Ryan O’Bryan’s Tips for Becoming a World-Wide Music Superstar
Essentially, it’s a look at several common events I’ve seen take place at nearly every concert I’ve been to in my life that I transformed into “tips” for all aspiring musicians looking to become rock stars regardless of musical style.
The only changes I made for this re-publishing was the removal of a few naughty words. Outside of that, I’ve left the majority of the transcript as I wrote it back in 2004. Reading through it again, my observations are still as relevant today as they were back then. Enjoy!
How to be a Rock Star in Just a Few Simple Steps
ATTENTION ALL ASPIRING ROCK BANDS/MUSICIANS! Want to hit the big time? Want to be worshipped by thousands upon thousands of fans? It’s much easier than you think. But before we get started let me explain that I am not a rock star, nor am I trained in any way, shape, or form to teach people how to do much of anything. I have simply attended enough concerts in my day to have figured out how it all works, so sit back, read on, and get ready to ROCK OUT!
1. Form a band.
No talent? NO PROBLEM! You can be the bass player.
Make sure at least one song is a big radio hit. (Write about love gone wrong, everyone can relate to that.) Don’t worry if the rest of your CD sucks, your popularity will stem from your live show. Speaking of which…
3. Go on Tour
Your best bet at first will be to try and hook up with a better known band. This will get you in front of larger audiences. Also make sure you dish out the extra cash for a good sound system and a guy who knows how to run it because if you suck, he will know how to make you sound like you know what you’re doing.
Before I continue, keep in mind steps 2 & 3 will cost you quite a bit of money at first. But rest assured that one day you’ll look back and laugh at the days of living off Ramen Noodles and sleeping in your 1984 Dodge “tour bus”. Moving on…
Pay close attention to the remainder of these steps, as they all take place during your “show.”
4. Begin Your Show
Keep in mind people are there to be entertained. Any type of lights, stage decoration, and/or “eye candy” is highly encouraged. However don’t go overboard, remember they are there to see you. You want the audience to be excited to see you…so make them wait as long as possible without upsetting them. This means bringing down the lights and having your sound man play music or sound effects that start out slow and quiet then eventually build into a loud, almost obnoxious climax. While all this is going on, take the stage and get into a position. If you’re the lead singer, this means putting most of your weight on the microphone and looking at the floor.
Time everything out so that when the lights come on and the sound effects stop you kick into the first song of your set. This song needs to get everyone’s attention. Pick a song that starts with screaming or a snare drum pop, and has a really good groove that everyone can jump up and down to.
5. Mention the City’s Name
You can never do this enough! It is also a tremendous help if you tell them how much you love their town. For example: “What’s up Evansville? Thanks for being here, we love comin’ to play for you guys, you’re always good to us.” Also be sure to throw in the city’s name somewhere in your biggest hit. If you have to re-write a lyric – DO IT! Their reaction with be well worth it.
People will love to hear you curse. It’s like having HBO, they paid good money to see you and they want it uncensored. If possible make every other word out of your mouth filthy, even if it makes no sense. Curse so much that sailors are impressed. Combine this with step number…
7. Call the Audience Names
This somewhat goes back to step 5 in the fact that by calling your fans names, you acknowledge their presence, and they eat that up. Also urge them to be violent. For example: “What the ‘F’ is up you f-ing Mother F-ers! Are you f-ing ready to tear some f-ing s–t up?!?! Even if they cheer as loud as humanly possible, always be sure to follow up with, “I can’t f-ing hear you! They will scream until their vocal cords bleed.
8. Alcohol Rules!
You don’t have to be drunk to do this, but at some point in the evening tell your audience about how drunk, wasted, hammered, and/or, f-ed up (see step #7) you were last night, are now, or plan to be as soon as you finish “rockin’ their asses!” This is another way to relate to the crowd. If you make them think you enjoy drinking yourself stupid on a regular basis, you give them the idea that they are like you and that is the whole point.
Repeat steps 4 – 9 at every show on your tour. Once the tour is over, repeat steps 2 – 9 until your so huge that you can afford to only put out a CD and go on tour once every 4 or 5 years. Following these instructions to the last detail will turn people into sheep. They will kill for you if you ask (I don’t suggest it).
You’re probably wondering what I charge for this gold mine of information…$99.99? $59.99? $19.99? Would you believe that I’ve given you all this money-making info absolutely free? Believe it! All I ask in return is that you step on me lightly as you climb your way to the top…and maybe a guitar pick.