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By: Matthew Swanson

Every job comes with its perks. Maybe you get lots of vacation days. Perhaps your company offers a very competitive dental plan. If you’re really lucky, you may even have access to your own bathroom. However, let’s face it: next to the benefits that come with being a rock star, the selling points of your job look like the perks at Abu Ghraib. Have a gander through the upside of being a rocker, and you decide if you still think that corner office is so special.

Mick Jagger

10. Wear Whatever You Want.

Remember when Bjork showed up to the Oscars wearing a swan dress, complete with not only feathers but also a damn goose head draped over her shoulder? She can wear that, because she’s a rock star. Guess what? You can’t wear that to work, unless you want to get fired, or at the very least made fun of by your coworkers to the point you have to quit.

9. Trash All the Hotel Rooms You Want

Who hasn’t wanted to throw a remote control through the television set, cut the pillows open to let he feathers fly everywhere, jump through the coffee table, crap in the tub, break the lamp over the nightstand, and, for a finale, throw the broken television out the window? There is no other job where people sign your checks and book the hotels for you, you proceed to trash the room, and not only is it okay, but it’s expected.

8. Eat Anything You Want

Jim Morrison is perhaps the best example of a fat, bloated rocker who still managed to be cool, mysterious, and sexy. By the time L.A. Woman came out, the once Adonis body of the rock heart throb we knew as Jim Morrison was looking more like the body of, well, author Toni Morrison. Fat as he was, history will show us that Mr. Mojo Risin was still reciting mostly bad poetry to L.A. Women, and they were still hanging on his every word. The second you get that hit record out, grab yourself a bag of trans fat chips, and wash it down with some eggnog, because you can. Because you can . . .

7. Be as Shitty of a Musician as You Want

People still talk about Sid Vicious because he did a lot of drugs, may or may not have killed his girlfriend, and he was a member of a very important punk rock band, The Sex Pistols. No one talks about his musicianship because, as anyone who played with him or heard him play live will attest to, he couldn’t play for shit. You’ll never make it in the classical music world if you can’t play a lick, but as long as you have the right look, rock n’ roll will accept your shitty-ass bass playing with open arms.

Keith Richards

6. Buy Anything You Want

There’s a lot of money to be made in rock, and because you’re an eccentric rock star, it’s okay to splurge on some stupid things. Michael Jackson denied trying to purchase the body of the Elephant Man, but even if he didn’t try to buy that, he did successfully buy a chimp and a roller coaster. If you’ve ever seen Tommy Lee on MTV’s Cribs, you’ll see that drumming on some heavy metal records and live in a drum set that spun upside down gave him the capital his dumb ass needed to finally buy a shark tank, a Japanese garden with a coy pond (because he’s big into mediation these days), a purple velvet room, and the ultimate, a “Yellow Love/Big Bird Room,” which is nothing but a room with fuzzy yellow walls. One great thing you’ll notice if you revisit that episode, is that through out the whole thing he says how much he loves his kids, yet at one point he says his son Brandon “is about four years old.” Well, don’t worry about how old that kid is, Tommy. You just stick to what’s important: Getting that all-important blue Cookie Monster Room.

5. Take as Much Time Off as You Want

Axl Rose started working on a new Guns N’ Roses record in 1994. Fourteen years later, he’s still working on it. What other job gives you that much leeway? If you give your tax information to your accountant, it’s expected that he get it done in the next week or so, certainly not fourteen years later. If a dentist took fourteen years to do a filling, it’s not likely he’d get much business, unless David Blaine volunteered to be a patient for one of his stunts.

4. Do All the Drugs You Want

Rock star is the only job where drugs often make you better at your work. Take Aerosmith, they made some great rock n’ roll records in the 1970s, then they cleaned up, started making shitty ones, and continue to today. Eric Clapton made some great albums on some undoubtedly great drugs in the 1970s, then in the 1980s he did It’s in the Way That You Use it, and then in 1998 he released My Father’s Eyes. Blech! Even the Beatles: They made really good pop songs before they did drugs, then they did some drugs, and they made the best rock music ever. The absolute worst is when rock stars clean up and write songs about it. There’s something really sad about a guy getting off of drugs, feeling better than ever, writing songs about it, only to have his fans wish he were back on the drugs, because he made better music when he was on them.

3. Die All You Want

The only better career move than taking drugs in rock n’ roll is dying. Posters of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison continue to adorn the walls of college dorm rooms, not only because they made great music, but because they died young. The only images we know of them are the young rebellious ones, so, in a sense, they remain young forever, and never grew old and nerdy like Sting. Also, every word a rock star wrote becomes more profound when they die, because we pour over their lyrics looking for signs of their inner torment that led to their untimely demise. However, as a word to the wise, take full advantage of the other nine perks before you indulge in the whole dying thing. It just doesn’t work the other way around.

2. Go as Bat-Shit Crazy as You Want/Do All the Dumb Stuff You Want

It’s hard to put too many perks ahead of this one, because being a rock star means you can do whatever the hell you want. Here are some examples of this:
1. Morrissey declared himself celibate. He didn’t like boys, he didn’t like girls, he just liked Morrissey.
2. The Hell’s Angels killed people while providing security for a concert with the Rolling Stones and other bands, they may or may not have been paid in beer, and somebody gave that order the go ahead.
3. Jerry Lee Lewis married not only a 13-year-old girl, but a 13-year-old girl who was his cousin.
4. Prince had the gonads to publicly declare that he was changing his name to a symbol.
5. There’s no need to go on. Being a rock star means you can do all the crazy things you’ve ever dreamed about, and some you don’t even want to do – some you do just to get your jollies from seeing how people will react.

1. F’ Anyone You Want

This has to be the number one perk, because every guy who picks up that guitar does it to get girls, whether he is conscious of it or not. It’s a fact. What’s really great is if you’re any good you don’t even have to be good looking to get laid. In fact, you barely even have to be human! In 1989, Rick Ocasek of The Cars, who literally looked like Nosferatu in the 1980s, somehow convinced Sports Illustrated Swimsuit sensation Paulina Porizkova to marry him. Then in 1993, Pretty Woman star Julia Roberts tied the knot, albeit a brief knot, with not-at-all-Pretty Man, Lyle Lovett. Around the same time, Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows, a homely Hobbit of a man with a bad body and an even worse head full of white-boy dreads, was romantically linked to Courtney Cox and Jennifer Aniston, the two prettiest friends on NBC’s Friends. How do these ugly dudes do it? Is it brainwashing? Lobotomies? No. They write songs that women like, and they reap the benefits. For all you aspiring rockers out there, just remember this when you’re practicing those chords: There are guys out there twice as ugly as you, and they have all the more reason to get proficient and make a hit record – it’s their only shot at bagging a supermodel.



All opinions expressed by Matthew Swanson are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of Stay Thirsty Media, Inc.

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