Would you call a nurse a doctor, a TA a professor or a 5k runner an athlete? Then why on earth would you call anybody who’s somebody in their respective field of Physics, Business, video gaming etc etc etc as a Rockstar?
Ok, so maybe I’m a little picky about words. But when I hear someone describe that playboy businessman, that daring stuntman or that brilliant programmer as a Rockstar, I silently summon lightning clouds to strike them down.
I can see why everyone wants to be a Rockstar. Rockstars have it all—they’re famous, they’re rich (at least back in the day), they’re sexy, they party like a… er…Rockstar and they get all the girls. But do you know how hard they worked to get there? It’s a dog eat dog world of competition, and only a small percentage of broke and starved Indie bands get a break, and even a smaller percentage get beyond their first album. And once they’re famous, they have to put in more hours practicing for bigger shows, not to mention travel endlessly that takes a toll on their health and families.
Yes, I take my music very seriously. Growing up to Old School Metal and 80’s rock (hairbands included), most of my music Gods were all metal-studded leather, long hair and blistering leads. The definition has changed now, at least in the sexy department, but here’s who does not qualify to be called a Rock Star—class toppers, extravagant Hollywood stars, rebellious businessmen, fearless extreme sportsmen, that cool guy with attitude… the list goes on and on. Extravagance, fame, rebelliousness and fearlessness may be the stereotypical qualities of a Rockstar and may even qualify you to be a star, just not a Rockstar.
So who does qualify to be a Rockstar?
- Should be a Rock musician. Duh. Not pop, not hip hop, ROCK. Get the point? Other sisters of Rock, like Metal, Punk, Grunge etc are ok too, most of the time.
- Should be a musician. You know, the one who actually performs on stage. Not their manager, or songwriter, or their cool hangers-on with Rockstar-itis.
- Should be reasonably well known. Every Rock musician knows the moment when they become Rock stars. It’s the dream when they pick up their first guitar, drum or microphone for the first time.
It’s that simple.
Music is what makes or breaks Rockstars, not their attitude or escapades. There are many Rock musicians who are gentle giants, teetotalers, vegetarians and early sleepers who are still Rockstars. Let’s respect that, and let’s respect the other exemplary persons by not making them look like wannabes. How about doing a bit of work to find other superlatives and calling them a star athlete, superstar CEO and brilliant scientist?
After all, a Rockstar is a Rockstar is a Rockstar.