What Makes A Rock Band and A Rock Star? (Part 1)

Taking into account that one already has the talent, what makes a rock band and/or rock star has never been equipment, technical prowess, a funny haircut or anything like that. Those things are definitely a piece of the puzzle, but I believe it is more about essence, conviction, energy, and creativity. There is nothing pleasant about Bob Dylan's voice, but he believes in what he is singing about. Therefore the audience believes with him. Joni Mitchell never knew how to play guitar, so what did she do? She made up her own tuning / chords, wrote amazing songs, and became one of the leading artists in the music world. Iggy Pop: raw power at its finest, walking through the audience smashing bottles on his bare chest or smearing peanut butter on it. And then there's Jagger. Perhaps not the most attractive face, but when he hits the floor and sings, he oozes primal sexuality. Each one may have learned "technical prowess,” perhaps even in the later parts of their careers, but they each carry a fire. A fire that revealed their raw talent from the very beginning. I've always been a punk rocker at heart. The punk rock ethos has always been about going against the grain and a work ethic rooted in D.I.Y. And since day-one, I took that ideology and ran with it.

I've never been a "good musician,” in the technical sense. (Hell, sometimes I wouldn't even call myself a musician!) I'm that guy that picks up the guitar, writes songs, and performs the hell out of the stage. I book shows, promote, and keep moving forward, pouring every inch of my life, my sweat, and my blood into my art. I always thought that's how everyone operated, but I frequently found that too many never found that “fire” that explodes while on stage. They wanted to be in a band, play live and bathe in the adrenaline of the stage, but they became confined in their rehearsal, striving for “technical perfection” at the detriment of their performance. But what is perfection? Does perfection belong in rock n’ roll? Perhaps. But every band that has achieved greatness, it never started with perfection. It always been long winding roads, filled with countless ups and down, riches and misfortunes, good times and bad. The performance and the rehearsal may not ever be perfect, but if you have the energy and the guts to go through it anyway, you’ll have the makings of a great story. Maybe even the kind of story that will turn up in a biography or film that gets written about you. And if not, maybe you’ll have a good laugh and perhaps have learned something.

I understand the concept of being a good musician and I respect it, because it is a piece of the puzzle in the game of rock n roll. But not everyone IS a good musician. Sometimes you have to lean on energy and creativity, then there’s no choice but to throw everything you got into what you have and make it work. (Blood. Sweat. Life.) At least no one can accuse you of being fake. So get out there and rock that stage like there's no tomorrow. Break all the rules you can in the studio! Do it to get that sound you want! d.

please note: this is all in good fun and just my opinion. I'm sure many of you will disagree with me ;).


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