The Birth of The Rockstar

We may take for granted the grace of the modern day rockstar, as we are flooded these days with creativity from every angle, but if we stop and consider just how special the inspiration behind so much of this art is - we'll likely reconsider overlooking the legends within & among us.

While the term rockstar may only be a half of a dozen decades old, debatably, the idea behind it is actually much older than many of us may assume. So, what is a rockstar anyway? We know that it is often referred to as a person of epic proportions, in their grandeur, their talent, their skill and especially their charm. Let us not forget that so much of what makes a rockstar is actually not the rockstar, but the fandom, who are often thought of as fanatical. Think about the fans of The Rolling Stones, The Flaming Lips, The Beatles - those fans who follow and travel a band from each city to city all the way from country to country. These fans are what create so much of the hype and buzz around the often mysterious and always disappearing musician with rockstar status. 

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Are you familiar with the Hungarian composer known as Franz Liszt? He is legendary for so many reasons but one of the most crucial and path-creating parts of our musical history. Franz was the very first pianist to give a recital as a soloist, as previously it had been thought of to be of no interest to an audience, as if it was too boring. Franz’s playing gifted him with the craze of fandom that equates to what we think of when it comes to modern day rockstarism.

We really love Carina Chocano of The New York Times’s take on the whole thing. “Rock stars themselves bear some responsibility for the creation of brand ‘‘rock stardom.’’ In her book ‘‘No Logo,’’ a study of the effects of advertising on culture, Naomi Klein traces the inversion of artists and corporate wage earners to the 1980s, when seemingly every ’70s rock star who survived youthful hard living into hale middle age entered into a synergistic alliance with other, bigger brands. Comeback concert sponsorships, commercial licensing agreements, lucrative advertising contracts and co-branded merchandising opportunities offered the aging rock star, drifting into irrelevance, advantages only a die-hard romantic and well-funded idealist would turn down: a final, global victory lap; an extra couple of hundred million in the bank; and a shot to trade enshrinement in a specific era for an eternal, ahistoric, ever-fungible brand ‘‘relevance.’’

So, what about those of us who really want to become rock stars ourselves? Is this steal feasible, if it ever was? Or was this just a legendary myth that seemed to put us all in the occasional trance where we are the mercy of the music? In our humble opinion, we believe that the rockstar isn’t just all glitz and glamour, but it is the musician who is able to get the most in touch with their soul. The good news is that we can all reach this space within ourselves, but it is not an easy search, so put on your thinking caps. Being a real rockstar means standing up for what you believe in and living in your truth to the fullest.