If you want an audience with Roger McNamee, you have a couple of options. You can try calling the Menlo Park, California office of technology buyout firm Silver Lake Partners, of which McNamee is a co-founder, to set up an appointment.
But a better way to see McNamee may be to simply attend a performance of The Flying Other Brothers, of which he is co-founder, guitarist and singer.
This is no weekend garage band. The Flying Other Brothers is a serious and successful endeavor, much like everything else the intrepid McNamee has been involved with. ‘FOB,’ which plays a distinctly Grateful Dead-inspired, improvisational form of rock, gigs roughly 50 times a year in the Bay Area and beyond (the band played Iowa and Nebraska in January).
The Flying Other Brothers has six members, including McNamee's wife, Ann, on keyboards, as well as former Jefferson Starship keyboardist Pete Sears.
FOB has released three albums, which owe their names more to the financial markets than to the band once fronted by the late Jerry Garcia. ‘IPO’ and ‘Secondary’ can be purchased on Amazon.com, as can the band's latest release, ‘52-Week High.’ Raves one online reviewer: ‘The songs are catchy, often humorous, and quite varied in their styles.’ Writes another: ‘I loved this album as soon as I started listening. It reminded me of driving up Mt. Tamalpais in 1967, stoned in an old school bus…’
The band actually moves product. ‘IPO’ reached No. 95 on Amazon's best-seller list. Curiously, McNamee's role in The Flying Other Brothers is not mentioned in his official Silver Lake biography, although the band is listed on the website of Integral Capital, a venture capital firm at which he also spends time.
The tech and guitar guru has recently reduced his roles at the firm he helped found – his new title is advisory director – to accommodate his work on other investment activities, and, of course, with the band.
And who can blame him? Given the choice between sitting through a due diligence meeting and jamming on ‘Constellation Rag’ in front of a live audience, what would you choose?