No Glam in Rock N Roll?
Written By Luis Kleiser
I once wrote a song that was called "No Glam in Rock and Roll." My band added the tune on an album, and as soon as we uploaded the track to YouTube and shared it via our social media, I started receiving private messages from annoyed friends and music fans alike. The majority of them enjoyed the music, however many were curious while some of them were just upset about the title.
I must admit that perhaps the message was not clear, and that I contributed to creating certain some confusion to our listeners for using that particular term. The idea behind the song was quite different from the one those crossed fans thought and before they even listened to the track and its lyrics, they thought I was deliberately attacking Glam Rock, nothing could be further from the truth; all I wanted to explain was how it feels to be in a small band that plays shows in small clubs, and who have no support from the media.
When people outside the music business think about rock and roll they often have in their minds, bottles of champagne, trashed hotel rooms or even to the extreme of unsafe sex with wild groupies in every city. Those days are gone for most bands now, especially since the record industry collapsed. Having a small band is something different from that, quite frequently I go to work on a Friday and straight after, hit the road for a few hours to reach the venue in time for a show. I still remember when we toured for a few days with a popular Canadian band and drove back after every gig so that we could make it back to work the next morning.
They thought I was deliberately attacking Glam Rock, nothing could be further from the truth.....
We have slept on floors, eaten tasteless gas station sandwiches whilst sitting down on concrete floors, and come back penniless. We unload, and then load our gear in the van, and have become managers, march designers, and even our own A&R, seeing limos only from afar who are picking up reggaeton stars,
Where is the glamour here?
Pretty much nowhere.......
And then, what’s the point of going through all this?
Last week after driving 600 miles for a gig, we met a girl in our audience that had survived breast cancer, but still had pain in her arms. She decided to come to the show, loved it and came to the next one as well, claiming that we made her forget about the pain for a few hours. Every person in a rock concert audience has a different story. Some of those are happier than others, but everyone that buys a ticket for a show wants to enjoy this moment together with other music lovers, while setting aside whatever trouble is on their minds for a while.
All in all, our job as musicians is to succeed at that, and to create memories and songs people can go back to when life hits them hard. Doing so, removes any doubt we may have to go through. Being in a small band allows you to meet your audience, and some people even become friends.
No, there is no glam in rock and roll for many of us, but there are beautiful stories told by amazing people that we can bring home with us after every show.