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Wise words for those anxious to make it in the music biz...

Advice on everything from getting your music heard to setting up a label and royalties.

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Re: Wise words for those anxious to make it in the music biz...

Postby blinddrew » Wed Mar 03, 2021 11:33 am

Should add this to the Useful Information thread! :D
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Re: Wise words for those anxious to make it in the music biz...

Postby RichardT » Wed Mar 03, 2021 11:52 am

I wrote a piece once called 'Don't be Famous'. I think it's good advice!
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Re: Wise words for those anxious to make it in the music biz...

Postby CS70 » Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:41 pm


It's all good of course, but honestly there's worst fates. Like being born in Somalia, or a black kid in a LA neighborhood, or living a 5 dollars a day job flipping burgers in Sausalito with a family to support.

It doesn't take a genius to understand that making a living by making music (or art, or anything that's not immediately useful and in demand by a majority of people) has a high chance of not working out. Even when you are in your teens. I remember being 18, passably able to play some guitar and with some studio work and gigs under my belt, thinking "Should I play the guitar professionally or go study computer science at the university?" The puzzlement lasted exactly 5 minutes. To be fair, I had no idea of what studying computer science meant either (I liked videogames!), but that's far easier to excuse, as most people will never do.

The only exception to this imho are truly kid acts... there's a couple twins in Norway who performed since they were 10 , and that frankly I think it should not be allowed.

It takes even less to understand that even if you make it, you will have to perform, and it doesn't take a large stage to get frightened.. The first time I tried to play the guitar in front of other people, at around 13.. I couldn't move a muscle! I realized there and then that I wasn't a natural for performing, because I was afraid of making an ass of myself. My ego was too big. It's only when I stopped caring about that (and, frankly, block out the very idea that there were other people around) that I could do it.

So yeah, it may be stressing and lonely to be famous (with the accompanying riches), and you may not have a team or structures supporting you at start, but it's stressing and lonely etc in a lot of other situations where you ain't famous either. Being alive is quite stressful. Pressure exists, at any level, and the best we can do for human beings is to teach the tools to deal with it.

Now to be clear: if someone's got a mental health problem, he/she has my full compassion and whatever support I can muster, unconditionally. It doesn't matter if they're famous or unknown or musicians or bankers or whatever. Actually, imho being famous or having a regular job has more often than not nothing to do with it, though certainly some activities can exacerbate it.

But having to tell people that's unlikely to make it as a rock star, or that a job which primarily implies performing will actually require you to perform.. isn't it a bit funny?
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Re: Wise words for those anxious to make it in the music biz...

Postby The Red Bladder » Sat Mar 06, 2021 12:47 pm

The only UK super band I can think of where at least one member was not killed by fame (one way or another) is Genisis. Stones, Beatles, Zeplin, Floyd, The Who - all had one member that died of fame. Fame, when it affects the wrong person, is deadly.

Even a little bit of fame can kill some people. I had a friend who was a drummer, possibly the best I have ever heard and definitely the best I have ever recorded. He got the ultimate gig as a drummer. What he did not reveal when he got the gig was that he had severe epilepsy and that he was an alcoholic. He went from stadium band to big halls band and downhill to better pub band. And then oblivion and death at 45 years.

Another friend got out just in time before it killed him. He was playing stadiums across America and his alcohol and drug habits cost him everything - his kids and wife left him, he lost all his money and two nervous breakdowns later, he got himself clean and quit in mid-tour when a senior member of the crew died of a drug overdose. He is today a drug and alcohol counselor.

Britney Spears became famous when she won five editions of Star Search in a row at the age of eight or nine. That's just too much pressure for a little girl and sadly it would appear that those around her just saw her as money-on-the-hoof.

When you sit behind the big desk with all the knobs (and some in the studio!) you get to see them come and see them go. Most find a way to live normally in the end and the secret seems to have a safe haven. A habour in the storm. A loving husband or wife and a family that do not think that you are anything other than the little snot-nosed twerp you always were.

It also helps to have a dog or two. Dogs are only interested in three things and none of those three is fame, fortune or a Ferrari.
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