Written by Samuel Vargo

Friday, 5 August 2016


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image for How to make it big in the music biz these days
Do you want to attract crazy kids of all shapes and sizes? Don't go West, young man, buy a pawn shop guitar.

So you want to make millions of dollars writing songs, recording these little ditties, and performing them in front of sold-out audiences, right?

The first order of business is: Do you need any talent? Hell no, you don't. It's not like the old days when you had to write and record a melodic, lyrical masterpiece like "Blue Sky" by the Allman Brothers or "Thunder Road" by Bruce Springsteen to have the music industry take you seriously. All you need is a guy whose voice sounds like the timbre of Satan and have it overshadowed by a vulture swarm of percussion, a driving and thumping bass reverberating like trees hitting the ground at a lumber camp in Alberta, and three or four guys on electric guitars who play two chords each with some semblance of musical havoc, and Walla, you've got it, bro.

Do you need a lot of expensive equipment and a talent agent? Hell no. All you need to do is go down to your local airport or bus station and make them an offer on that old sound system they used to use back in the '60's to make announcements throughout the vacuous, amorphous structure. Make them an offer they can't refuse. Chances are, they keep all that sound gear in the basement of the building. It hasn't been used in eons, and it's taking up the space they want to now earmark for the outdated computer system they just ditched. Just tell these business types that you'll be happy to take that crappy old monstrosity off their hands for twenty bucks. And if they look desperate and pleading, just throw a ten dollar bill their way.

"Me and my boys will haul that junky old piece of shit away for you for a nominal fee. We're philanthropists who don't have a lot of cash, but we love to offer our backs to those in need of heavy manual labor. The good ole' days of the chain gangs are gone, you seeā€¦.You'll never be bothered by those horrific amplifiers and speakers, again, Pharaoh" is all you need to tell the airline director or the president of the transit authority.

And get it straight: Heavy metal has changed a lot over the years. The kind of music that Ozzie Osbourne and Black Sabbath cranked out in the early 70's will never fly today. It just isn't dark nor is it decadent enough. Alice in Chains? Never heard of her! Eddie Vedder? Wasn't he the vampire in The Silence of the Lambs?

No, you don't need to study the old masters of rock, alternative, punk or heavy metal music to sell platinum YouTube videos these days. You just need a guy or a woman with a very strange voice who can scream, mumble, pontificate with inaudible clatters, and make sounds with their mouth and tongue that reverberates and boomerangs like it came from the butt of a really obese person caught in the middle of a bowel movement.

Get somebody who looks strange, too. The days of painting your face black and white and acting sort of weird just won't fly these days. The gimmicks KISS used back in the 70's have been replaced by somebody who looks and acts like he or she is possessed by a werewolf or a harpy when they are being interviewed on a YouTube video. Having a long tongue and sticking it out and moving it around worked for Old What's His Name, but you've got to have band members who do things that Frankenstein or Dracula would do - the ante's been upped, bro.

And if you look at this person as they are talking on that particular computerized medium and say to yourself, "I wouldn't want to be within five hundred miles of that viperous devil worshipper," well then, you have your lead singer and front man.

Of course, discovering someone who can fit the bill can be a hard sell. Go out to soup kitchens, tent cities, and county jails - even penitentiaries - to find someone to lead your band who looks extremely evil, corrupted, criminal, and strange. If you find a worthy candidate, ask him to spit on you. If the phlegm he regurgitates from his throat looks green and yellow and has purple and red spots throughout its consistency, that's your guy. Yeppers, your lead man or vampirish Go-Go singer just passed the litmus test.

Lyrics of old used to be catchy, cute, funny, or somewhat romantic.

Even the legendary punk band Green Day all look like they're either possessed by some demonic force or are on some really nifty narcotics; but their lyrics were astounding. Ever heard that collection of songs on their CD Dookie? Those lyrics could have found a home in a literary magazine, without any guitars, basses, or drums to fortify them. Far from a boy band, Green Day cranked out lyrics that Shakespeare couldn't match.

No need to worry, though, if you and your band mates can't write the poetic verse of Gordon Lightfoot or Geoffrey Chaucer.

Keep in mind you'll be writing lyrics and recording songs for a legion of guys at a gym who are all pumped up on steroids, are as hot-tempered as pit-fighting dogs, and have more tattoos on their bodies than there are illustrations in one of those outdated encyclopedias your grandmother keeps on a shelf down in her cellar.

So write songs about hate. Write them about how badly you want to kill or maim someone. Write a song about shooting people with shotguns or machine guns. Write a song about going out with a nice young lady and sodomizing her. You'll go platinum with your CD two weeks after it hits Amazon. com!

Remember, appearance and presentation are everything in today's music world. It's more important to look bad than to sound bad. But you want to find your band guilty on both counts: Looking and sounding terrible, that is. Never be satisfied with your band and its work being "okay".

And you never, ever, want to sound or appear good.

And also keep in mind that even though you might have the Men in Black pounding at your door at three in the wee concerning some mass riot one of your songs allegedly caused last night in downtown Albuquerque earlier that evening, you'll have millions in your bank account to hire the best legal team that money can buy. After all, it worked for O.J., right? Who's she? Never heard of her, you may say. Well, kiddo, go online and call up "The Medieval Dark Ages of American History" and you'll surely find him there.

Hey, if O.J. is released from prison soon, he might be a good lead man. Write him. The same sort of rigamarole chronicled above also works for rap and hip-hop.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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Topics: Music

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