This came to me by anonymous post over the Net. From the looks of it, I’m sure this was penned by someone on the management or booking side of the business. I must say, I know several drummers who’ve brought good tunes to my bands–apparently, this author subscribes to the “Spinal Tap” view of the tub arts.

  1. Never start a trio with a married couple.
  2. Your manager’s not helping you. Fire him/her.
  3. Before you sign a record deal, look up the word “recoupable” in the dictionary.
  4. No one cares who you’ve opened for.
  5. A string section does not make your songs sound any more “important”.
  6. If your band has gone through more than 4 bass players, it’s time to break up. Actually, the bass players probably realized it was time to move on.
  7. When you talk on stage you are never funny.
  8. If you sound like another band, don’t act like you’re unfamiliar with their music. (“Oh, does Rage Against The Machine also do rap-rock with political lyrics?”)
  9. Asking a crowd how they’re doing is just amplified small talk.
  10. Don’t say your video’s being played if it’s only on the Austin Music Network.
  11. When you sign to a major label, claim to have inked the best contract ever. Mention “artistic freedom” and “guaranteed three record deal”.
  12. When you get dropped insist that it was the worst contract ever and you asked to be let go.
  13. Never name a song after your band.
  14. Never name your band after a song.
  15. When a drummer brings in his own songs and asks to perform one of them, begin looking for a new drummer IMMEDIATELY.
  16. Never enter a “battle of the bands” contest. If you do you’re already a loser.
  17. Scary word pairings :”rock opera”, “white rapper”, blues jam”, “swing band”, and “open mike”.
  18. Drummers can take off their shirts or they can wear gloves, but not both.
  19. Listen, either break it to your parents or we will; it’s rock ‘n roll, not a soccer game. They’ve gotta stop coming to your shows.
  20. It’s not a “showcase.” It’s a gig that doesn’t pay.
  21. No one cares that you have a Website.
  22. Getting a tattoo is like sewing platform shoes to your feet.
  23. Don’t hire a publicist.
  24. Playing in Albany, Springfield and St. Albans doesn’t mean you’re on tour.
  25. Don’t join a cover band that plays Bush songs. In fact, don’t join a cover band.
  26. Although they come in different styles and colors, electric guitars all sound the same. Why do you keep changing them between songs?
  27. Don’t stop your set to ask that beers be brought up. That’s what girlfriends are for.
  28. If you use a smoke machine your music sucks. Ditto a light show.
  29. We can tell the difference between a professionally produced album cover and one you made with the iMac your mom got for Christmas.
  30. Remember, if blues solos are so difficult, why can so many 16 year olds play them?
  31. If you ever take a bad publicity photo, destroy it. Otherwise you may turn up in places like The Boston Rock & Roll Museum.
  32. Cut your hair, but do not shave your head.
  33. Pierce your nose, but not your eyebrow.
  34. Do not wear shorts onstage. Or a suit. Or a hat.
  35. Rock oxymorons; “major label interest”, “demo deal”, ” blues genius”, “$500 guarantee”, and “Fastball’s second hit”.
  36. Three things that are never coming back: gongs, headbands, and playing slide guitar with a beer bottle.

Dave gets mail…

Like I’ve said elsewhere in these pages, there’s no accounting for taste or perception. Following is the full text of an email I received from someone named Boneblues about a week after I’d posted the above piece. I guess there’s only two real choices: either this guy is a potent humorist responding satirically, or he really feels this way, in which case I’m afraid I know exactly what his band sounds like.

What the hell’s wrong with wearing a suit…or a hat? It’s very classy and shows respect for the audience.

Blues solos aren’t supposed to be difficult. They’re supposed to be cool.

What’s wrong with a cover band? People listen to the radio…don’t they?

Parents are usually loyal fans. Why would you tell them not to come?

Talking to the crowd is just as important to them as your music.

On behalf of all drummers, many of whom are great song writers, GO TO HELL