From Brum to Bowie – Guest editor Trevor Beattie's Magnificent Seven creative influences
The Drum's guest editor and BMB co-founder Trevor Beattie reveals the things that have inspired and influenced him most outwith adland.
1. Jack and Ada
My wonderful mum and dad. I set up The Jack And Ada Beattie Foundation in their memory. With kind public donations, we’ve helped return D-Day heroes to Normandy and teach people with disabilities to fly, in every sense of the word. Our campaign line is ‘Knowing That Someone Is Fighting Your Corner Is Half The Battle Won’.
Birmingham defines me. I was born there and have an apartment in the amazing Rotunda Tower, which I once gazed up to as a child. I love what the new Brum has become. It’s finally shedding its inherent sense of low self-esteem and showing off a bit. Especially architecturally.
I’m no movie buff but I’ve always carried certain films with me: Kes, Whistle Down The Wind and Edward Scissorhands in particular. I love storytelling, and the best films simply tell great tales. I worked on Moon with Duncan Jones and watching him collect a Bafta was a moving experience. It redefined my future career plans in a moment.
Where do I start? With Fireball XL5 and Thunderbirds I guess, soon superseded by the genuine real-life heroics of Apollo’s Moon Walking legends. My childhood had its mind blown early. I’m staggered to now count Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) as a friend and soon, very soon, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo will finally fly me to the only place I treasure more than Brum: Space. My other home.
I’ve been a fan of Muhammad Ali since he was young Cassius Clay. I could write several books on what this man means to me. I’ve met and worked with The Greatest and it has changed me for the better forever. I even have my own Muhammad Ali Collection. And it’s currently on display in London.
There’s Mandela and then there are all us other humans. He was a man beyond. Little could the student me (attending weekly Anti-Apartheid rallies and gigs) have dreamed of spending one-to-one time with the wonderful Madiba. But Unicef made it happen. And, to quote my sidekick Del, ‘This Changed Me’ (@thischangedme).
I’ve never got over his arrival in my life and I’m not sure I’ll ever quite come to terms with his departure. I managed to see David’s play Lazarus in New York in December. I found its sense of foreboding almost overwhelming. Only later did we all discover why. There is nothing in life for which I cannot find an appropriate Bowie lyric. Just watch me now.
This piece was first published in The Drum's 20 April issue, guest-edited by Trevor Beattie.