Had a wonderful evening out with my wife last night at a Caetano Veloso concert at Masonic Hall on Nob Hill in San Francisco. Caetano Veloso is Brazil’s equivalent of Frank Sinatra and is endowed with an absolutely otherworldly voice and reigns from Bahia. He is an historically important figure having led the Bossa Nova and Tropicalia movements in the late 1960’s. He plays it all: Jazz, pop, world beat, folk and ballad styles with an Ellingtonian understanding of harmonic richness.
As the Rolling Stone once said: “He’s a sublime and seductive melodist, a curious musician capable of taking sharp left turns, a historian whose compositions tie past and present together…at once upholding tradition and transcending it.” I have been a fan of his since the mid-1990’s, having seen him perform both in Brazil and in San Francisco. He is now 67 years old, and was simply outstanding again last night.
So how does one get this good? I think I discovered his secret last night, listening to him for the umpteenth time. In addition to his obvious musical gifts, he is at once historically grounded and very modern. And he is a fan of youth. His following remains a generation or two younger than he, and time and again he connects them to their past and to the future. It’s really a form of wisdom that he brings to music.
It is precisely this balance that I seek to achieve in the field of men’s health. Lets forget the stylistic aspects of Caetano Veloso that would be pretty difficult to match. But, bringing the wisdom of old fashioned medicine into the modern age has a certain timeless value. Making it a point not to forget that what has mattered in the doctor-patient relationship since the beginning of time, including trust, communication and empathy also still counts. And leading the way with original and creative ideas that result in more innovative, efficient and personalized care is undoubtedly “modern.”
Caetano Veloso’s band is always filled with youthful musicians, all in their 20s or 30s. Surely he knows that youth have their ears to the ground and possess an uncanny sense of future…of their future. Youth holds creativity, brilliance and fire, all forces strong enough to move mountains. Youths take paths that are characteristically unchartered, often “left turns,” and make decisions untainted and undaunted by experience. This all fits in nicely with my philosophy about taking care of men: “Want to take great care of men? Just listen to them.” I move with them just as I move with Caetano.