Musicians: Not Special

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Musicians. They’re just not that special.

If you’re a musician and you’re reading this, I just blew your fucking mind. I bet nobody has ever dared to even suggest something so ludicrous to you. Here, let me say it again, “Yo dude, guess what? You’re not that special.”

First off, let’s identify this tenacious and pervasive cultural myth. Every dude who’s gotten his wang milked by a hot girl just because he can play a couple of rudimentary bass lines knows what I’m talking about. In our society, musicans enjoy some kind of weird, privileged status. What is this shit about? If you’re able play three chords you can be a hateful, ugly, shitful moron of a person and people will still invite you to parties. Furthermore, if you are a male and you are in a band, girls will still sleep with you because you self-identify as an artist, even if you play the fucking washboard. Fuck that, though. Fuck all that so much.

Okay, now let me continue to rock everyone’s world by being brave and honest enough to define for you exactly what a musican is. A musician, in real life, is a person who has been paid to play music. A musician is either currently getting paid to play music on a semi-consistent basis or has, at some point in the past, gotten paid for playing music on a semi-consistent basis.

By that criteria, your cousin Kyle who makes beats in his basement isn’t a musican. Don’t let him try to convince you that he is. That dude you just saw at open mic who sang a song with 39 verses about trees and the sky and a girl’s hair isn’t a musican either. If you’re a girl, don’t sleep with that dude. I have slept with that dude. Don’t be like me. For Christ’s sake, don’t be like me.

Why do we coddle musicians? Jim Morrison got away with so much terrible shit like drinking people’s blood or

Jim Morrison. What a douche.

Jim Morrison. What a douche.

acting like a complete dick to everyone. Why? Because he got fucked up on drugs and wrote, “People are strange when you’re a stranger”? Fuck that guy. His shit’s not even good enough to justify his stupid, terrible behavior.

You heard me right, Doors fans. Even Morrison Hotel doesn’t make up for that dude’s too many years of stupid, insipid faces, his gross, inexplicable, perpetual shirtlessness, his dabbling in witchcraft or whatever it was. What a douche.

Even if you fit my stringent requirements, even if you are a real musician (and Morrison admittedly fit that bill even though he didn’t deserve to) it isn’t a license to be a complete wad. What is with these people who are failures in every single aspect of their lives, yet they think because they can write a mediocre song that they have carte blanche to act like entitled, inconsiderate shitheads to everybody?

Stop it, I say. You don’t deserve to act that way. You don’t have the right to show up at a venue and lurk in the corner ignoring everyone because of what a genius you think you are. No, come out and say hi to everybody and act like a motherfucking human being. Your mother didn’t raise Nick Drake, you just read about him on Wikipedia. Get real, poser.

Let’s all admit to one another that musicians have a very specific skill set. Specifically, they are able to use their instruments or voices, either alone or in conjunction with others, to make music. Well, bully for you guys, but you know what, though? Plumbers have a very specific skill set too, so does my mom, so do EMTs. And guess what else, I’m never gonna wake up in the middle of the night and have an emergency that requires a musician. Nope, not even. Those other people I mentioned, totally clutch in many, many situations. Musicians, eh, notsomuch.

Look, all I’m saying is that if a farmer wants to wear suspenders and a trucker cap, let him. That mutherfucker GROWS FOOD FOR A LIVING. If you are dressing that way because you’re in an indie band, sorry dude, get in line with all the other people I hate.

If a heart surgeon wants to roll his eyes at me when I say I like some Billy Joel stuff, let him. SOMEDAY HE COULD SAVE MY FUCKING LIFE.  But bitch, if you’re going to laugh at me because I sing along to “The Stranger” on the radio because you think your prog rock band can do better than the fucking Piano Man himself, please accept my cordial invitation to eat a hundred and fifty dicks.

Ugh, musicians. I have blown so many of you and yet I can prove with mathematics that you are worthless. Check it out: my life – all the musicians I know = still pretty okay.

Let me leave you with a lesson. If you play music, next time you start to get high on yourself remember Joe Pass. This guy was arguably one of the best guitarists who ever lived. He always performed through crap amps because he was cheap and lazy which resulted in a shitty tone, yet he was undeniably great. Even in his ugly, sweat-stained polo shirts with the big, purple horrifying bags he had under his eyes, his playing just blew everybody else out of the water. Fuck gear, fuck image. Fuck pretension and networking and being a tool. He was just great, without any of that.  He had the countenance of a simple workman. A guy who worked on a factory line. He had an honest, deliberate, no-frills approach to music. His playing spoke for itself.

Go ahead ask that dude you know with ironic mustache who plays banjo in an Americana band about Joe Pass. I’ll bet you he’s never heard of him.

So what’s the lesson? The lesson is if you’re a musican whatever idea you have about yourself is bullshit. Stop trying to dress like a musician and start trying to play like one. In the meantime, try to be nice to people. If you’re not a musician don’t give another human being a pass just because they do something you think you can’t do. Truth is, you totally could if you wanted. You just probably have a real job.