Ever wanted to be a rock star? It’s unlikely that you haven’t had some thoughts at some time. The roar of the crowd the sound of your axe piercing the stadium with yet another killer solo or shredding the faces of the audience. Your vocalist, who you don’t really like but you’ve got to make up appearances, nailing the song and then making people very happy. Its great to see your name emblazoned across the walls of teenagers bedrooms, billboards the internet and even Guitar shops Gloucestershire way to Kent and to the Highlands of Scotland. What do you need to become a Rockstar? Talent is quite important but armed with your Burt Weedon play in a day let’s have a (humorous) look at what else you’ll need.
- No moral compass. Jimmy Page was supposed to have some Faustian pact of fame, which is very unfair as he had an incredible skill with the guitar that was all his own. Keith Richards has taken so many illegal substances that it’s thought that if he is cremated the local borough will feel “funny” for a week. The Guitar is the thing, don’t worry about anything else you’re going to be judged on what you do with that old six string, or seven if you’re Steve Vai.
- Make sure that your songs sound different if played backwards. Back to Led Zeppelin again here as it was claimed that Stairway to Heaven praised the dark one if played backwards. The Beatles had the same thing levelled at them. Robert Plant pointed out when would they have to the time to plan that out when they were very busy making it sound great played properly. Rob Haslem of Judas Priest sort of ended the argument when he pointed out that if he could put in subliminal messages they would be “buy more Judas Priest merchandise”.
- Argue vociferously with the lead singer, even on stage, and then party with them like there is no tomorrow. For an example see everything that the Toxic twins Joe Perry and Steve Tyler have done over the last 30 years. Or Mick and Keith from the Rolling Stones.
- Do a controversial interview live on TV. This slightly relates to the moral compass approach above as Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols happily called Bill Grundy something rude on Tea time television. Grundy’s career ended and the Pistols went on to greater glory, despite questions in Parliament.
- Wear the most flamboyant gear you can find. One way is to play a weird looking guitar. You’ve got to find a way to outdo the lead singer and get the attention back on to you.
- Buy a stately home that you clearly can’t afford. Fill it full of groupies and drive a Jaguar Car in to the swimming pool or ornamental fountain. When the money runs out give the place to the National Trust.
The best thing to do? Ignore all that and just play and be talented.