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.)