How Not to Be a Musician

What do your dreams look like? Fame, stardom, success and riches?

We all have dreams, but do you know how to achieve them? I can start by telling you what not to do, and you can take it from there. If you don’t want your dreams to become a nightmare, then listen to your parents, don’t become a musician.

I heard that statement many times in life, and I’m glad I took no notice. While I’m not rich in money through my music, music has enriched my life and I know, the lives of many others.


If you want fame, more friends than you can handle, riches beyond your greediest desires, lasting admiration and godlike worship that endures throughout all history, become a rock star. Things like that rarely happen to classical musicians. But even as a classical musician, you can have all the riches, but you don’t want it all to fade to nothing while you’re alive.

Look at the life span of many musicians, it’s not long. Poor Mozart, Schubert, Robert Schumann, Purcell and Gershwin. Just imagine the amazing music we would have if they lived the number of years that most people did in their time.

Imagine all the people you will disappoint when you die of a drug overdose or drown in your own vomit. Not nice is it? You might want to become a star, but you don’t want to become a shooting star that burns out before your time.

Don’t ruin your life for the price of fame. Fame is fleeting. You don’t want your life to pass you by without contributing all that you can. Because the longer you live, the more you know and the more you get to experience. There’s so much more you can find to love and change for the better in this world if you are simply alive to do it.

Making music, performing music, being in a band is a life-changing experience. But you want what you do to change other people’s lives, and not yours.

Everyone needs music. It’s something we must have because music makes life better. It relaxes and excites us. It becomes our friend and our companion that keeps us from loneliness and desperation. Music brings great joy. But, the fame that can go along with creating music, can take your life away. While music can change the world as the Beatles music did, what’s the point of not being around to experience the difference of what you’ve made?

It is possible to have a blazing musical career and not drown yourself in a flood of madness, booze and drugs and die at 27. But, it takes real strength. Especially when most around you are out of their heads on fame and alcohol. What you have to do is get yourself alone. Be away from other people and picture your life as a dead drunk. See all the pain and torture you will go through on your road of dead drunk nights and screaming fans who never know how to stop demanding that you give more.

The horrible, scary nights you will have when you’ve been boozing up all day, trying to create that totally unique piece of music, which you will have forgotten by the morning, if you make it that far. It is not worth the frightening experience of looking at the end of your life from a hospital bed sometime around three in the morning.

If you want a life in music, you have to look after your health; you have to be healthy and fit. You might think that all the booze and drugs will help you make extraordinary sounds, but the sound of you dying in pain through an overdose or liver cancer will drown out any musical sound that you have ever made.

Create music like Mozart, if you can, be famous if you want it, just don’t die at 35. Because at 35, you have more than a lifetime of music to create.

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