It’s no good moping about the house waiting for a miracle because it isn’t going to happen. You were fired from your previous job because of your punctuality and the distinct lack of improvement since signing on the dole means you’ve been sacked from that as well (your benefits have been stopped). You’ll need to find a way to get yourself back on your feet that doesn’t require a reference from a previous employer or state assistance of any kind until your appeal has been heard by the job seeker’s allowance office.
Have you ever considered forming the greatest rock and roll band in history?
You’ll get to continually break music industry sales records for several decades going forward if you do.
If walking across zebra crossings and hanging out in India sounds like it could be blast – here’s what you’ll need to do to become successful:
1. Form a band
It’s a good idea if you have a few school friends that are also interested in music that would like to form a band with you. Village fetes are great places to meet prospective band members and they in turn may know of a talented young guitarist called George who is a few years younger than the rest of you, but who you’ll eventually allow into the band because of his persistence and ability to play the lead guitar part of the instrumental “Raunchy” on the upper deck of a Liverpool bus.
2. Decide on a name
We suggest you use Buddy Holly and The Crickets as your initial inspiration, so try to think of a word or phrase that has a similar meaning, but still sounds like it could be used to name what will hopefully be the most successful act in the history of popular music. What about The Cockroaches? Okay then – dung beetles? Actually, why don’t we shorten it down to Beetles and change the spelling so that we’re left with Beatles? That’s it – The Beatles!
3. Get some gigs in Hamburg
You’ll first of all need to ensure that you have a full time drummer, so look out for anyone named Pete that’s available for work. Once your drummer has been recruited, it’s off to Hamburg you go where you’ll be initially signed up for a 3 ½ month residency in the city’s red light district. It’s likely that you’ll do several stints in the German city where you’ll take the amphetamine Preludin so that you can survive the gruelling all-night shows that you play. Hamburg will also give you an early opportunity to develop your image and style, but be warned that your bass player may decide to leave the band and continue his art studies in Germany.
4. Get yourself a manager
It helps if your new manager is a local record store owner and music columnist called Brian, but this is by no means an absolute. What will be essential however, is that he is able to get you an audition with a major record label with a view to securing a recording contract. You may find that you’re rejected by the first label you audition for and the record company may infamously state that, “Guitar groups are on the way out, Mr. Epstein,” but give it a few months and you’ll likely end up securing a deal with somebody like EMI’s Parlophone records imprint.
5. Record your first single
You may find that frayed relationships and the poor technique of your drummer leads to you replacing him with somebody else, who in turn will be replaced by a session drummer on the final pressing of your debut single.
6. Record your first album
As a result of the moderate success of your debut single, you should now get the chance to record your debut album. Things should start to hot up at this stage as your subsequent three singles from the album all become smash hits and will kickstart an unprecedented run of success for your group.
7. Drive the masses wild
The increased exposure as a result of your commercial success will bring with it an unprecedented media profile that will enable you to further augment your success with down-to-earth charm and witty irreverence. A series of UK tours should see your act gain mass popularity as adoring fans get whipped up into a screaming frenzy. A new lexicon will appear in the English language as a result of the never-before-witnessed scenes of fan hysteria – Beatlemania (assuming of course that you decide to go with The Beatles as your group name).
8. Now it’s off to America
Cracking the states might prove tricky at first, but if you stick at it, the release of your first US single should see over a million copies sold and subsequent appearances on prime time US television should generate the highest ever TV viewing figures the US has ever witnessed. It’ll feel like the whole of America wants to hold your hand by this point!
9. Make a film
You’ll need to take about 6 weeks out of your busy touring schedule to record your first full length feature film that should take the form of a mock documentary. You will also need to release an accompanying soundtrack album and name it after the film. Try something surreal and quirky that is based on something the drummer of your group said after working hard for a full day and night.
10. Meet Bob Dylan
………because you can’t be teen heart-throbs forever! It’s time to smoke some weed and grow up FFS!
11. Try LSD for the first time
Whilst not everyone in your group will be as enthusiastic as the others about joining the counter-culture, your initial flirtation with hallucinogenic drugs will see your music take an entirely different turn away from the shiny pop efforts you previously made to a more artistic and philosophical place. Interestingly, it will probably be a band member’s dentist that first spikes your hot drinks with LSD over dinner, thus adding weight to the idea that every dentist is really a frustrated psychotherapist deep down.
12. Receive an MBE
Thankfully, drinking coffee at Buckingham palace will be much less frightening than it is with your dentist, but you will still have your minds blown when you are awarded an MBE for services to popular music by whoever happens to be the serving Prime Minister.
13. Hang out with Elvis Presley for an afternoon
………as you do when you’ve just played before a world-record crowd of 55,600 at New York’s Shea Stadium!
14. Claim to be bigger than Jesus
An irreverent comment made to a British reporter about how popular music is usurping religion as the primary means of spiritual expression for young people should do the trick. Be prepared to have copies of your albums burned in public displays of outrage alongside your recordings being banned from radio stations across the world as a result of your comments.
15. Quit touring
You should by now be so unfathomably popular that even playing concerts will be difficult due to the noise generated by screaming fans. You should consider at this point whether there’s any point in continuing touring and assess whether your time would be better spent focusing on recording.
16. Create a popular masterpiece
Your next album should push the boundaries of what is considered possible from a popular music group. You’ll need to be so creatively ambitious this time around that the expectations of what the experience of listening to popular music on record should be gets permanently raised. You will also do well to name the album after a fictional band that isn’t you, but is you on the cover wearing brightly coloured military uniforms (if that makes any sense).
17. Perform your next single via the first ever live global television broadcast
You’ll need to consider a song title that is relevant to the idea of the whole world coming together as one. Take the word for the most powerful of all the emotions and state that it’s all that anybody actually needs – that should do it!
18. Break up
Nothing lasts forever it would seem. The final years of your group’s success may contain bitter in-fighting as each member of the group begins to carve an identity for themselves away from the closeness of the original line-up. Japanese conceptual artist girlfriends, the death of your manager, legal disputes, the recruitment of new managers of dubious repute, a failed business venture and Phil Spector – all will play a hand in your ultimate demise. You’ll still be able to look back at your achievements however, with a pride at being, “artists who broke through the constraints of their time period to come up with something that was unique and original.”
If John, Paul, George and Ringo could do it, why can’t you?