I was talking with a friend of mine about rules and what not. The discussion started with the Golden Rule of do unto others as you have done unto you.
A concept so old no one gets credit for it and no one should. The idea alone can stand on its own as being simply wise advice.
We started talking about goofing off and making up other rule lists and stuff. Some people goof off playing video games, I figure out new and different ways to fuck with the masses so to speak. It’s OK to laugh and yes that was meant to be a joke.
Context can get lost in type.
Eventually the idea my friend came up with was I should do a piece on Rockstar Rules and I have been letting it swim for a couple days now to see what would happen if I took on this task.
1. If you are doing it for the money do the rest of the world a favor and stop now.
Commercial art is crap and lacks true substance. It’s made to please a demographic and is formulated and the true creative process is lost and forsaken for something comfortable that has no soul.
2. Once you create your image, live it.
When I met Spider from Powerman 5000 he looked a lot like he does on stage and in videos.
Dolly Parton is never out of costume.
It was once a mystery of great interest as to what the faces behind the make up of KISS looked like.
Nikki Sixx told a story once about no one letting him get a short haircut and that even the barber said “But your Nikki Sixx.”
3. The fans are the reason you do everything.
Without the fans you have no career as a Rock Star.
James Hetfield of Metallica once said “We’re just 4 lucky fans.”
KISS in concert spends a lot of time telling the fans that without them there is no KISS.
4. Blood, sweat, tears and bad behavior.
Elvis was banned from being shown below the waist for a while because his gyrations were thought to be too sexually seductive.
Your guitar isn’t yours until it makes you bleed.
A musician is someone who will take $5000 worth of equipment and throw it in a car worth $500 to drive 100 miles to play a gig for $50.
Motley Crue had a famous tour with Ozzy Osbourne where the contest between the band and the living legend was a gross out contest.
Keith Richards once said in Rolling Stone magazine that kids would not do drugs. Dennis Leary rightly called him out for being a hypocrite and noted that Keith has done them all and now we have to wait to smoke his ashes.
Motley Crue once took alcohol and used needles to shoot it directly into their veins.
5. Leave it all on the stage.
KISS got their reputation because of the live show and is why they back it up when they say “You wanted the best, you got the best, the hottest band in the land, KISS!”
I got to see the original line up in full make up. I have never seen anything like it and we might never see anything like it again. Not the best music by any stretch but the best show one could ever have hope to have seen.
It’s because those 4 men leave it all on the stage and give you everything they have from the word go to the final encore and never let up for a second.
6. Fuck up in really interesting ways.
Nikki Sixx died and came back after a heroine overdose that later led to the autobiography The Heroine Diaries and his new band Sixx: AM.
Ozzy Osbourne in drunken stuper once peed on the beloved Texas monument known as The Alamo. His return show after being banned from the city of San Antonio for several years became a media event.
Part of the excitement about going to a Guns ‘N’ Roses concert was to see how Axel Rose would melt down this time and cut the show short.
Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath cut the tips of his fingers off on his fret hand and had to tune his guitar down to compensate and the result is the sound that was the birth of Heavy Metal.
7. Have no backup plan.
Rock Stars never stop because they have nothing to fall back on.
Rock Stars make it after years of obscurity because they have nothing else to do.
Having no back up plan is why they put $5000 worth of equipment into a $500 car and travel 100 miles for $50 gig.
At least they have a show and as long they have show to show up for, come hell or high water a Rock Star will never miss a gig.
8. Enjoy Minimalism.
Not much fits in the car with the equipment.
Live on a tour bus and tell me how much stuff you can take with you.
9. Be a press whore.
All exposure is good exposure for a Rock Star.
It doesn’t matter if some kid wants to interview you for his school paper or Rolling Stone wants you to be on the cover, you take every opportunity to tell them who you are and why they should listen.
This also means get comfy with being a borderline narcissist or you will never make it.
10. Rest, but don’t quit.
Time off between droppin’ it all on stage for every fan in attendance to soak up will take its toll on anyone.
When was the last time you heard about anyone reaching levels of success in anything who also said “I gave up and then it just magically happened for me?”
I would like to hear that story myself.