Advice to Young Musicians
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 100 14:43:15 -0800
Subject: Advice to Young Musicians
X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649 -=[ Fun_People ]=-
[This suddenly appeared from about a dozen people at once, the first person
who sent it to me didn't want to be identified (Hi Andy!) (OOOPS sorry!)
A lot of it is silly, stereotyped prejudice. The rest is, of course,
gospel. Can you tell which is which? I'll give you a clue: #1 = gospel!
Advice to Young [Rock] Musicians
1. Never start a trio with a married couple.
2. Your manager's not helping you. Fire him/her.
3. Before you sign a record deal, look up the word "recoupable" in the
4. No one cares who you've opened for.
5. A string section does not make your songs sound anymore "important".
6. If your band has gone through more than 4 bass players,it's time to
break up. (Actually, the bass players probably realized it was time
to move on.)
7. When you talk on stage you are never funny.
8. If you sound like another band, don't act like you're unfamiliar with
9. Asking a crowd how they're doing is just amplified small talk.
10. Don't say your video's being played if it's only on the Austin Music
11. When you sign to a major label, claim to have inked the best contract
ever. Mention "artistic freedom" and "guaranteed 3 record deal".
12. When you get dropped insist that it was the worst contract ever and
you asked to be let go.
13. Never name a song after your band.
14. Never name your band after a song.
15. When a drummer brings in his own songs and asks to perform one of them,
begin looking for a new drummer IMMEDIATELY.
16. Never enter a "battle of the bands" contest. If you do you're already
17. Scary word pairings :"rock opera," "white rapper," "blues jam," "swing
band," and "open mike."
18. Drummers can take off their shirts or they can wear gloves, but not
19. Listen, either break it to your parents or we will; it's rock, not a
soccer game. They've gotta stop coming to your shows.
20. It's not a "showcase." It's a gig that doesn't pay (or worse).
21. No one cares that you have a web site.
22. Getting a tattoo is like sewing platform shoes to your feet.
23. Don't hire a publicist.
24. Playing in San Marcos & Alpine doesn't mean you're on tour.
25. Don't join a cover band that plays Bush songs. In fact, don't join a
26. Although they come in different styles and colours, electric guitars
all sound the same. Why do you keep changing them between songs?
27. Don't stop your set to ask that beers be brought up. That's what
girlfriends are for. [I warned you! -psl]
28. If you use a smoke machine your music sucks. Ditto a light show.
29. We can tell the difference between a professionally produced album
cover and one you made with the iMac your mom got for Christmas.
30. Remember, if blues solos are so difficult, why can so many 16 year
olds play them?
31. If you ever take a bad publicity photo, destroy it. Otherwise it will
turn up at the most embarassing moment possible.
32. Cut your hair, but do not shave your head.
33. Pierce your nose, but not your eyebrow.
34. Do not wear shorts onstage. Or a suit. Or a hat.
35. Rock oxymorons; "major label interest," "demo deal," "blues genius,"
"$500 guarantee," and "Fastball's second hit."
36. 3 things that are never coming back: gongs, headbands, and playing
slide guitar with a beer bottle.
© 2000 Peter Langston