googled06bb313055e587a.html Rock N Roll Rehab for the Control Of Rock and Roll Starring Greg Piper and The Tooners: I’ll Be Famous When I’m Dead

I’ll Be Famous When I’m Dead

There is an old saying: An artist must suffer for his art. Why? Why must an artist suffer for his art? It’s because if he doesn’t suffer it’s not considered work. The old Puritan Work Ethic is still strong in Americans. Medicine tastes bad not because it just naturally tastes bad, the flavor is added, it’s because if you like it that means it’s not good for you. It also keeps children from overdosing on it. Look at all the famous artists in history and they all have rather sad and sometimes tragic stories. How horrible it must be to have artist talent. Insanity, homosexuality (considered a form of insanity) venereal disease and suicide are all common aspects of the lives of the famous artists. Nothing is more artistic than living a life of poverty and having your genius discovered only after your death. Now that’s greatness!

Another more recent saying; work smart, not hard, is of the late Twentieth Century and rubs some people the wrong way. In the Puritan Work Ethic if  you enjoy something it is not something worth doing. If you enjoy doing it then it is a selfish, hedonistic act and any benefit to society it may contribute is negated if there was any aspect of fun involved in its creation.

Or maybe all the successful people are right after all. Every millionaire who has ever written a book about how he or she became a millionaire gives the same advice: follow your dreams. Sure, that's easy for them to say since they succeeded but it just seemed wise to have a fall back position. However, of all my friends the only ones who really followed their dreams to any extent were the Pipers who have always been rock musicians and they're still working. Sure, they changed their dream from being a successful rock band to being a Beatles tribute act but they're still making a living playing music. A lot of my friends who did "the smart thing", went to college, got a "real" job and put their art aside are now all laid off and bitter. "I knew music was a long shot. I just thought my day gig was solid. Wrong again," I hear that a lot lately.

I suppose the minute you have a "fall back" position you're betting you're going to fail. Yes, music is a long shot but succeeding as a musician is more likely than succeeding as the accountant who plays music and who wants a musician as an accountant? You know what I mean? I think a big problem is that in an age of specialization we hyphens (actor-musician-writer-dentist, etc.) get diluted. People want a purity. What are you, a musician or a garage mechanic? I think our parents, who were so happy to have survived World War Two, wanted nothing more than "security" for us. Living our dream, which many times meant following our natural inclinations, was just too scary a proposition for them. I think this is why guys like John Lennon and Paul McCartney were successful, it was because they didn't have mothers to please or disappoint. Now us "good sons" are being punished for not having the guts to "follow our dreams". I think I would rather be a failure having done what I wanted to do (which I certainly am) than someone who worked his ass off for thirty years in a business he didn't really care about (which I certainly did) and then end up chronically unemployed anyway. In the words of the great Firesign Theater, everything you know is wrong.

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