Friday, 10 May 2013

How to live your failed music career through your children

According to someone else's statistics, 93% of human beings already are or would love to be in a band. Out of that 93%, 88% have dabbled musically in their lives and dream that one day this might still happen. The other 12% were unable to answer as they were on tour.

Although I've just made those figures up, I reckon a majority of you reading this would give up your chosen career right now if Bono came up to you in the pub and said "look, I can't do this anymore and really need you to take over from me. Here's The Edge's number, tell him I sent you. The secret U2 password is "nice leather chaps".

You'd be mad not to, wouldn't you?

But, hang on, what about your other half? What about your kids? What about the rest of your family oh and the notice period you'd have to give to your work? You can't just turn up at home and say "but I AM 'The Chosen One', I saw Bono in the pub and he said so" - they aren't going to buy it. And anyway, everyone knows Bono only drinks in wine bars and not pubs.

So where do you go from here? There's a musician in there waiting to burst out and it doesn't do anyone any good if you suppress the rock star within you does it?!

Well, ladies and gentlemen, there is still hope. I recommend that from now on we all try and live our failed music careers through our children! Britney Spears's folks did it, and they are the modellist of model parents, so why can't we?!

But I have to be honest with you, it won't be easy. So, to help you achieve this goal, I've devised a 10 step plan for you to follow. I warn you now, it won't help, but here it is anyway :

Step 1 - Get your kids into music

It doesn't matter what, anything with a melody is good. I personally wouldn't buy a One Direction album for myself but my daughter loves them, and knows every word, and that's all that matters isn't it?  Getting them to sing along is a great starting point as well, get those vocal chords trained early, and watch the hard cash roll in in about 20 years or so. 

Just remember to keep your kids thinking that you're doing this all for them and not you.  The first rule of 'how to live your failed music career through your children' club is to not to reveal that you are 'living your failed music career through your children'.

Step 2 - Buy them a guitar

Okay, I admit I would love my kids to be drummers, like Meg out of The White Stripes, but transporting drums would be a nightmare.

Bass players just aren't cool enough and no-one ever remembers who they are. As for being lead vocalist, at the moment, your child probably sounds like a young Aled Jones when they sing so that is definitely a no no.  And how many of the best ever lead vocalists have gone on to present Daybreak?  It wouldn't and shouldn't happen.  Although Aled is a very nice man and I would really like to give him a man hug one day.

Ahem, anyway, so guitar it is then.  Oh and it has to be an electric one as anything sounds good with an effects pedal.  My parents bought me an acoustic guitar when I was younger and I just sounded rubbish.

Step 3 (is it just me, or is this post starting to sound like a New Kids on the Block song?!) - Buy them some classic albums

We've all got our own views on what constitutes a 'classic'. I have a soft spot for the first Bucks Fizz album whereas other people may think it's a load of pants.

However, in my opinion, some classic albums are 'Rubber Soul' by The Beatles, 'Pet Sounds' by The Beach Boys and 'OK Computer' by Radiohead. If they try to reject them lie and say that they are Harry Styles's new side project or something. Try anything, just get them to listen!

Step 4 ("I can give you more") - Get them to practice

This is the boring bit so let's move on...

Step 5 - Get them to form a band

Once they've practiced enough, it's time to form a band (woo-hoo! High five everyone in the room immediately!) Preferably this will be with school friends as then you can get the music teacher to help them all with Step 4 as you and the other mums and dads can't be arsed.

Hopefully not everyone will read my step 2 above in too much detail as this could mean you end up with 5 guitarists in the band and no singer or drummer - this is not a good! Actually, on second thoughts it's quite a good USP - do it!

Your child's band also needs a name. I've never been a big fan of plugging my old blog posts but, as I've been gone for a year and everyone's forgotten who I am, I'm going to anyway. If you have some magnetic words at home, go here now - musodad's band name game

We used 'musodad's band name game' to choose my daughter's band name 'Groovy Conker'. They will be the biggest band on the planet in 2025 - you read it here first! (Actually you may have read it here first - 'Daddy's Beard' - the debut single by Groovy Conker but, as I said before, I've never been a big fan of plugging my old blog posts).

Step 6 - Get them a manager and a lawyer

I'm going to put my serious head on now - you must NOT manage them. Dave from down the pub must NOT be their Lawyer.  I know it's tempting, and you have their best interests at heart, but no, no. NO!

However, if you've had music industry experience in the past and Dave from down the pub used to be a Lawyer then I'm sure you'll be okay.

Actually, before I say it'll be okay, I'd better consult Tarquin, my PR Adviser as I don't want to speak out of turn.  Hmmm, Tarquin says he thinks you'll be okay as a manager but just watch out for Dave. Tarquin doesn't trust Dave.

Step 7 - Refuse to let them go on any music talent shows

It just won't look cool in 10 years time if people remember. Their fans will turn against them, there will be a music press backlash and the tabloid newspapers will drag up loads of rumours about them from years and years ago.

Actually, any PR is good PR isn't it? Hmmm, let me once again consult with Tarquin, my PR Adviser, and we'll re-think this step and get back to you.  Thank you for your patience.

Step 8 - Get them playing live

Getting the band to play pubs / clubs is a surefire way to earn some hard cash or free beer (for you, of course - Babycham for the kids) and you may even get on the guestlist and meet the band afterwards if you're lucky! The band are probably living / practicing in your spare room at this point anyway but I was just trying to make it sound exciting!

It's usually the manager's job to sort live gigs out (and at this stage you could well be their manager, don't listen to my advice in Step 6, what the bloody hell do I know?!!) but make sure you use and abuse your connections - get them playing your friend's barbeque, your best mate's wedding, your parents' house, anywhere will do!

Repeat this step a few times and they'll soon be headlining Glastonbury (if they didn't split up after the first gig cause they were rubbish - a bit like my old band 'Pre-historic Wife'. I did write a blog post on that too once but can't be bothered to go and find it).

Step 9 - Publicise them!

Bore everyone you know, and everyone you don't know, that your child is in a band.

Hassle radio station DJ's, the music press, music bloggers on twitter (I know one well if you want me to have a word with him.  I have to warn you know though that he's a bit pants and no-one ever listens to his recommendations anyway). If they tell you they are rubbish, get the band a different style of haircut and then go and hassle them again!

If you lose friends along the way, cause all you do is 'go on about that bloody band' so be it! When they're famous you can tell your friends 'I told you so'. Except you won't have any friends left. But you'll have the band! The band is all you need...

Step 10 - Reap the rewards!

It's payback time baby! This is the point when you remind your child who bought them their first guitar, who used to feed them in the middle of the night, who it was who used to change their nappies?!!

They won't care, mind. By this point they would have also developed a rock star attitude and will probably pretend you don't even exist.  They're 'too cool for school' nowadays and have an image to maintain with their fans.

But you hold the trump card, my friend.  If they refuse to part with hard cash then you can run straight to the tabloids and sell any old story about them - you SHALL have the last laugh....

So there you have it.

Good luck, let me know how you get on.

*Disclaimer - musodad himself has never completed the 10 step process above and he accepts no responsibility for any damages caused to anyone attempting to complete it.  To be honest, his advice is a bit rubbish and if you follow it religiously then I'm afraid you really are a silly sausage.

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