by Robert Wilonsky and Michael Corcoran (circa 2000)
1. Before you sign a record deal, look up the word “recoupable” in the dictionary.
2. Your manager’s not helping you. Fire him or her. Same with your publicist.
3. Never start a trio with a married couple.
4. When you talk on stage, you are never funny.
5. If you want the Austin Chronicle to write about your band, don’t lead off your press kit with a review by Rob Patterson.
6. Listen, either you break it to your parents or we will: It’s rock ‘n’ roll, not soccer. They’ve gotta stop coming to your shows.
7. Telltale signs it’s time to break up: Audience members are wearing earplugs, and you’re an acoustic act. You’ve got a girl in the group and still can’t get booked on the “Dudley and Bob” show. “Spinal Tap” isn’t funny anymore. You play a rockabilly cover at the Continental and Clara stays behind the bar. You’re still livin’ on Rob Patterson reviews.
8. When you sign to a major label, claim to have inked the best contract ever. Mention “artistic freedom” and “guaranteed three-record deal.”
9. When you get dropped, insist that it was the worst contract ever and that you asked to be let go.
10. No one gives a fuck who you’ve opened for.
11. If you’re compared to another band, don’t act like you’re unfamiliar with their music. (“Oh, does Rage Against the Machine also do rap-rock with political lyrics?”)
12. Never have dancers or painters onstage.
13. Never name a song after your band.
14. Never name your band after a song.
15. Don’t ever think it’s a good idea to be drawn for the cover of your CD.
16. Never enter a “battle of the bands” contest. If you do you’re already a loser.
17. All your guitars sound the same.
18. Don’t tell people you run into that you’ll put them on your guest list unless you know their names. Nah, fuck ’em.
19. Drummers can take off their shirts or they can wear gloves, but not both.
20. It’s not a “showcase.” It’s a gig that doesn’t pay.
21. Awards are meaningless. Stop bragging.
22. If you go from being a musician to a spoken-word artist, you can’t go back.
23. Playing San Marcos and Alpine doesn’t mean you’re out on tour.
24. Don’t stop your set to ask that beers be brought up. That’s what girlfriends/boyfriends are for.
25. If you use a smoke machine, your music sucks. Ditto a light show.
26. No song should be longer than the line at Hopdoddy.
27. Never repeat your hit as an encore. Even Fastball doesn’t do that shit.