Who Died and Made You The Crème de la Crème
I won’t be a rock star. I will be a legend. – Freddy Mercury
by Walter Price
Not too long ago I wrote about the basic rules of behavior for so called hipsters. It has dawned on me that many of these thoughts can be transferred or carried over (if you prefer) into everyday music makers if they have hopes and dreams of making this art their long-term career.
Let us expand on those previous thoughts for minute or a few.
No matter how much you want to believe, you did NOT create Rock N’ Roll (or any variation thereof).
When Little Richard said, “The blues had an illegitimate baby and we named it rock ‘n’ roll.” He most likely was speaking of Ike Turner, Hank Williams, Carl Perkins and he was certainly talking about Chuck Berry.
I am safe and firm in my assertion that you are none of the before mentioned names. Trying to fool the younger generations makes you an ass, we’ll get to that later.
Everything people ‘love’ about you now they will easily hate you for in short time. Probably.
I hate to name names but Google ‘failed mega stars’ or any variation of and see that your public is only as strong as you’re art. Yes, ebbs and flows are common. Treat your art and subsequent following with honesty, respect and dignity and you will always have a decent audience.
You are not and will never ever be the second coming of The Beatles, The Kinks, Gram Parsons or even Nirvana. If you are or will be, the people and history will decide this not you and your foxy haircut.
Personal and career destinies are two different monsters. And if things work out and your planets align you can have the very best of both worlds.
This one isn’t really all giant poser people’s fault. Once one gets a few great write-ups and especially the ones that like to compare your sounds to the great music heroes in history. After a bit, you want to believe. The deal is, try to prove your burgeoning legacy correct. Don’t peacock like an ass and claim to be the new messiah of music. That stuff grates after a while and the joke you will become. Remember; “You sound like” and “you are” are two very different lasagnas.
“The ego is a fascinating monster.” Said the lovely earthy Alanis Morissette and let me add this from Bob Marley, “Every man gotta decide his own destiny.” Both are correct, choose and live cool.
Wanna last? Focus on your music and not the music scene. Substance paired with honesty goes oodles further than the right crowd.
In all my years in the music and radio business, this one makes my eyeballs bleed. Not that I don’t love a great stage outfit. Look at the history of music. From Porter Wagoner’s dazzle to Elvis, Glam Rock and then crazy and cool 80’s. But what the majority of these costumed music makers had in common was undeniable talent.
Serious somethings in the Hell Yeah departments. A trend may return but by the time it does your weak attempt at making retro rock n’ roll will be remembered as hackish but hey, you looked the part.
When you decide you’ve become more important than the people who love your music, you lose sucka!
This is one that is becoming very interesting these here days. For whatever reason an increasing number of artists varying degrees of success, find it necessary to consider themselves elevated above the people who support their music. Really?!
Yes, your sounds rock. You fill a venue of whatever size. The adulation is awesome. Guess what, the history of music of all genres is littered with big headed nobodies that used to be/do/have the same. For the most part, all the living legends have made and kept a cool rapport with their fans. Look it up. Ginger Baker doesn’t count.
Do What You Say You’re Going To Do. If you or your people set up something or another to promote your sounds, tours or anti-puppy farm crusade…Show-Up do your thing. Easy.
I have had the privilege to interview into the thousands of music makers, athletes, film makers etc over my long and winding career and a huge pain in the ass is spending the time prepping an interview, making room in a schedule or any of the other factors that go into chatting with knuckleheads about whatever it is they are promoting and they just don’t show, show and act as if they’re ding you a favor or flat out come across as a giant inflatable douchecircus.
“Times they are a changing” one great man once sang and they are. It doesn’t matter if it is Rolling Stone Mag, The Tonight Show, a fanzine or music blog. If you reach out for press and get the “yeah let’s do this”, do it!
STOP BEING AN ASSHOLE. This isn’t new information, no one really wants to be around or trust in a belligerent narcissist for the long haul.
This one is simple and see the above if you missed something.
Okay, OK. Morrissey was a bad example of this last one…Morrissey is Morrissey.
I truly hope there is a time when all honest songwriters and msucians have a real time with fame. Bask in the beautiful floodlights of the biggest stages. Le’s try and make it happen…
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