Tuesday, January 03, 2006


So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star, How I Machine-Gunned a Roomful of Record Executives and Other True Tales From A Drummmer's Life, Jacob Slichter, Random House, Inc, 2004, 281 pp

This guy was the drummer for Semisonic, a one-hit wonder band in the late 90s. Their hit was "Closing Time", which was huge and almost anyone remembers it. The book is their story from the author's viewpoint.

So the book is very real and quite down to earth. Slichter is probably one of the most unlikely music nerds to ever achieve fame. He doesn't contradict anything one has read about the music business, but it is better than most of those books because it is not particularly bitter and because it is so real. What struck me is that the band pretty much did everything right and if it hadn't been for a couple of fortuitous breaks, they would have never made it as big as they did. Yet, if it hadn't been for other unavoidable music business insanities, they would still be around.

Therefore, yes, it takes talent and business smarts and drive and terrible persistence, but it is also luck, timing and the biggest gamble in the world. I suppose that is all part of the allure. I can't say that I don't wish I could have had even a 100th of their success.

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