Fred Spanjaard: Bringing Live Aid to Life

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Fred Spanjaard: Bringing Live Aid to Life
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Back in 1985, before the time of countless celebrity charities and philanthropic foundations, the largest charity concert ever held was put on. Our guest this week, Fred Spanjaard remembers Live Aid like it was yesterday, because he was the Operations Producer of the Philadelphia live performance. Almost 2 billion viewers tuned in to see this 17 hour performance, both in London and in Philadelphia, where performers and celebrities of all genres came together to raise millions of dollars for Ethiopian hunger relief. The show is considered one of the most important moments in music history, and helped changed the context for how the collective public views and takes action to help causes like world hunger.

Fred’s recollections of his time producing Live Aid are nothing short of amazing. Fred discusses some of his favorite behind the scenes stories about performers like Madonna, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and other super stars, and how he and the Live Aid team pulled off the benefit concert of a lifetime.

Nowadays Fred’s busy with his business Global Media Productions, where he still produces and promote events of all sizes and magnitudes. Some of his most notable recent clients include Deepak Chopra, Ram Das, the late Wayne Dyer, Eckhart Tolle, and others. Listen to the full interview to hear what putting together a show like Live Aid was really like.

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David Muckenhirn: Designing Aspen’s Breathtaking Homes

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner David Muckenhirn: Designing Aspen’s Breathtaking Homes
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Going from Stanford graduate to designer and builder of multi-million dollar homes was a serendipitous chain of events for David Muckenhirn. David studied electrical engineering and got his first job out of school working for Sylvania Electronics Systems, but wasn’t completely satisfied with the work-life balance. After a multitude of miscellaneous jobs, he eventually landed himself in the home building business in Aspen, Colorado, first assisting, and soon running the show. It was only a matter of time before David started designing and building his own spec houses that sold for millions of dollars.

Nowadays you can find David at his beautiful oceanfront home in Maui enjoying the views. But he hasn’t lost his love for home building, as he’s still got one last passion project in the works back in Aspen.

David’s story is one of following your heart and knowing that success will follow. David and Andy share stories about how David learned his craft, where he finds the most joy in work and in life, and some of David’s favorite builds he’s ever done. Check out the entire interview now.

Lew “Blue Mountain” Abrams: Creating a Sanctuary of Peace & Eco-Farming

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Lew “Blue Mountain” Abrams: Creating a Sanctuary of Peace & Eco-Farming
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Starting an interview with the soothing sounds of a Tibetan singing bowl is not how we typically do things on the Extraordinary Ordinary People Show. But with a guest like Lew “Blue Mountain” Abrams, it feels right. Formerly a practicing psychologist in Seattle, Dr. Abrams now resides in the lush greenery of Maui, where he and his family have created a sanctuary for those seeking a place for creativity, expression, and spirituality, free from judgement of faith denomination, ego, or other emotional baggage we might be carrying.

Blue Mountain came to Maui 19 years ago when the rainy weather of Seattle became too much for his family. After some time on the island, he and his wife decided they wanted to make their vision of building a sanctuary by the sea a reality. They found the land where Ahisma Sanctuary Farm now lives, and built around it a world unlike anything else. Dr. Abram and his family practice eco-farming and experiment with new ways to grow food without pesticides or chemicals. Along with that, they offer their beautiful farm and dwellings for seminars, yoga retreats, community events, and even a few weddings. Their main goal for the sanctuary is to create a safe place in the community that encourages creativity, expression, and connections with those around you.

In this fascinating interview, Andy and Blue Mountain talk about balancing spiritual peace and the everyday realities of owning a business, how Blue Mountain got his name, and the future of Ahimsa Sanctuary Farm becoming a pilgrimage for those seeking a beautiful judgement-free space in the world. Listen now!

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Toni Menage: The Path to Musical Freedom

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Toni Menage: The Path to Musical Freedom
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Toni Menage has a career most aspiring singers envy. She’s toured the world with Lisa-Lisa Cult Jam, sang with and was produced by the legendary Stevie Wonder, and performed on legendary television shows including Soul Train, The Grammy’s The Arsenio Hall Show, and many others. But her path to get there was not as full of rainbows as you might think.

Andy and Toni discuss what it’s like to grow up as an up and coming singer in the projects of Harlem, and how she first got noticed by a producer when she was in just 7th grade and had a hit song on the radio! For Toni, there were plenty of big star-struck moments, as well as a few regrettable ones too, as she recollects in this week’s podcast.

Listen to the full interview to hear about Toni’s upbringing in the music business, what she wishes she knew then that she knows now, how her consulting business gives other up and coming singers all the tools to succeed in the industry, and who her true inspirations are. Check it out now.

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