Saturday, July 26, 2008

Rock N' Roll Suicide

I've started a small band and I'm doing a four week intensive in Anthropology and College Algebra, so I've been away a while. I'm attending my fifth college right now.

A year after I graduated highschool I moved to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music, dropped out a year and a half later, moved back to Wisconsin, went to For His Glory Bible College for a year and a half, dropped out and got married. Then I moved to New York, went to Dowling College to study business, moved to California, and now I'm taking Gen Ed's at Santiago Canyon College (it's in a beautiful canyon surrounded by mountains) to transfer to Chapman University next year for Music Composition with a film emphasis.

At first I was nervous about being 27 in classes full of 19 year-olds, but there are some geezers in my class, so it's cool.

So today being one of my first "days off" in a while decided to squander it on the Internet. So far I've read three wikihow articles on how to clean mineral deposits out of your shower head ( soak it in a pot full of simmering -but not boiling - vinegar), how to clean a shower liner, how to get the mold smell out of a front load washer and dryer. I'm not really interested in how to do these things, I just kept clicking the links.

After a while I started searching arts & entertainment hows and found myself editing how to articles that sound like they were written by foreigners. Then I got a little creative with it. I had clicked on How to Form a Band - wikiHow out of curiosity because I've done it so many different ways, I wanted to know how others went about it. Towards then end I saw two naive steps in the process, "get signed by a label," and "get ready for stardom." I quickly deleted the first one and replaced the last one with this:

# Get famous, take up a debilitating drug and/or alcohol habit, lose the sense of who you are/were, go in and out of rehab, remarry a few times, quell the inner band fighting by throwing your mic at the drummer during his self-indulgent drum solo and flip off the audience while exiting the stage, get plowed in your trailer (extra points for overdosing), if the band confronts you with an intervention, go get your samurai sword that you picked up on your Japan tour and start swinging), break up the band, release a lackluster solo album, drop out of the public eye while your former glory is forgotten to the next two generations and your music goes out of fashion, spiral into a cycle of depression and substance abuse, alienating yourself from friends and family, walk onto the set of MTV's TRL and make a spectacle of yourself (this can also be done at any televised awards ceremony pre-show parties), enjoy a little bit of embarrassing notoriety (at least they'll know your name again), drop out of sight for ten or more years, sell your hit songs to commercials selling cars, mayonnaise, and feminine deodorant, sober up, find religion, make amends with your past and your band mates, do what is known in the industry as "staying relevant" by doing cameos on the Simpsons, playing a judge in Zoolander, or performing a show with Britney (if you are Britney, try a spot on Saturday Night Live, its the platform for stars who have fallen from grace and need to make good with the public by mocking their infamous behavior i.e. Winona Ryder and countless other scandal-ridden stars),plan a reunion tour, charge upwards of $150 a ticket, sell out shows worldwide, cancel shows due to drug/alcohol relapse, get your stuff together and keep rocking well into your sixties, remarry to someone younger and hotter, lather, rinse, and repeat, hang out to dry. A tangential version of this would be to find religion that doesn't allow music or the excess of stardom, release an album of watered down versions of your greatest songs with MOR world music beats and instruments.

I guess you get a bit jaded after reading about all your heroes and what happens to them. The above list contains similarities to stories of many of my favorites including David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, Sting and Police, Cat Stevens, David Lee Roth, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, and some of my non-favorites (Courtney Love)

The sword incident happened to me when my band mates and I intervened on our coke addled lead singer the night after he lost had our equipment trucked for being parked at bus stop in front of the strip club where he got drunk and subsequently botched our gig, forgetting lyrics to his songs and verbally berating the band and the audience. I'll spare you the story of the legal battles, I'm too busy wasting time on you tube now.


amy said...

How do you get the mold smell out of a front load washer? Martys parents have a really nice front loading washer but you open it and it smells baaaaaaad.

How do you get the leaves off your driveway? Just spray them off with a hose ya dummy.

I like your take on the whole "how to start a band" So true! You forgot to mention that you must also eat without using your hands. You should try that!

bunbun said...

Before I met my husband I was a rock and roll encyclopedia.(his fondness for rap has taken over and now that I am not single I don't obsess over record collecting and staring off into space listening to records all day) A lot of my random knowledge has left my brain, but Keith Richards and Rolling Stones pre 1985 is my favorite. Anything I like now is heavily influenced by the past, so I usaully just stick with the past.

Spitting Image said...

I used to watch Rock N Roll Jeopardy as a teenager and, oddly enough, out of all the musicians, rock journalists, critics, etc. on the show, the only contestant to consistently best me was Mark McGrath from Sugar Ray/ Xtra. How could such a tool know so much about good music and still manage to pump out all that audio excrement?

Natesa said...

Keep up the good work.