I want to be a rock star. Why? The money is great, but the real reason is the chicks. It is a well documented fact that rock stars are issued either a long legged fashion model or a centerfold with silicone breasts upon being admitted into the secret rock star union to which they all belong.
I went down to the library and checked out a book, How To Be A Rock Star and made several discoveries which are going to facilitate my ascension to stardom.
There are two types of rock stars. The first, and richest, are the classic rock stars. Sometimes known by their Latin name ‘greedus maximus’ these legends are usually on at least their second comeback tour. They were rousted out of Dr. Kevorkian’s waiting room by some fast talking agent with an armful of fat corporate endorsement contracts from Hair Club For Men, Geritol or the Alzheimer’s Foundation and thrown back into their spandex trousers to rejoin the dinosaur bands from which they were spawned - despite the fact that they can’t stand any of their surviving bandmates. They prefer to drive Porsches and Rolls Royces, have homes in Beverly Hills, and are married to failed C movie queens who have been featured in at least four Playboy pictorials.
Although it is not an absolute requirement it helps to have at least one former band member whose premature and untimely death can be a continued source of controversy in the tabloids even though the real cause of departure was a drug overdose which was celebrated by everyone who either knew him or was holding his name in their local dead celebrity pool. The dead rocker should be remembered as a visionary and a giant among men while his extremely rich and eccentric grieving widow hires a phalanx of lawyers to squash anyone who tries to muscle in on the multi-million dollar contract she signed for her dearly croaked’s merchandising rights.
The other class of star is the alternative rocker. This species of entertainer known as ‘misunderstoodus addictus’ is a heavily tattooed, heroin addicted, jams-wearing high school drop out who was forced into the rock star profession when he failed to master the six words “will that be paper or plastic” which would have guaranteed his job at the local A&P. Owing to multiple drunk driving convictions these stars can be found in the backseats of stretch limos drinking Jack Daniels and Coke, giving interviews on cellular phones complaining about the greed of the classic rock stars who have no concern for their audience as demonstrated by their ‘take the money and run’ arena tours. The interview is interrupted by the cultural icon’s car fax machine spitting out the terms of the band’s multi-million dollar Lollapalooza offer and then halted by the rock star screaming at his manager for failing to secure a bigger endorsement from Microsoft than the Rolling Stones received. “Don’t you know the Betty Ford clinic raised its rates? I need the cash,” he complains.
At the end of the book there is an advertisement to enter the Courtney Love Hopefully Soon To Be Memorial Academy Of Rock Star Training in Seattle. This prestigious institution promises to teach the developing rock star everything necessary to conquer the charts. According to the ad the school features valuable instruction in both alternative and classic rock stardom, and no musical ability is required - in fact if you want to be a really big star talent is discouraged. All one has to do is call their special 900 number 1-900-POMPOUS (it costs only $9.95 a minute) and you can receive an application.
Well of course I dialed the number and in no time I had charged a semester of training to my mother’s Mastercard...which I hope she won’t notice until I get my first advance from the huge record deal which I know I am going to sign as soon as I graduate.
The school is run by Debbie Feldstein, an extremely overweight woman dressed in a gold lamé halter top with matching hot pants which you can’t see from the front since her belly overhangs too much. She claims to have been a publicist for a successful L.A. group from the eighties whose name, due to the terms of a legal settlement, she cannot mention. Ms. Feldstein says that once she quit working for the group not only did the band’s career dry up - the entire world of hair bands ended sending the stock of Aquanet plummeting and many out of work hair tossers into the pizza delivery business.
Our first class is on how to start a band. To form a classic rock group you must recruit musicians from dreadful bands who people haven’t thought about for years. We are given a six inch thick catalogue with the vital information on guys who played with Styx, Deep Purple, Kajagoogoo, Blue Oyster Cult and many other ‘artists’ whom I had been trying to forget. In this directory you find out not only the musician’s phone numbers but the real important stuff like how much hair they have on both their head and chest, how many times within the last year they have been in rehab, what size girdle they wear to keep their stomach under control, how many ex-wives and illegitimate kids they have, which trailer park they live in, and how much Social Security and Medicaid payments they are receiving.
To form an alternative band is much harder. You have to first find a sullen titless anorexic no talent female bass player with a pair of Doc Martin shitkicker boots. She must have bad hair and attitude, be a victim of child abuse and wear clothes shoplifted from a Salvation Army thrift store. The other members are easier to procure. Since all drum parts will actually be sampled by a geek computer programmer with a pocket protector, the drummer is not required to actually know how to play. All he needs is a cool image - so we are taught to recruit a drunken Englishman with no work papers and an impenetrable accent which is okay since we really don’t care what he thinks anyway. The singer should be selected on his merit as a philosopher. He must be able to expound obliquely on a great many issues, such as world peace - which he should be for, and world hunger - which he should be against. Also each musician must change their name to a one syllable word which they must also be able to spell.
The most important lesson Debbie Feldstein teaches is how to secure a record deal. According to her the best way to secure a contract is to obtain pictures of a record company president in a dress fucking a German shepherd. Our teacher says all we have to do is stake out any of the Beverly Hills hotels which permit pets (of the four legged variety as opposed to girls who model for Penthouse) and to remember to use high speed film - because everyone in the music business is always in the dark.
Our next class is on how to hire a manager. Managers are basically big tape worms who suck out twenty percent of everything you ever make. Managers are the guys who were either too fat, too pimpled, too unpopular, or too unscrupulous to get into bands. They specialize in traveling around with musicians in an eternal quest to find a girl so desperate that she will sleep with them. Also managers attend conventions in Maui with guys named Marty where they drink lots of alcohol, hire hookers and practice their one hundred dollar handshakes. After they recover from their hangovers they call the band and tell them that their video has been added to MTV. Then they inflate their expenses and bill the band back for their vacation - I mean business trip.
Another vital class is Deportment - Ms. Feldstein’s version of rock and roll charm school. No matter whether you are alternative or Neanderthal it is uncool to have any manners in the music business. Consequently our instructors have established a virtual reality lab for us to practice such rock and roll art forms as being kicked off a commercial airplane - what is best to drink before one boards so one can urinate effectively in the aisles. We are given lessons in how to destroy a hotel room, be rude to interviewers, show up several hours late on stage, and how to throw the most petulant temper tantrums at press conferences called to announce that one of our band members is going back into drug rehab.
Our final lesson is rock star grooming. If we are to be alternative we are taught how to grow a ridiculous goatee and shave our head, pierce our nipples and noses and which tattoo parlors give bulk discounts. We are to get our fashion tips from street gangs, and therefore are urged to go find a really obese person who hasn’t washed in the last ten years and steal his clothes. If we elect to be Paleozoic rockers we are instructed how to wear a baseball cap to disguise our baldness, how to use spray on miracle hair and what size cucumber looks best when stuffed down one’s leather pants.
Having completed my rigorous studies I am ready for my final exam. It is with trepidation that the class assembles clutching our number two lead pencils. Debbie Feldstein hands out the exam and tells us we have one hour to complete the multiple choice test.
I crack the seal and open the booklet. There is only one question. “Can u reed this?” I break into a cold sweat as I stare at the possible responses, “True”, “Yes”, “False”, “No” and “Maybe”.
I ponder the answer for longer than I have thought about anything in my life. Two seconds later I check off “Maybe”.
I hand in the test, and Debbie Feldstein immediately grades it.
She congratulates me with a secret rock union handshake and an offer to take a post graduate course in which I will learn what to do when my band breaks up. She says she’ll teach me how to pick a name for my new band so I won’t have to change too much of the tattoo I will already have of my old group. I also will learn how to blame the record company, manager, and especially everyone else in the band for forcing the group to fall apart.
I decide against it - because I know I will be so big that all that stuff will not matter.
Bring on the babes and dump your money on the table - Je suis almost a rock star!