Steve Goodson


1. Never start a trio with a married couple.

2. Your manager’s not helping you. Fire him.

3. Before you sign a record deal, look up the word 
”recoupable” in the dictionary.

4. No one cares who you’ve opened for.

5. A string section does not make your songs sound any 
more “important”.

6. If your band has gone through more than 4 bass 
players, it’s time to break up.

7. When you talk on stage you are never funny.

8. If you sound like another band, don’t act like 
you’re unfamiliar with their music (“Oh, does Rage 
Against The Machine also do rap-rock with political 

9. Asking a crowd how they’re doing is just amplified 
small talk. Don’t do it.

10. Don’t say your video’s being played if it’s only on 
the Austin Music Network.

11. When you sign to a major label, claim to have inked 
the best contract ever. Mention “artistic freedom” and 
”a guaranteed 3 record deal”.

12. When you get dropped insist that it was the worst 
contract ever and you asked to be let go.

13. Never name a song after your band. 

14. Never name your band after a song.

15. When a drummer brings in his own songs and asks to 
perform one of them, begin looking for a new drummer 

16. Never enter a “battle of the bands” contest. If you 
do you’re already a loser.

17. Learn to recognize scary word pairings: “rock 
opera”, “white rapper”, “blues jam”, “swing band” “open 
mike”, etc.

18. Drummers can take off their shirts or they can wear 
gloves, but not both.

19. Listen, either break it to your parents or we will; 
it’s rock ‘n’ roll, not a soccer game. They’ve gotta 
stop coming to your shows. 

20. It’s not a “showcase”. It’s a gig that doesn’t pay. 

21. No one cares that you have a web site.

22. Getting a tattoo is like sewing platform shoes to 
your feet.

23. Don’t hire a publicist.

24. Playing in Portsmouth and Nashua doesn’t mean 
you’re on tour.

25. Don’t join a cover band that plays Bush songs. In 
fact, don’t join a cover band.

26. Although they come in different styles and colors, 
electric guitars all sound the same. Why do you keep 
changing them between songs?

27. Don’t stop your set to ask that beers be brought 
up. That’s what girlfriends are for.

28. If you use a smoke machine, your music stinks. 

29. We can tell the difference between a professionally 
produced album cover and one you made with the iMac 
your mom got for Christmas.

30. Remember: if blues solos are so difficult, why can 
so many 16 year olds play them? 

31. If you ever take a publicity photo, destroy it. You 
may never know where or when it will turn up.

32. Cut your hair, but do not shave your head. 

33. Pierce your nose, but not your eyebrow. 

34. Do not wear shorts onstage. Or a suit. Or a hat. 

35. Rock oxymorons: “major label interest”, “demo 
deal”,” blues genius”, “$500 guarantee”, and 
”Fastball’s second hit”. 

36. Three things that are never coming back: a)gongs, 
b) headbands, and c)playing slide guitar with a beer 

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