So you wanna be a rock star?

 Book I’ve just read: “So you wanna be a rock star? Making the fantasy a reality” by Les Gock. It’s an Aussie book aimed primarily at Australia and New Zealand.

I borrowed it from the library -I wouldn’t have paid money for it judging by the cover and I was a little embarrassed taking it home -made sure I read it secretly, because I’m not trying to be a rock star and it makes me feel a little pretentious. It’s just the question of ‘if one considers making money from music’.

But once I started reading it I got into it -partly because it’s quite well written -the narrative is better than some more ‘informative’ books out there and because it goes straight to the source by directly asking many of the prominent people who are making a living in the music industry in Australia, whether they be musicians, (including session musicians) managers, promoters or producers.

So it really should be “so you wanna have a career in the music business”.

And another reason it’s quite good is that it’s not afraid to deliver the bad news about a very tough industry, which contrasts to some books and colleges which suggest the music industry is just like any other industry -you do a course then get a position in the mailroom of a company and work your way up.

But nothing could be further from the truth.

Australia has a small market, and making a lasting career is really, really tough. But this book is jammed-packed with great stories of how some of these people have made a living. But there are some repetitive themes that keep popping up:

<> These people worked really hard and showed total commitment often way before they knew they could really make any money.

<> They were passionate about music even if their job was manager or company executive.

<> Songs, and the quality of the songwriting were critical to success. I.e. a singer could be good, but without good songs they won’t get that radio play etc…

<> Some of them had some good luck, some had some bad luck, but often they “made their own luck”. I.e., You might get lucky with a contact or one song or one gig, but you’ll still need the commitment and perseverance to last the distance.

It was a good read though it was written around 2005 and things have been changing dramatically since then.


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