jazz scene (which was THE scene) in the 1950’s.

The first large wave of Jewish émigrés to flee Nazi Germany arrived in the USA and, according to data from the US patent office, drove up invention rates by 33%. The primary areas of innovation were chemistry, physics and aeronautics.   

But despite their sapient, bookish dress and demeanour, Francis Wolff and Alfred Lion did not patent a novel route for synthesising haloanthraquinones, or indeed anything remotely of technological significance.  They did, though, change the face of music through their record label, Blue Note records.

Their tale is a successful conflation of interests. Diverse backgrounds uniting around solving a uniting problem; how to make outstanding Jazz music.

Capital was provided by a Communist, Max Margulis, and diverse ethnic groups collaborated to make and produce jazz. The recording engineer, Rudy Van Gelder, was a New Jersey based optometrist and remained so for the first 7 years at Blue Note.

Each, in their own way, was able to make a living out of their interest. As a result, they were able to pursue their daily activities with energy, ambition, and minimal stress—all of which resulted in high quality work that evolved over time.    

This is the antithesis of grudgingly exchanging labour for payment, mentally scratching off each hour as a countdown to day's end. This is the waiting room for numbess.

Ironically, the best way to accumulate capital may be to make a living off your interest.