Rock 'n' Roll for Dummies

Recently exhumed ancient handbook reveals the secrets to playing music and staying happy

Hey -- what about a place to practice? All right, clearly there are three problems that exist for practicing music, but Gary provides a solution without prompting . . .

School basements and friends' basements or garages are also great to practice. Adequate house wiring will usually take care of any amplification equipment (most of them draw 200-300 watts).

Last time I checked, my electric pencil sharpener needed that much juice to get the lead out. Chances are your junior Jimmy Page's amplifier will probably have some trouble drowning the healthy grinding of a bitchin' Bostitch at those diminished db's.

Rock 'n' roll primer: Are your parents open to some "heavier" talk?
Rock 'n' roll primer: Are your parents open to some "heavier" talk?


Gary's handy glossary ends the years of confusion and blown dope deals. "Axe" means "any instrument," "gig" means "a job, employment" and, most important, the "harp" is "a harmonica" and not an upright, open triangular frame with 46 strings of graded lengths played by plucking with the fingers! The same goes for "Jew's harp."


Many groups have gone back to the non-gimmicky, rather simple approach. Yeah, right. Tell it to the Aquabats!

The end result of all this hard toil and trouble? According to Gary, "Maybe a pot of gold!" But we can assume the once-burned Gary And knows only too well to beware of agents and managers that bring you down. They can't be doing a good job if that's the sort of vibe you get from them. And lastly if you loose [sic] interest and the rest of the group isn't having fun anymore, remember you can always end up in Medical School or maybe an astronaut.

My guess is that all the life-sucking scum walking the corridors of power in the music industry these days have already made Getting Together Your OWN Rock Group NOW! required reading before becoming the agents and managers that are bringing us down this very moment. Still, if Gary And talked at least one future Joan Baez into a career as an ear, nose and throat specialist -- or better yet into a space capsule -- it was worth it.

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