The Rockstar Illusion

Take a look at this video. Isn’t that the most rockstar thing you’ve seen?

How about these photos 

Insert photos of hedonism NSFW

Y’all perverts, you need Jesus.

The fast and loose life that walks hand in hand with fame (specifically, musicians). It just looks cool. I mean in the purest sense of the sentiment. It’s undeniably cool that Exile on Mainstreet was written purely on Heroin. I love that image in my head. But have you actually seen someone strung out before? It’s really not pretty, and it actually makes them really shitty at what they do! Take a look at this video of John Frusciante, (who is in contention for the greatest guitarist of the last generation) this is scary stuff, and honestly, he sucks in this video. Which is sad, because he’s normally mind-blowingly good. 

Scary and sad. 

Here’s a reference for how good he normally is

Scary (good) and not sad at all.

Now I have done just about everything you can do (much to the chagrin of my parents), so I don’t have a lot of room to talk. But I can say this, I never had an experience where I was intoxicated and wrote something better than when I was sober. I consistently write better when I sleep well and eat healthily. 

I’m trying to push this point here. The image of a rockstar is just a marketing trick.

These guys… all Eagle Scouts.

Close your eyes and think of the average night of your favorite artist? They’re probably having the time of their (and your) life. They also seem to have a superpower of being immune to the consequential effects of extreme and constant hedonism. 

I want to point out that this is all in your head! It’s the same thing that happens you get cheated on. Your lame ass partner gets with someone, and in your mind, it’s they had the BEST SEX THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN. Seriously, they rewrote the Kamasutra, and their libidos will never be the same again. But in reality, it was just as awkward as the love you’re making right now. Holding your gas in, bumping heads, your breath kind of stinks, and what the hell is with that… that clunky moment you’re trying to get your pants off (they always skip that in the movies). 

That was a long tangent. My point is that you don’t actually want to be a rockstar. You want to be perceived as a rockstar, but actually, be a musician. Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?

Was this the highest point in Chris Tuckers Life?

To get/remain in the game, you have to be at the top of your game, and YOU CAN’T DO THAT IF YOU ZONKED OUT OF YOUR MIND ALL THE TIME. 

“But Bonham did it! But Mac Miller…” Yeah, and they’re dead! You really want to base your career off of someone who died that young? 

Your success rests within you. The reason anyone has “made it” is because they just worked at it every day. Or they have money. Do you have money? No, then just work at it every day.

Keep up that intensity Mike, she’s sure to find it attractive eventually!

What does that look like? Is it that annoying kid that only talks about one subject? No. Is it dedicating five hours a day to running scales? I mean, it can be, but you’re probably going to want to smash your face against the wall from boredom. Okay, enough sass… every day looks like this!

To-Do List – 

  • Blah
  • Blah
  • Blah 
  • You have to keep something on this list
  • Blah 
  • Blah Blah

What am I saying? Make a To-Do list and update it weekly. 

If you sing, then sing a little everyday! Learn drills you can run to keep sharp. If you play guitar, dedicate a little bit of time to running those drills every day! If you write songs, write a little bit every day! If you love it so much, just do what you love! If you’re having a hard time focusing on running drills and staying in shape, pick up teaching someone for a little extra cash. That will keep you honest since you will have to practice with them.

Side Note – Teaching has been one of the best things in helping me improve over the years. I have found a deeper knowledge and understanding from teaching, and I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to improve their craft.

How do you act like a Rockstar without destroying yourself?

  • Keep an air of mystery about yourself.
  • Indulge, but set a limit and stick to that limit.
  • Be self-aware. Duh. 

How do you do this but still stay true to who you are? Well, most of the people you see on stage are acting. So to your friends and family. Be open and be honest and goofy and let your guard down. I’m not saying, “don’t do that same thing with your fans.” I’m just saying be aware of where you are. If you’ve ever hung out with your boss outside of work, this should make sense to you! 

Once again, always be yourself, AND be aware of where you are and what you’re trying to convey. You can do both and still be true to yourself.

Okay, so what happens when we are mentally, physically, and emotionally healthy? When we are in a good place, we are more open to the gods of creativity! Good ideas come more frequently. You have more energy, and overall you will be at peace. I mean, that doesn’t sound like a rockstar to me, but it is a good life (which can’t be said for a rockstar). 

I really don’t want this post to come off as a “Just be yourself, and that makes you a rockstar.” 

Sorry, your mom’s opinion is not relevant here.

I don’t believe that. Some of us are just not cool. We never will be, and that’s okay! Being happy with yourself is so much better than being cool. Cool isn’t the best thing you can be! So if you’re not cool, stop trying to be and be happy with whatever you are. 

We are also in an unprecedented time of social media. People post everything these days. I mean, you can figuratively see people’s shit. 

(I’m trying really hard to not use “literally” wrong these days. I think the word figuratively is funny and I literally lol’d when I wrote that sentence)

Social Media has taken all of the mystery out of our stars (for better or worse) some people still kill at the game though. Here are some things to think about before you post.

Anyways, here’s wonderwall.
  1. How am I wanted to be perceived? Does what I am posting match up with that?
  2. What am I trying to achieve with this post? Am I just wanting “likes,” or is this a “call to action.” 
  3. How much of my personal life bleeds over to my career? Does this post cross that line? 

Personally, I don’t go through everyone’s Instagram and unfollow them because their aesthetic doesn’t look right. Honestly, I think that part of it should be to help keep YOU (the aspiring rock god) in the right mindset. People see us through the tiny screens they keep in their pockets. Now more than ever, that’s how you’re viewed! 

Peace, be shrill.

There are tips and tricks on how to post something provocative and engaging. I blog on that often, and honestly, you can google just about 1 million other people that post these helpful nuggets, that’s not the point of this particular post. If you want to know more about what I think and what has worked for me, subscribe! 

The king!

In summary, when we think of Lemmy brushing his teeth with Jack. Remember this, that’s all marketing baby. If he really does that, he would have a shitty quality of life, and I know that the big C ended up getting him – RIP Lemmy, you are a Rock God in my book and nothing but love for you!! – But either he has a super-liver that went through hell and back, or… what is more likely… it didn’t actually happen like how you’re picturing it in your head.

So how can you use that information to your advantage? Remember how Heath Ledger in “10 things I hate about you” used all those untrue facts (positive spin on the definition of a lie) to give him that sweet, sweet, high school street cred? Well, do that! I don’t mean lie, but keep an air of mystery in the things that you do. Balance that out with ACTUALLY DOING interesting things, and you’re all set! The final touch, just like in the movie. Do it because you want to do it. There is no other reason. If you start caring just a little bit less of what people think of you. You’re already on your way! 

I agree!

I will say that I think it’s good to care a little bit about what people think, but NEVER let them guide you into a decision you don’t want to make. If you do this, you will have the rockstar cloak placed upon your beautiful shoulders, and even if NO ONE ACTUALLY DOES CARE, you will feel better about yourself! 

Before I sign off, I want you to know that being at peace with yourself is the most important thing. Not being cool (or perceived as cool) that shit doesn’t matter. Honest to the buddha, it doesn’t matter at all. Jimi Hendrix was cool and died at 27 in a pool of his own vomit. He also suffered from drastic mood swings (as well as beat the shit out of his girlfriend) I mean he wrote a song called Manic Depression for christ sakes. Most “cool” people have really deep issues, which makes them seem cooler, it’s a crazy cycle. Anyways, understand that marketing doesn’t have to be “you.” That now, more than ever, you can be a “nerd” and be the one that everyone wants to be. But that shouldn’t be your focus. Peace should be the focus. 

RIP

I love you… now get outta here, I’m off to watch “10 things I hate about you.” Mostly because I hate the way I don’t hate that movie. 

Damn, that last sentence lost any shred of rockstar energy I had. Actually, having a blog like this is pretty, not rockstar. Dang, everything I thought I knew is crumbling around me!

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