Based on a true story: Back when phones had cords and music was played on cassettes, this band had everything.
They had the look, the sound, the songs, the presence, the following, even the talent. They had no problems booking gigs. They were influenced by the budding grunge from Seattle, though they were based in New York. Eddie Vedder, himself had taken a liking to them. So, with all this, the young, but well-apprenticed journalist/publicist had managed to set up a showcase at the local venue with three labels: Capitol, Epic, and Atlantic. A very impressive accomplishment.
She told the band, “Don’t change anything. Just do your thing.”
The house was packed. Some knew there was A&R royalty in the audience, but most were oblivious. They were second billing. If they pulled this off, one or more of the biggest labels in the world was going to start negotiations for a signing and their lives would never be the same. In the most cliché of terms, “this was it.”
So, what did they do? They played two songs then went into a jam. And they kept going and going and going until the audience thinned out of boredom, because, let’s face it: Jamming is just a musician’s hand job.
The labels? Oh, they left – long before the house dropped the curtain on the band. They blew it. And they blew it for good.
It’s been over thirty years and they were never able to recover from that ridiculous debacle. But, don’t cry for them, Argentina…this happens all the time. Bands and musicians tend to self-sabotage and self-destruct more often than not. There is no dream more powerful than seeing yourself as a rock star and no other line of work takes more sacrifice.
An artist’s life is not for everyone.
- Not everyone can live out of a suitcase for weeks at a time.
- Not everyone is okay with stringent schedules and living on unpredictable wages.
- Not everyone is okay with not having privacy.
- Not everyone is okay with not being able to go to a public bathroom without someone asking for an autograph.
- Not everyone is okay to go without showers, missing modes of transportation, getting lost in strange cities, wearing the same clothes day in and day out.
- Not everyone is okay with being surrounded by false friends and fans that think they’re friends.
- Not everyone is okay with missing their families.
Not everyone is okay with belonging to everyone else but themselves. But, oh, everyone is okay with having the fantasy.
Yet, who doesn’t want to be idolized, respected, revered, desired, or praised? Who wouldn’t want to always get backstage and rub elbows with other idols simply because of who you are? Who wouldn’t want to be considered automatically sexy?
But, therein lies the problem: Everyone wants the benefits, but none of the responsibilities. It’s easier to stalk and smell the panties of your dreams than actually coming face-to-face with them.
The idolization is highest of the high, but the rejection is an iciest of impalements to the heart, which can crack and break the fragile soul.
Wish all you want. Keep wishing, keep dreaming. But, in reality, this life is either something you are born into or just meant to keep dreaming about. Unfortunately, one doesn’t truly realize which side they belong until that door opens and they see the truth of what’s on the other side.
Burn for it or get burned. But, still, we are all moths to the flame.