(Tracy’s note: My first guest blogger is none other than my sister! -No, there’s no nepotism here…- You can read more of Trish’s work on her blog, Tarot Trish, where she blogs about all things Tarot. Her views in this post are her own and not necessarily mine (I’ve always wanted to say that) – though I one hundred percent agree that Dave Grohl is a Rock God, as you can read here in my own post about the Foo. The drawing below is from a photo I took at that concert.)
By Trish Anderson
Okay look, we all think we know what a rock god is. If you are going to designate people to the category of Rock God, you need to know very clearly what you mean when you say ‘Rock God.’ If all that you measure by is the commercial success of their music (the number of sales, the sold out tour stops, the prestigious TV appearances, the number of Grammy nominees and what not), then you don’t have a rock god, all you have is a CEO, a marketer, and a fame junkie.
Not impressive in the least.
The reason it’s not impressive is simple – it’s just a formula. The kind you can probably get free on some website when you sign up for their email newsletter. Follow the steps and any Joe is famous.
So to be a Rock God you must be something extra special, you have to love your craft in such a way that puts you continents – nay – universes apart from everyone else. This something extra special is not a thing you can learn from someone, it is something you are born with, something you are, something you could never escape from if you tried to be anything else. Its pathological, you don’t choose it, you suffer from it. If you fight it, it defeats you. But if you embrace it, it transforms you into someone who gives their audience an unparalleled experience every single time.
Let us not forget that not all rock gods make it in this life. It takes a kind of privilege and circumstance that one is born into that allows one to be able to express their rock god, many who are born with it do not have the life circumstances that would allow them the freedom to follow their genius. (Let’s pause for a second and think about that please.)
For those who are privileged to be able to pursue their genius, however, there are a few things that set them apart. Take Dave Grohl for example. In my chart, he’s holding fast at the number one spot.
I don’t know if Dave Grohl feels defined by music, if he feels that he is trapped by it or blessed to be in it. All I know is that he excels at it. I envy and admire him simply because he appears to be doing in this life exactly what he was born to do. And he appears to love it. He is one of the very few artists I call a Rock God because each and every time I see or hear him perform, whether live in concert, on my Foo Fighters playlist, in a video, on TV as a guest, or in a documentary about music he always makes me feel that he loves what he does possibly even more than his fans love what he does.
And that is rare. REALLY rare. I mean some musicians really get into their own minds when they play their music. They go way out of this world, and it’s truly magical in the moment, but that is not what I mean.
Some musicians have some really devoted fan followings, that defy what should be the barriers of devotion to a musician or group. It is truly astounding. But that is not what I mean either.
I mean those artists who are so devoted to their industry that they make the performances because they have to, not because it will make them money, or help their career to do it. They made it because it was a piece of work that needed to be added to the compendium of music and music history of the world. They love a particular time in the early years so much for what it contributed to music that they purchase the analog mixing console that was in that recording studio because they can feel in their soul all the music that was arranged on it, so they buy it and make an independent film about it to honour the music industry.
Yeah, I’m talking about Sound City. But that of course isn’t all that Dave Grohl has contributed to the music industry. And I am not going to recount the corpus of work that he has done, because that isn’t the point.
The point is that he has the drive to contribute to the music industry and to his fans.
The point is the fun that he has with his life. The crazy videos, the improv covers at Foo Fighters concerts, epic falls during concerts, boldly standing up to those who spread hatred. Sharing the stage, giving away his guitar, singing with his daughter.
The point is he appears to be doing exactly what he should be doing in this life, and I will say it again – I envy that. Not all of us find it, not all of us get to follow it.