I will be laughed at for writing this for two reasons.
1: I'm typing on my computer instead of snuggling with my sweetheart.
2: I'm not a rock star.... well not yet.
It's hard at first when you don't know how to get the know how you need to know. After knowledge, you'll need two more things. Effort or a manifestation of effort, called money), and Luck.

Resourses that can help you ...
1: A Band:
This sounds simple, but it can be pretty difficult to assemble the right group of people. I've found, the best place to find available musicians is at open mic nights. Call a few local coffee shops and bars, or look in the news paper to find em. Once you find one open mic night, the regulars there will know of two or three other places.

Advertising for band-mates in the paper it a hit/miss endeavor. Be prepared for lots of yahoos and people who don't read the add.."I'm calling about your add for a 23 year old drummer... well I'm a 42 year old guitarist and I thought..."

Most important....Network! Every musician you meet knows two other musicians who know two more who knows two more... Always meet their friends and climb the ladder.

##Note.. they're called band mates because they're just that MATES!!! You are are practically married to these people for the 6-8 years it takes to make it. You share your dreams, effort, chick-singer, and pizza with these guys, so make sure you band with people who will match your rate of personal and musical growth.

2: A Computer:
It's the digital age my friends.. no more taping your practice in Timmy's garage and handing it to Joes Pub.

Get yourself a nice 500mhz+ toy, with internet, printer, soundcard, cd-burner. Sorry wallet, but dreams cost money. A computer can be used as a recording studio using software like Ntrack ($35) or Cakewalk($250). You can then burn your cd's of your music.. print out lables.. and wow club owners, and record producers with your professional appearance and sound!

Then MAKE A WEBPAGE nothing beats soliciting people to hear your band.. but they're more likely to listen in from of their computer speakers. a webpage advertises for your band, provides contact information (so you can spam your mailing-list friends to your shows) And its the first-best way for a record producer in California to meet your punk-rock band in Indiana. Goto aerosmith.com or davematthews.com or my personal favorite bigphatdynamo.com (gota love self advertising) look at the contentof these sites and create the same for your band. You'll need contact info, music examples, showtimes and location, and hype about your band. Let people get excited about YOU. about YOUR STORY!

Do some desktop publishing with your windows or linux machine. Make flyers and litter the town before a gig. Make posters of the band to display at each club you play.. Make a promo pack! This is important. This is something you hand to people you want something from (recording contract, gigs, promotions) In it you need to put.
1: A picture of the band.. Don't bother doing a photo shoot in the grand canyon.. they want to see your ugly mugs, so do a close up..and SMILE!
2: A bio.. say who your band is, what kind of music you play, places you have played, clippings of news paper interviews your band has done.
3: A Cd of the band. Put your best music first. Not too much intro.. usually they just skim through the first 30 seconds of the first 3 songs before they decide you're worth actually listening to.
4: Contact info. Your phone, email and website. Some hate email.. others communicate only through that.
5: Put all this in a nice big envelope. If you give someone some thing big and substantial.. they feel like they owe you.. at least enough to consider your band.

Nothing gets done for you unless YOU DO IT!! You want to play the biggest club in town? Call them.. ask what they expect from their headliners. Then MAKE IT HAPPEN!!

They want to hear you first? Plug into your computer (or digital 8 track recorder) and record your music. Or invite them to a show you already have booked (make sure to put the booking guy on the guest list.. they shouldnt have to pay to watch you break a string half-way through the set)

They say you need a following? Establish one! At your gigs, pass out forms where people can join your mailing list. Email everyone before each show. When they show up and your performing.. yell into the microphone "hey guys Look!! Carolyn came to our show!!". Buy em beers. Mail em postcards for their birthday. Throw keg parties at the drummers parents house and invite everyone in the bar. Love em, lead em. Your fans are your ticket to greatness.

Lots of places want you to play the whole night. Learn at least 3 hours of music!! If you can't write 10 songs a day, then learn some covers.. or jam out a half hour harmonica solo.

You want to be played on the radio? Most regions have a station that showcases local music. Call the station and ask to be put on. When she says call back.. CALL BACK... when they forget to call you.. call them again. Go to your college radio station and ask them play you.. Most times they'll invite you into the studio for an interview.. In the big times now baby!!

remember...Nothing gets done for you unless YOU DO IT!! The drummer is not going to stop parradiddling to hand out flyers.. so its up to you!

LUCK:: Ok so I hate to mention the unquantifiable.. but it matters.. How do you make it? Luck or Kismet or Oops I'm a millionaire! The good thing about luck though, is that you have some say in how it works. So maybe radio dj is randomly clicking through amazon.com and finds your cd for sale. Maybe he buys it, likes it, plays it nationally, and Time/Warner hands you a contract? Luck? Damn right! But YOU made your cd available online. How were you lucky enough to win that battle of the bands? YOU played in it! (also helps to bring a big cheering section.. bribe em with beer or free cd's if you have to get em to show). Why did that producer choose your band instead of the 40-million others? You mailed him a professional promotions pack! You flirted his secretary to put your band on the top of the stack! You chose to make your logo with an eye catching hologram, and you had it delivered to him on his birthday with free Chinese food!

Before I end this node let me end with a few nice pieces of advise.
1: Make a contract for every show. Don't let club owners screw you out of even $30 for a gig. Dont let them charge your fans for going to a gig that they told you had no cover charge. Don't trust the door guy to accurately count how many fans paid to get in..
2: Get your music copyrighted. it costs like $20 to copyright the songs on your cd. Its worth 4 hours of being paid to say "Would you like frys with that" To protect the manifestation of your talent, your labor, and your heart

Thanks for reading. Good luck. and HAPPY ROCKSTARRING!

Or How to Rock in General

Never forget that rock n’ roll is almost always at least 1/4 bullshit. Not bullshit as in some worthless, offensive waste, but bullshit like a mystical and unidentifiable effluvium that frustrates all that seek but cannot find it. There is an ever-present pseudo-"Emperor's New Clothes" element at work here. While you can objectively determine a smoking guitar solo, or a bad-ass drum break, or the perfectly pitched '80s hair metal scream, you could have all these elements in a song that sucks major ass. You can have none of these things in a song that rocks for the ages.

You'll hear old blues men say time and time again, "You gotta pay your dues if you wanna play the blues." This is the perfect adage to explain blues music. The blues is perhaps the simplest musical style there is, all notes come off a pentatonic scale and all chord changes fall along the lines of 1-4-5. Despite the incredible simplicity of the form, not just anyone (and in fact very few) can play the blues well. This is because the most important ingredient to the blues, and what makes the blues so great, is the feeling. The soul. The mojo. The whatever. Don't try to describe it, you'll lose it. But whatever it is, you have to know heartache, misery, despondency, depression, every color and hue in the rainbow of pain to get it.

Rock n’ roll is blues-based, almost exclusively. We're still pickin' on the pentatonics, we're still bangin' out the 1-4-5 progressions, but now we're saying to ourselves, what if it's not all about the bad times? What if it's about the kick-ass good times? There are a million blues songs about drowning in the bottle after losing your girl, your house, your dog, your truck... but what about those times you drown in the bottle at the most ragingest party of your life? What about that time you snorted enough coke to kill an elephant and ended up in bed with the Swedish Bikini Team? What about that time you got in a guitar solo contest with the Devil Himself and scorched his ass so bad he had to wear diapers for a week? Rock n’ roll made the blues celebratory.

But so even though the focus has shifted a bit, the key ingredient is still the same: the feeling. You cannot play rock (physically) if you yourself do not rock (spiritually). And you will never rock (spiritually) until you rock out (physically), preferably on a semi-regular basis. In the Marine Corps there's a saying that goes, "False motivation breeds real motivation," and as stupid as it sounds, it's the truest thing I've ever heard. If you just say, "Fuck it, I'm gonna get excited about this stupid, menial task even though I hate it so bad and enjoying it is the most ridiculous thing I can imagine. I’m too good to let this bullshit get me down. I'm going to like it to spite it," then you start to have fun with it, because it's fun to be spiting this task that you hate so badly. Then everyone around you starts to have fun with it. Pretty soon you've turned something that makes everyone miserable into something that everyone's having a great time doing.

This is not to say that rock is a chore, but that faking the funk will, 9 times out of 10, lead you to the light. In other words, if you're not a rocker, have no fear. Pretend to rock, attempt to rock hard, and you will rock soon enough. Consider some of the people who have rocked before us:

  • Axl Rose. Think about Axl on stage, wiggling around the mic, doing a Stevie Wonder impression with his head, jumping around like some maniacal pogo stick…. He should’ve been totally ridiculous, except that it rocked. Do you think that stuff would’ve been considered rocking when he was just a pimply-faced teen without Guns n' Roses shredding behind him? Yet he didn’t just start rocking once they were playing behind him, he had to attempt to rock before he truly rocked.

  • Angus Young. How many of us would be caught dead in a schoolboy outfit? And if you do have the balls to wear one, do you think it would rock? Angus did not just rock in a schoolboy outfit, he made the schoolboy outfit rock. Again, this did not happen by magic. Angus had to work hard to be rocking himself before he could rock the schoolboy outfit. His band said it perhaps better than anyone: “It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock n’ roll.”

  • Lemmy Kilmister. This man is ugly as sin. Seriously, take a good look at him. He could’ve been a double for the Elephant Man. Is this the first thing people think of when Lemmy is mentioned? No. Why? Because what stands out far beyond his looks is his rocking. As with Angus’ schoolboy outfit, he didn’t just rock in spite of his face, he made his face rock.

This all goes to show that it takes balls, my friend, brass balls to rock. You don’t have to be special; you just gotta have the guts. You have to fearlessly rock in the face of failure and humiliation. Make no mistake friend, rock n’ roll is a religion, and if you seek salvation within its loving arms, you must heed the words of one of the seemingly un-rockingest men ever, George Michael:

You gotta have faith.

More Help On How To Rock in General

People say that rocking can’t be taught. Not only is this not true but it’s completely false. True Rocking can be difficult to catch if you weren’t born with it but it’s there, the fickle mistress waiting to be taken by those with true grit.

And we’re chalk full of that!

Go down to your local record store. Notice I said local and not Circuit City, if you want to be a rocker you’re going to have to go local, nothing is more punk rock than supporting your local stuff. So go to that local record store and try not to look too much like a fanboy. Go to the ROCK section and find Motörhead – try Ace of Spades it’s a good one to get your newbie feet wet on. Check out that cover! Notice that all the members of the band look like a more biker version of Antonio Banderas in Desperado. Taking your band photo on a mountain top is so rock that it’s almost a requirement. Some statistics say that every mountain in the world is on some album cover except for Everest and Kilimanjaro1.

It’s just something I heard.

After absorbing a fraction of Motorhead’s powers by staring at the record cover for a few moments flip it over. You’ll probably notice that the three band members are showcased in cool individual circles with their names underneath. You’ll probably also noticed that only one of them goes by one name and one name alone.


Say it not until you are ready for this is the only name you need know to succeed in rocking. But don’t worry – I’ll show you more.

Just don’t forget LEMMY. Got it? Good.

Now, we’re going to try something lighter. Something that’s a little easier to swallow. We’re going to try Journey. I know what you’re thinking, probably something like, “Hey, I know them.” Well, you probably do know them but do you know them, know them? Have you ever let the soothing lyrical stylings of one, Steve Perry (also my High School band teacher's name – weird huh?) wash over you in a wave of awesome? Probably not. Your best bet, in this case, is to get a greatest hits album. That’s what Journey is for and everyone knows what this album looks like. It’s got a bizarre beetle thing with wings on the front which probably means something but who cares – we’re rocking! Play “Anyway You Want It.” It’s good isn’t it? Now play it again. The thing about Steve Perry is that you can’t understand every word but you get the idea. Again, this is practically a requirement for lead singers. If you can understand everything they’re saying than it’s not rock it’s folk. Steve Perry’s voice is beautiful and if your singing along with him in the car, you probably sound just like him.

An interesting fact about the name “Perry” is that seems to be tied closely to music. My High School band teachers name was Steve Perry; also the same name of the kick-ass lead singer of Journey. Then there’s Perry Farrell of Jane's Addiction (also a rocking band with hard to understand lyrics.) Plus there’s Perry Como and Perry Mason who was known to sing on occasion.

Something else I heard.

We’re gonna go British for a moment. It’s an important step to rocking; recognizing our friends across the ocean and what better band to do this with than The Clash. London Calling is a perfect album from a perfect band. If you push play, within five minutes your lip will be curled in a sneer, your chest will be jutting out and you’ll be stamping your heel to the beat of one of the greatest bands ever. The thing about The Clash is, now you’re punk rock and you’re just plain rocking because this is an undisputed band. They rock and everyone knows it and now you know it too.

That’s three items of rocking under your studded belt and you’re well on your way to hair down to your ass-crack and faded, black band T-shirts that reek with the sweat of a dedicated roadie. I don’t want to keep you from air guitars and shower solos but I do have a few more points of interest to throw at you.

1. geneva says by the way. Kilimanjaro is pictured on a Teardrop Explodes single, "Kilimanjaro," but then, they're not all that Rawk.

Screw those other guys. Here's everything you need to know to rock it like a hurricane.

Certain bands, like Menudo, don't need help being incredible. But for the rest of the world's musicians, there are certain trends that equate to commercial success. If you want to truly ensure your position in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, you'll want to encapsulate as many of these things at once as you possibly can. First, though, you'll have to choose a name. I suggest choosing a stage name for yourself before you ever consider a band. Let's face it: You're going to leave those dirtbags in the dust and go solo in a few years anyways. You can use your real first name if it's sexy enough (Ethan, Anastasia, and Kurt are alright; Henry and Sally are not, etc.) Pick something universally accepted as tough and rockin' and slap that on there as your last name. If you get stuck, try things related to natural disasters and carniverous animals. Thunder, Hawk, and Killer Bee are all acceptable last names. (When you come up with a good one, let me know.)

R o c k L e s s o n # 1

Work on your image.

You've got to start small with the whole image thing. Change it up, too. If people see you in an innocent schoolgirl uniform one day and making love to a snake on the cover of a magazine the next, they're going to take notice. Unfortunately, the only schoolgirl outfit I was able to find was my 13-year-old sister's, and the only snake a gorgeous Tennessee Copperhead. Partially covered in a tiny ripped schoolgirl uniform and with most of my body swollen from the neck down due to snakebites, I must admit that I looked very foolish when the paramedics wheeled me into Poison Control. You know what, though? Pretty soon they'll be wheeling me all the way to the bank. For photo shoots, there are several cliché rock poses that work smashingly. Try looking away from the camera as if something in the distance is holding your intensely dreamy gaze. Scott Weiland appears to be doing this all the time, but don't be fooled. What he's experiencing is something very different. For a few of the shots, look like you're about to break the photographer in half with your super strength. Then, take a few where you look like you might make out with the photographer. Mix the two together near the end of the shoot, and you know what effect you've achieved? Bad boy with a heart of gold. Cultivating this image might be the single most important factor in a band's longevity (i.e. Whitesnake.)

R o c k L e s s o n # 2

Make everyone think you're a badass.

This is far easier than you'd think. Get booked at an open mic night somewhere. Carry a battle axe on stage. Fling it into the crowd, then bite the head off of a pigeon. Make sure you're wearing a leather jacket when you do it. If this doesn't work, join a band like Linkin Park and just try excruciatingly hard to convince everyone around you that you're hard. Whine a lot, too. Those guys are one misunderstood 12 year old fan away from joining the ranks of Jacko and that guy who played Rooney in Ferris Beuller's Day Off. Electric Six perpetuates a badass image by making references to nuclear war twice a verse, as a rule. That is the kind of tenacity we need to see in the next generation of rock stars.

R o c k L e s s o n # 3

Let everyone know that you're actually sensitive inside.

Luckily for you, this is just as easy to fake as being dangerous and heartless. Instead of saying, "goodnight, you've been a great audience," have the lights brought down low and say something like the following, beneath a single spotlight:

"Good evening, folks. I know that, normally, this is the time that most bands set aside for an encore. But there are kids out there who will never receive an encore. Kids with diseases." (At this point, have your rhythm guitarist fingerpick something in the key of A minor.) "These kids live in an orphanage that is currently burning to the ground. We could stay and play more songs for you...but what they don't tell you on MTV is that the insane wailing of our guitars could never put out the flames that are slowly consuming these children, or rid them of the smoke that is gradually choking the life out of their frail, emaciated, and overwhelmingly cute bodies. So we have to go. For the children."

Word will start to get around that you're actually very sweet people, and you care about the issues. Next step is to write a heartwarming ballad. For the purposes of this article, I wrote "Manatee Tears," a song about the tragic friendship of a boy and a manatee. Originally, the two are brought together through their shared fate as outsiders; the manatee is self-conscious because he's overweight and the boy is ostracized because he sucks. As they get older, the boy gets "too cool" for the manatee and starts hanging with humans. Later, while cruising around in his speedboat with his hot teenage friends, they hit the manatee, killing him. To heighten the emotional effect, I've dedicated an entire verse to the image of the manatee's blubberous corpse washing up on the beach. Once you've got your sensitive ballad, you dedicate it to something ambiguous. All proceeds for my first album, tentatively entitled Songs in the Key of Music, go towards funding for a soon-to-be-launched legal battle with Reynolds Company Ascorbic Acid Suppliers™ . My official statement is as follows: "The Reynolds company tests its acid products on loving, furry animals with large, sad eyes. I believe that this is immoral." Controversial stances like this are also a good way to get free publicity.

R o c k L e s s o n # 4

Sell out as quickly as possible.

You were probably going to do this part already. Just make sure you pick the right product to endlessly endorse. You don't want anything that changes with the times - Remember that Pepsi used to use Ray Charles in their commercials, but the American preference for blind minorities gave way to attractive semi-clad females, and Britney Spears took his place. Nevermind that with Ray they had someone with personality, talent, and soul - we want breasts. Safer bets include Play-doh and anything alcoholic. Alcoholics are easy to please; your stock will go up regardless of how well you endorse the product.

Having successfully made yourself into a suitable rock figure, do a whirlwind tour of the country, headlining a few gigs to see what it's all about. It's everything you'd think it is. Girls, boys, binges, crushing up quarters and snorting them off of mirrors, etc. Have fun and send me a signed copy of your celebrity sex tape, whenever you make it. (And they always do.)

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