Column

Aaron George
Don’t become a rock star. Just don’t. Chances are you were raised better than that, and even if you weren’t, you know better. Rock stars are doomed from the beginning. Truth be told, rock stars should be extinct by now, but our society loves to produce them. The rock star has no freedom, they live at the mercy of others, or of their own impulses.

Fame is not required to be a rock star. There are famous people who are not rock stars, and regular, not famous people who are. Rock stars wear sun glasses to protect their eyes from the scrutiny of others rather than the harmful rays of the sun. Rock stars want you to love them, the music can be taken or left.

You can see rock stars in any number of media, with their infantile need for attention, and their frightening sense of self importance. We all know about those though, the ones you have to watch out for are the local breed. Don’t be that guy/girl. Don’t treat a small bar like the Roxy, don’t call the people who come out to see you play “the kids”.

Always remember, you are not invincible, and no magical force is keeping you alive. Heroin will destroy you the quickest, alcohol might be the most likely. If you can “only play when you’re fucked up” stop playing. Hallucinogens will help you think differently in moderation, but they should never be counted on.

If you do this music thing properly, you will come out the other end having grown and learned things you could never learn attending the college you may be holding off on attending (though you should just go now). Do it improperly though, and you run a high risk of fucking things up in ways that can’t be undone.

Either way you will meet a lot of people, most of them will go as quickly as they came and the ones who stick around may very well end up letting both you, and themselves down tragically. Even if you avoid things like heroin, not everyone does, and there are few things in life more terrible than seeing someone brilliant be reduced to just another junky you have to avoid.

This is all not to say that everything that goes with being in a band is bad, and who knows, maybe you won’t go through any of it. But it’s all out there. The world is a messed up place, and going out into the night in any number of places where drunk, horny people congregate is one way to speed up your exposure to some of the more terrible parts of life. On the other hand though, the good of life usually outweighs the bad and there are few things more freeing than making music with people you care about.

So don’t do it, don’t become a rock star. Become a musician. Regardless of how poetic you want to be, music is temporary. True, some music has lasted and will continue to impact people for hundreds of years. But on a fundamental level music needs something to vibrate, be it air or souls, and it lasts only as long the stuff surrounding it moves to it. Don’t be fooled into thinking that anything, especially music, is eternal. What makes the song sweet is that it comes to an end, respect that, and keep the notes in perspective.