Credit: Eva Blue

C’mon, you’ve heard about them before. The social media rock stars. Who are they? What do they do? How rock n’ roll are they? What does it mean to be rock n’ roll?

Let’s go back to the early days of rock n’ roll. Back then, it was a new sound that came out of mixing together a bunch of other sounds.

But then it hit critical mass. An industry grew around it — tours buses and groupies and album sales.

Rock n’ roll became a way of life. It came with a certain attitude, a certain “I don’t give a f**k.”

Finally, rock n’ roll went mainstream — it became business, as usual. The rock n’ roll way of life was only as good as how much money it made — how many albums it sold and how many shows it could sell out. If you wanted to trash a hotel room or cancel a show, you had better had a good excuse — you had better been big and made a lot of money.

Nowadays, you don’t hear so much about rock n’ roll. It’s been succeeded by rock and grunge and alternative and punk and indie rock — and even most of those are past their prime.

But it still means something to be rock n’ roll — just as it means something to be punk rock or indie rock.

So what does it mean to you? What kind of social media rock star are you trying to be? An early innovator? A legend in your heyday? Or a mainstream powerhouse?

4 thoughts on “Are You Rock n’ Roll?

  1. Ah, the life of a rock star. Everyone wants to be one, or so they say.

    I have no interest in being a rockstar. A wise man who is working his way through the improv world told me once hat he doesn’t want to become famous, rather he wants to be known in his field. I would say that is my approach in what I do as well.

    So what say you CT? I say you are already a rock star, but that’s just me…


    1. Being an early innovator/adopter is fun, but it doesn’t do much for you if you’re starving. So, in a sense, I like your improv friend’s outlook because if you’re known in your industry, you can get gigs a lot easier.

      So I guess I like it once it’s a lifestyle and before it’s mainstream.

  2. I like this post and wish more people had taken the time to reply. I agree with Mike above – no need for fame & glory, but appreciate having some recognition by peers in the artform of podcasting. What you say about early rocknrollers – I think of the Stone in the 60s before the rock industry machine took over and it became a farce. What was of value was authenticity – they knew what thy loved, paid homage to those they emulated and did the best they could to make an original sound. Same rings true for podcasting – it’s all about authenticity!

    1. Yeah, SD, I can’t help but think of what Hunter Thompson wrote about regularly watching Jefferson Airplane in San Fransisco dive bars. They were well known in “the scene,” and everyone could feel that they were going to be the next big thing, but they weren’t there yet, so they were all that much more worth seeing.

      And I don’t even think that worth was an exclusivity thing. I think too much success corrupts art and authenticity (important for podcasting) the same way power corrupts.

      On the one hand, seeing the potential for success can coax you into doing thing for the sake of being successful instead of just because you want to make something awesome.

      On the other hand, I think a bit too much success changes your mindset. The same things don’t inspire you anymore, and your work/art can suffer — i.e. Jefferson Spaceship.

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