Unleash Your Inner David Lee Roth
Axl Rose is an asshole. But, you know what? He’s confident as hell (and a member of one of the best bands ever). The rock & roll world is full of obnoxious idiots who just so happen to be charismatic frontmen. Steven Tyler strikes me as a douchebag, but he sure knows how to command an audience. The ability to stand in front of thousands of people and make a fool of yourself takes guts and huge balls.
Why am I talking about rock stars in an Inner Game article? Well, I’m heading off to play a show in a few hours and the whole sordid business of rock & roll is on my mind. I’m not much of a frontman. It’s not stage fright. I just don’t have that whole Vince Neil party boy attitude the ladies and gents like. I’m more of a Rivers Cuomo-type (Weezer) when it comes to rocking.
I’ve played tons of shows in my day and seen my fair share of both dull and showstopping frontmen. You know what separates the pros from the hacks? All the best bands have confident vocalists, guys who get up there like they own the damn stage.
Rock stars might not be the best role models (I’m looking at you, Sid Vicious), but most do exemplify uber-confidence, at least on stage. Some rock stars are notoriously shy off-stage (have you seen interviews with Prince?), but most have egos the size of 10,000 Marshall amps. While it’s not suggested you go out and start learning Motorhead covers (on second thought, that’s totally fine), you can take a cue from rock stars when it comes to walking into a room like you own it.
Do you find yourself singing in front of crowds of people, a spotlight pointed at your face every day? If so, you’re probably reading this on a diamond-coated laptop from your bungalow in Tahiti. If you’re like most TSB readers, however, you probably don’t deal with that kind of pressure on a regular basis. So, if dudes can get up and look badass in front of thousands of strangers, what are you doing acting meek at the bar? Why are you walking around your job like Milton Waddams from “Office Space”? If guys can throw on leopard print pants and sing songs like “Cherry Pie” and “Panama” and still feel like a man, you shouldn’t have a problem acting confident in your most likely awesome, but not as theatrical existence.
Not all of us are born extroverted dudes prone to falsetto and squealing guitar leads, but we can all be just as confident as guys like Iggy Pop and Anthony Kiedis (minus the adoration and multiple homes worldwide) with the right attitude. You don’t have to be an asshole or megalomaniac, but it wouldn’t hurt to rock some arena-sized confidence now and then. You might not have a headlining show at Madison Square Garden this week, but you can still be “the man” regardless. Just leave the glitter platform shoes for KISS.
About John Brhel John Brhel is a freelance writer from upstate New York that enjoys picking apart life's idiosyncrasies and listening to Huey Lewis & the News.