Every so often, I am approached in the real world, by young aspiring musicians or band guys just starting out
eager for rock and roll to take over their lives, for a little advice or help getting a gig or something to that effect.
It just occurred to me that I have a vehicle of talking to as many people who care to read this, and free reign to talk about whatever I wish So I have decided to take the time to make a series of articles about being in a band mostly geared to those starting out.
My credentials? Well Ive been in bands longer than I care to recollect, some successful, some flopped, throughout it all, Ive made a ton of friends, been able to share the stage with a few of my biggest heroes, and the biggest treat of all, Ive had kids come up to me and tell me that we have inspired them to start playing guitar. So while I may not be a multi millionaire jerk who uses pro tools to make my voice sound pitch perfect, you can bet I have lived a rock and roll life that some only dream of and if you can use my advice to surpass me young padawan, that is all any teacher could ever hope for
Part 1 So You Wanna Be In A Band
Hey thats great, rock and roll needs you. Before you grab that microphone, guitar, or set of sticks I need you to examine what youre getting into.
Lots of people are going to tell you that you need talent, looks, a gimmick, to play Eagles covers but Im gonna tell you thats a load of hooey. You dont need talent to play rock and roll, or looks, thats for the radio, and playing too many covers means you dont have much to say.
But you do need passion. You need to have a genuine love of what you are doing. Lets face it, being in a band is work, its like being married to 3 ugly guys, youre best friends are going to argue with you and on gig nights, your equipment is going to malfunction or get stolen, someone will eventually quit because of one thing or another, your girlfriend will probably leave after you spend so much time being consumed trying to find the perfect song, and you will have to spend more time trying to find someone who understands. Youre going to need that passion to keep doing what you are doing, because its not for the weak of heart.
The next thing I want you to do is face reality. Let me be the first to tell you out of tough love. You will probably never get famous. Youll never get rich. The big cars and houses you see on MTV? Never happen to you. OK? Good. Dont get me wrong, I hope it does, but the chances are very slim, and in the rock and roll life, your band mates just cant have you chasing a dream when you should be living some of the best times of your life. Its not fair to the 3 ugly guys you decided to get hitched with. The sad truth is, youll end a lot of nights wishing you stayed home, youll be in debt when the promoter stiffs you for gas money, and youll have a lot of new stuff to write songs about. There IS an upside to it though. Eventually the good times come, they are plentiful, if the group of you stick together, things will happen that they dont tell you in Rolling Stone or Spin. Sometimes youll swear youre rich and famous. The highs are higher than anything else.
Thee next thing I want you to think about is who influences you. Why? Well they always ask you that when youre being interviewed but it goes beyond that. My influences sound nothing like me, but I listen to them for what they say. Tom Waits has always made me think different. Mark Linskey is the best rock and roller I have ever met, Johnny Cash, Elvis, they all did things in a time period when prude was proper
The last thing is be yourself and stick to your guns. They are always going to be people who tell you that it cant be done, that you are wasting your time. But all you really need is three chords and desire to get it out. Punk rock is all about saying no and its been years Im still not done saying no yet.
Take notes? Good. Class will resume soon.
Homework listen to 3 albums you havent heard in over 3 months. Ask yourself why you bought them.
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