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Road Warriors: Edward Webb

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Kai Ryssdal: No matter how you get it, streaming or downloading or buying an actual CD, music can make things better. That’s the idea behind our series Road Warriors from producer Michael Raphael. The soundtracks that business travelers use to get through those long hours they spend stuck in boring airports and generic hotels and in today’s installment… Deals gone wrong.

“Sympathy for the Devil” by the Rolling Stones

Edward Webb: My name’s Edward Webb. I’m a partner at Walker Nell Partners. We’re a turnaround management and corporate restructuring consultants. And when I’m sitting on an airplane seat waiting to fly out to the next city, I listen to “Sympathy For the Devil” by the Rolling Stones. It’s a very human kind of song. Mick is speaking to how the devil — which is a very scary idea — is a part of all of us. And that has always made sense to me.

You know, the work I do in corporate reorganization and turnarounds involves me with a lot of bankruptcy, and a lot of people who are going through some pretty significant pain and discomfort in their business, and these are often pretty decent business people who may have made a mistake or maybe not. Maybe they just got caught and found themselves in a bad place. And so when I think about that song and you think about the horrors that it talks about, it’s easy to say, well that’s not me. I’d never do that. I’m not evil. I’m not a bad guy. But it’s human. It’s part of the human condition.

The thing that I find when I’m traveling is, I’ve got an agenda, I have things I need to accomplish. I’m going from point A to point B, I’m catching taxis. I’m having discussions. It is from one thing to another to another to another, and then all of a sudden, I find myself sitting in an airplane seat and I’m just with myself. I’m tired and I’m irritable and I’m beat and I need something to bring me back to people and relationships. Or otherwise, I’m going to snap the head off the guy next to me, ’cause he’s sitting too close. And so that’s what the music does. It helps me get there. And I’m grateful for it. And meanwhile, it’s the greatest rock n’ roll. I mean, that band is rippin’.

Kai Ryssdal: We’ve got a new music section on our website. You can check out Edward’s other favorites, offer up your own playlist, or just see what the music was on the show today. It’s all on our homepage,

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