The fast-talker in the plaid shirt flashes with inspiration.
“I know what mood I’m in. So, so, you could have a color dial! So, you have red, blue. So, I’m in an angry mood — red. Blue? I’m just chillin’ out with a glass of wine.”
Tim Westergren nods. He smiles. A hmmm-lemme-think-about-that-one sort of smile. Now here comes a matronly sort with a stack of CDs. Easily twice the age of the fast-talker. Medicare-eligible, she says. She can’t sleep. The CDs help. She shuffles them into Westergren’s hands. Play them, she pleads.
And they keep coming. A dozen, two dozen. More. A willowy, 20-something hipster who says his profession is “socialite.” A retired nurse with a thing for Eric Clapton. That kid with the skateboard.
They’ve all filed into a downtown blues club for a town-hall-style meeting with Westergren about Pandora, the phenomenally popular Internet radio service he founded and has willed through more than a decade of creative sparks and fizzles, serial business crises and serial bouncebacks. Friends remark about Westergren’s evangelical love-embrace of his creation, and on this night he has talked until a fine film of sweat dampens his hair and forehead.