How To Become A Famous Rock Star

You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join me... (from John Lennon's "Imagine")

John Lennon may not have known what he was talking about when he wrote these lyrics, but he certainly knew the meaning behind the words. There are thousands of folks out there who would like to be rock and roll stars, but only a handful ever actually achieve their goal. Is it really that hard to be a successful music artist? And just how does one find the road to success? What are the answers that result from asking questions? And does fame actually control the affects of other circumstances?

THE SECRET FORMULA

There are a great number of people in the music business who wish an article like this had never been written. Why? Because successful people don't want intruders nibbling on their piece of the pie. And also because, in the world of rock and roll, the idea of being a star is supposed to be shrouded in mystery and intrigue. Just how impressed do you think you would be with rock stars if every other person you met on the street was one? This brings to mind another question: Can there ever be too many rock stars? The simple answer is "no."

Taped conversations with over 70 of the most influential musicians in the world helped us to come up with the following step-by-step guide which reveals the secrets of how to become a rock star. By following each and every step, you will most certainly be guaranteed of having your own place in the sun for a very long time.

STEP 1. Don't be afraid to dream.

Have you ever been told that you are wasting your time when you are dreaming of fame? The truth of the matter is that dreaming of fame is the first step to actually achieving it. And for every hour you envision yourself on the television or on a big concert stage, you have come one step closer to actually reaching your goal. Standing alone in front of a mirror singing along to your favorite songs is exactly what you should be doing most of the time. If people make fun of you now for being so self-absorbed, they probably won't be laughing so hard when they see your face on the cover of Rolling Stone and Interview.

So dream, dream, dream away. Dreams create the basic foundation on which you will build your career. Don't be afraid to experiment. Some of the greatest rock and roll stars in the world became famous simply because they weren't afraid to make fools of themselves in front of other people. Remember, if you're going to stand out in the world it's going to take some work. And even though it may be hard to admit it, there are a lot of other people in the world besides you.

STEP 2. Hire a lawyer.

After you've got a least a couple of hundred of hours' worth of dreaming under your belt, you are now ready for what just may be the most important part of your career: Choosing a lawyer. The thing to keep in mind at this point is that you get what you pay for. The more money you pay, the better lawyer you get. And the better the lawyer you have, the bigger the star you can become. Whatever you do, do not become disillusioned. Many folks have given up at this stage simply because they don't know how to find a good lawyer. It is actually quite simple. Find a public telephone. Placed neatly underneath the phone you will find a large book called The Yellow Pages that has a complete listing of lawyers in your area. Pick a name that appeals to you and call that person up. As long as you offer to pay them, it is not that hard to find a person who will agree to represent you for the next several phases of your career.

STEP 3. Choose the right band name.

This is another area where people often have trouble getting started. You wouldn't believe how much time and energy have been wasted with folks banging their heads against a wall trying to find the "right" band name. The name itself is not really all that important. You already have what people are looking for--real talent. When you have real talent, it doesn't really matter what you call it. Just pick a name and go with it. Done correctly, finding a good band name should take about five minutes.

STEP 4. Go to as many concerts as you can.

Meeting the right people is the only way you're going to get anywhere, and the place to meet the right people is at rock concerts. Yes, it is expensive to go to rock concerts, but if you're not there how are you going to meet the folks who are going to help you further your career? Bite the bullet, lay out the cash, and go to every concert you can possibly attend. Be sure to dress outrageously, because that is what will get you noticed first. Don't be put off by people making fun of you and throwing things at you. Remember, they are only jealous because you are getting more attention than they are. Pout, primp, and strut your stuff. Remember, in your mind you are already a star. And as we all know, stars can do whatever they want to do.

STEP 5. Find a manager.

You won't get anywhere without a good manager, but how do you go about finding the right one? Sure, you could contact managers of other famous rock stars, but they already have more than they can handle. Don't try to look too hard because the answer is staring you in the face: Hire your best friend. That way, you will know you are working with someone you can trust.

STEP 6. Find a temporary occupation.

As much as we don't want to admit it, on our long climb to the top we must find some other ways of bringing in money as a matter of survival. You could work at a fast food restaurant, work in retail, or baby-sit to bring in the bucks. Then again, you could also just pull out a gun and blow your brains out. Why expend all your energy on occupations that simply don't pay well? Prostitution pays a great deal of money, but more importantly you can set your own hours. This will become more and more important as time goes by. After all, you can't have some whiny boss telling you that you have to flip burgers when there are thousands of CDs that need to be autographed. Prostitution has several other benefits as well. It's a great way to meet people and to learn some "street smarts," which will be invaluable to you in the years ahead.

STEP 7. Don't forget your family ties.

Can you feel the fame building inside of you? It is easy to get carried away with the thrill and rush of fame, but you must not forget where you came from. You need to call your family at least once a month to reassure them that you still love them and that you haven't forgotten about them. This may sound like a small thing, but it is really smaller than you think. How big do you think love is? And after it pops, how are you going to soak up all that messy fluid if you don't have a powder ball of your family at hand?

STEP 8. Give your skin the attention it deserves.

Good skin is probably the single most important physical attribute you will need once the cameras start flashing. Get a head start on taking care of your skin. Just as is the case with lawyers, you get what you pay for (i.e., the better the skin care products you use, the better your skin will look). Trying to save a quarter here or a dollar there just might cause you to end up as a dermatological nightmare. Remember, you only have one skin. Rub it. Polish it. Baby it. Treat it like you would want to be treated, and it will reward you with many flexible hours of quality insurance.

STEP 9. Begin to hang out with black people.

There's nothing hipper than hanging out with folks of a different nationality, particularly when it is obvious to everyone. Get to know as many black people as you can and welcome them into your circle of friends. This will provide you with many possible benefits, such as creating controversy, causing people to stare, and giving you some direct connections to the Mafia. Note that this is one item you will not want to share with your family when you make those monthly calls, however...

STEP 10. Have a publicity photo made.

Now is the time to have your first publicity photo taken. Forget all those friends who have offered to take your photo for free. They only want a piece of the action and to get a free ride on your roller coaster. There is no way to come up with a good publicity photograph without hiring an experienced photographer. Get your manager to work out the details and stress to him that money is no object. Your first publicity photograph represents everything that you are and everything that you can be. This image will be seen by hundreds of thousands of hungry fans, so that one shot has to be just right. It may take days, months...even years to get the right photograph, but don't rush the process. At this stage of the game, you stand to lose everything just because of one lousy picture.

STEP 11. Have plastic surgery.

When a record company executive sees your publicity photo, he will then most certainly want to see what you look like in person. Don't disappoint him. Successful record company executives will only be impressed when they meet you in person if you look better than you did in your publicity shot. That is the reason why you must now have plastic surgery. But not just any plastic surgery--there is a specific procedure you must have done. There are a great number of expert plastic surgeons in California who can assist you in having your mouth widened. Having a wide mouth is of paramount importance in the world of rock and roll. When millions of people are watching your lips, they want to see some real movement. How are you going to provide them with what they want if you have a tiny mouth? Spend the money now and have the surgery done. You won't regret it.

STEP 12. Learn to sing.

You may think that you can already sing, but you can't. That's why you must now hire an instructor who can teach you how to sing the right way. Folks aren't going to pay money to hear someone sing who hasn't been taught how. You will need to travel to New York City and spend six months training with a professional instructor who can teach you the essentials of singing correctly. Paying a top professional can be very expensive...but in New York you won't have any problem coming up with the money, considering your new "occupation" and all.

STEP 13. Time for a vacation.

You can't wear yourself out now, because the next 5 years are going to be very intensive and full of hard work. Now is the time to take a break and reward yourself. Take a three week vacation to some fashionable city in Europe. If you don't take a break now, you are likely to have a nervous breakdown before you've even really begun. When you return from your trip, you can then really get down to business.

STEP 14. Learn to play a musical instrument.

Some people mistakenly believe that this should be the first step in becoming a rock star. Baloney. You can learn to play guitar, bass, or piano in just a few hours. Learning to play well could take years, granted...but you're going to have all those professional back up musicians supporting you. So it really doesn't matter how well you can play, as long as you give the impression that you can.

STEP 15. Write a few good songs.

You could spend the next decade straining and working with all your might to expose your inner soul by writing some really killer tunes. But why bother? There are literally millions of great songs that are already out there. Steal them. That's what they are there for. If you lose a few friends along the way because you've stolen or copied their work, who cares? Who is more important... you or them? The answer will always be you, because you are the only person in the world who really matters.

STEP 16. Combine dreaming with drinking.

During all of these other steps, you should continue to dance around in front of a mirror like a retarded mule, but now you can sing your "own" songs instead of someone else's. To really get your act down, you will need to "loosen up" (as we say in the business). To really loosen up, you need to drink alcohol. Start with beer and slowly progress to Tequila. Remember, drinking solves your problems and helps to make you become a happier person. The more you drink, the happier you will be.

STEP 17. Start smoking cigarettes.

In the real world, smoking cigarettes is stupid. It causes shortness of breath, discolors your skin, and gives you cancer. In the world of rock music, however, smoking cigarettes is quite the cool and hip thing to do. Start smoking now. And don't go for those wimpy brands with low tar and nicotine. Choose a brand like Kool or Winston. Being caught smoking something like Virginia Slims could end your career quicker than a heartbeat.

STEP 18. Adopt an order of french fries.

Most people wolf down an order of french fries without even looking at them, and without noticing their real value. If you're going to climb the ladder of success, you must invite others to come along with you. When a potato is sliced, the pieces become individual food items much like the fans you are now acquiring. To indulge without concern is to substantiate the complex, thus dividing the measure. The answer? Buy an order of fries and look deep into the heart of their situation. Those fries need you, and if you help them now they might someday be able to help you in return.

STEP 19. Learn to always get your way.

Being the center of everyone's attention isn't easy, and it requires constant maintenance. Whenever you are in a group of people, everyone should always be looking and listening to you...and no one else. If by mistake someone else starts getting some attention, suddenly turn into the spoiled bitch (or bastard, as the case may be) that you are. Display your very best pout. It should be very easy for you to behave like you are two or three years old at this point, now that you have achieved fame.

STEP 20. Coping with your first sold out concert.

Look out, this is the BIG one. Though it's only your very first concert performance, tickets have been sold out for months. You've spent the past two months trying to dodge writers and photographers, and now you and your band are ready to explode. Now is the time to pull your "disappearing act." When it's time for the show to begin, don't show up at the stadium. Remember, people always want what they can't have. If you just show up and give them what you've got, why would they even need to buy your next CD? By always being unavailable, people will go absolutely NUTS trying to get to you.

STEP 21. Frost the nuts.

Big bag of nut in grocery store, why they are there? There for buying, and then to frost. Much like cake frosting, nut frosting sweet and smooth. Spread much like butter, but without grease and bubble. Allow nut to dry, then place on very best noodle tray. While allow for nuts to dry, think about new form of punishment. No frost for nut go bad, so take away and replace.

STEP 22. The headache that never ends.

Your head is hurting so badly now that you aren't sure whether or not you are star material. Don't fret. All big stars have continuous migraines. That's part of the territory, and eventually all big celebrities learn to accept that the overwhelming pain in their heads is a blessing. Though the pain is sometimes unbearable, you must not discuss your headaches with anyone. To do so could possibly cause your career to plummet, or put wrinkles under your eyes. Avoid using medicine. If you can't deal with the pain, then you need to get out of the business.

STEP 23. Make up fake stories about your childhood.

People want to hear stories of how celebrities were abused and tortured as children. Babble constantly about the terrible things that your mother, brother, father, and sister did to you when you were a child. Prove your emotional scars by opening up and crying while the cameras are rolling. Feed while you tell the stories, stuffing your mouth so full that it's difficult to understand most of what you're saying. Remember...people don't want things spelled out clearly for them. They want to be able to place their own ideas and thoughts in your mouth, and it will be much easier for them to do this is they can't understand you.

STEP 24. Drive a mouse into the city.

Being careful not to crush it, saddle up and drive a small mouse into the city. When you arrive, allow the mouse to drink and feed to its satisfaction.

STEP 25. Buy a truck and drink some beer.

All them celebrities done gone to yer head. Getchoo a truck and drive that sucker, all the time drinkin' you up a six-pack with yer best buddy. Hell, there ain't no fame nor success good as raisin' the roof with your good friend. Now take that truck home and shine it for good, 'cause it just might be the last damn one you ever get.

STEP 26. Accept the fact that you are a star.

Throughout all of the preceding 24 steps, you did everything exactly as you should have. Now you are a celebrity...the rock star that everyone in the world wants to meet and get to know. Think about how important you are now. You're nothing like the little insignificant speck you once were. If you don't think things have changed, just turn on your television or radio and you will hear continual updates on what you've been up to lately. Though this is somewhat an intrusion on your privacy, you blew the whole thing into your mountain hole anyway. Can you see a crack in the side of your head? Your beard is turning grey, allowing you to feed on the wild offspring that dance in the desert sun.

THE LOVE THAT BURNS

Love is real. Real is love. (from John Lennon's "Love")

Remember all those terrible arguments between your parents that ended with you being beaten and slammed into the wall? Remember how the nurse at the hospital told you that it was "okay to tell"? Well, it's still okay to tell about the love inside you. Let it spill out everywhere. Don't be afraid to tell it on the mountain, little star, because that's where you'll find the very best barbecue there is. No "lite" sauces here. Only the thick, sticky best. Your mother is standing behind you, with your father a few yards away. Poke away into the stardust, and kick the little horse behind the shed. Your effort paid off in the very best way, and now you're the center of everyone's universe.

Let the freshest piece of the chicken boil inside of you, and may the tendons be your guide.

©1996 LMNOP

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