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It's high time for the art world to admit that the avant-garde is dead. It was killed by my hero, Andy Warhol, who incorporated into his art all the gaudy commercial imagery of capitalism (like Campbell's soup cans) that most artists had stubbornly scorned.
When I arrived at Campbell on January 8, 2001, the company had lost half its market value in the prior year. They had to cut costs to the point where they were literally taking the chicken out of chicken noodle soup and the product was no longer competitive.
My most memorable meal is every Thanksgiving. I love the food: the turkey and stuffing; the sweet potatoes and rice, which come from my mother's Southern heritage; the mashed potatoes, which come from my wife's Midwestern roots; the Campbell's green-bean casserole; and of course, pumpkin pie.
But what was interesting about what the Who did is that we took things which were happening in the pop genre and represent them to people so that they see them in a new way. I think the best example is Andy Warhol's work, the image of Marilyn Monroe or the Campbell's soup can.
I have traveled down this path before - 'List of Seven' and 'Twin Peaks' both have thematic similarities - but 'Paladin' took me much deeper into the intuitive underground. Always bearing in mind Joseph Campbell's Rule No. 1: When entering a labyrinth, don't forget your ball of twine.