Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Richard Branson, Again....

"Compelling. Brilliant. Revealling. Funny. Inspirational. Extraordinary."

"Grabs you on page one and never lets go."

The above are some of the reviews printed at the back of the book.
Normally, I find that these book reviews rather fake.
But not for this one. After 5 days of reading, this book has not disappoint me at all. Page by page flipped and turned, but there was not a single dull moment. This book revolves around the life of Richard Branson. For those who does not know who he is, try googling him. I bet there are easily thousands of hit, if not millions, all documenting him and his very famous brand, "Virgin".

Below are some snippits of the part of the book which I read so far.


Sex, Student and Virgin
Living life in the age of the hippies (imagine the time when long hair, dirty look, is a must for every guy) and where "free love"(read sex) was all around. Read how he exposed himself in business line, starting with Student magazine, selling mail order records through the magazine, and eventually settled with record stores in the early 70's. See how he and his partners differentiated themselves from the rest of the competitors, and how the word "branding" was put to good use.

God Save The Queen and Tubular Bells
From record store, he moved on to create a recording company, effectively giving him the chance to sign singers and bands. The spectacular Mike Oldfield with his chart topping Tubular Bells and the controversial and short lived Sex Pistols, these 2 bands catapulted Virgin Records into a different league, competing with Polygram and EMI, two well known recording companies. However, after youtubing Mike Oldfield, it just beats me how did the 70's generation managed to accept his genre of music. *shrug*
By the way, did you know that Sex Pistol was among the pioneer of punk music movement? Although this band's lifespan last only a few years, they have created a strong foundation for punk music to expand further. I could say that without Sex Pistols, there won't be Green Day or Nirvana (although some may argue that both are alternative rock genre and not punk, I shall leave it to you guys to decide).

Oh yea, it was worthy to mentioned how did the name "bollocks" came about (Princess, do take note :) ). Apparently, Virgin Record got prosecuted and brought to court for promoting one of Sex Pistols's title album which contained the word bollocks. However, after getting an English professor to stand as defence, it was then revealed that the word was actually a nickname for priests in the eighteenth century. You know, all priest delivers long hours of sermons, which most of the time nonsense in nature (or talk cock, in today's language), bollocks eventually associated with the meaning of "rubbish". But there was also another meaning of bollocks, and that mean balls (testicles, in gentleman language), and Virgin was hauled up to court for commiting offense, that is indecent advertisement. However, the court was convinced with the professor's argument and Virgin was free.

Birth of An Airline, Thanks To A Cancelled Flight
While he was on his holiday in Virgin Island (no, this is a name of a country, not Richard's private island. He bought one island of his own one in later date though) with his lover, he wanted to fly to Puerto Rico, but the flight was cancelled. Not wanting to give up, he rented a small aeroplane for his own. The aeroplane can carry more than 2 person. Being a prudent person both in life and business, he sold off the rest of the seats in the plane to other passengers who wanted to go to the same destination. And he did this by just putting up a signboard which says "Virgin Airways : $39 Single Flight To Puerto Rico". It sold off like hot cakes and hence, the birth of Virgin Airway.


Well, 413 pages more to go. I can't wait to read more. Shall update more on his book, if I have the mood to write. LOL.


fooyee said...

didn't hear any news from Richard Branson lately? Is he dead or alive??
or 'wearing grasses' now ??kekeke

ec said...

Not bad for a self made billionaire. fucking his way to riches. I found his life story on virgin music the best.

Big Bad Wolf said...

Fyee.. Dunno wat happened to him or where he disappeared to.
But i bet his investment in airlines (virgin and airasia) is causing him to have heart attack!

EC.. yeah, he literally fucked his way to become a billionaire. Not bad for a dyslexic!

Anonymous said...

but of course the word "bollocks" in my blog was only meant to be defined as "rubbish"....*innocent face* :P