I'll bet nobody has to tell you what a rock star is. Say the word and your thoughts go immediately to your favorite band or solo artist--to bright lights, blistering guitar chords, screaming girls, and wildly tossing hair. Maybe you picture Mick Jagger strutting across the stage, or Steven Tyler howling into the mic. Maybe you think of Lady GaGa's glittering costumes, Natalie Merchant's smooth vocals. No matter the musician you envision, the point is, you know who they are and what they represent--talent, success, respect, and the really good tables at trendy restaurants.
Think about it--the word "rock star" has become a metaphor for the same reason. A rock star can be anyone in any industry who has earned fame, admiration, and success by being the best at what they do.
Rock & roll legends have a lot to teach us, and not just about how to trash a hotel room. Music is a business. Most truly successful musicians understand that you have to treat it like a business and find a way to keep your passion for music at the same time. The artists who excel at this become true rock stars.
The rock legends, the icons, the geniuses of music all have a story. They started out with little or nothing; they had challenges along the way. Each one had a never surrender, never give up attitude. These are the people who hung in there, no matter what, and eventually became the legends they are today.
You have more in common with them than you think. At some point, maybe when you were in school, you decided on the career path you wanted to take, and now you're on that journey. You face challenges and setbacks. But you have made it this far, and you can use your talents and determination to get further if you make smart choices and you don't give up. We can take the ideas and techniques of those legendary musicians and apply them to just about any filed to help you become a rock star, too.
My name is Mark Kamp -- you can call me Marvelless Mark.
I acquired my radio and stage name in the '80s and have branded myself this way because of my "less gives you more" attitude.
(Also, it's easier to copyright a trademark name when you misspell it.)
My own life has been a kind of rock odyssey. It has led me to a place where I can help people with the things I love most--music and motivation. I started out as a farm kid in Missouri, a place where kids learn to do everything from driving a tractor to castrating pigs, from mechanics to construction work. Our family knew firsthand that if you didn't have a solid work ethic, you had no crop and you didn't eat.
In high school, I started a DJ business with some friends in our small town. I loved the limelight and pushing the envelope (something my less visionary friends called "showing off".) When I graduated, I found part time work at a local radio station. I worked two other full time jobs while learning the ropes of the entertainment business. I had a great radio mentor who taught me all about how to connect with people, and about how sales, marketing, programming, and managing people depend on understanding them. I kept the local DJ gig as a sideline, started to really study what some of my favorite rock legends did to create a public persona, and attended a lot of concerts. I applied what I learned to my show--adding costumes, special effects, props, interaction, video-- I was constantly looking for ways to stand out, to be different and better than any of our competitors in the county or even in the state. I was branding myself and I didn't even know it.
I made the move to the big city and got a job doing promotions, DJing, and nightclub management. Around 1990, I relocated to Florida to pursue a career as a cruise ship entertainer and program director; but I never made it to sea. An entertainment producer discovered me performing at an event and connected me with an entertainment management company that helped me reinvent myself, hone and fine tune my talents, and sent me on the road as Marvelless Mark: The Ultimate Interactive Entertainment Experience for Corporate America. Soon, I was opening and closing for big name rock bands, comedians, and some of the greatest inspirational and motivational speakers. It was awesome. When I wasn't on stage, I was watching them and listening to everything they had to say about success, motivation, happiness, and turning your dreams to reality. It was a free education. With some creative guidance, I kept the show growing and eventually started my own show band.
That's what I was doing when the American economy hit the skids. In the aftermath of the initial crash, I realized how much people needed all of the information I had learned, and how much they still crave entertainment as part of learning, meetings, and events. So I was led to reinvent myself once again with a more edu-tainment (entertainment with a message) format. The whole country has faced many new challenges in the last decade, and I believe people need music, motivation, and inspiration. You can get and have a good time at the same time.
"My model for business is the Beatles. They were four guys who kept each others negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other and the total was greater than the sum parts. And that's how I see business. Great things in business are never done by one person, they are done by a team of people."-- Steve Jobs, Apple Computers
Thanks to what I have learned from all of my own personal rock stars--my parents, mentors, great fans, life style gurus, and business coaches like Steven Covey and Anthony Robbins, bands like KISS, and lessons from my own mistakes along the way, I hve had a pretty rockin' life so far. I think anyone can. It all started on a farm...I was forced to be creative in order to entertain myself and others, to dream and to envision that someday I would travel the world as a rock star. I just didn't know at the time it would be a business rock star. Now, I'm here to help you pursue your dreams and visions in the most fun, entertaining, way possible.
Before we crank up the music and get to taking care of business (or as Elvis would say, "TCB"), let's make sure we're all in the same key. We'll start with the characteristics of a real rock star: SUPERIOR TALENT, CONFIDENCE, HARD WORKING, DETERMINATION, HIGH STANDARDS, CONNECTION TO AUDIENCE, ABLE TO INSPIRE PASSIONATE LOYALTY. A rock star has natural gifts, sure; but they also have other qualities that help them make the most of your talent, focus your energy, and go the distance, first you have to master some basic chords.
Most rock & roll is built around a few guitar chords--the sounds that the instrument makes when multiple strings are struck at the same time. Put together a few simple chords and you can build a limitless variety of great songs. With that in mind, this book is built around these basic chords with a foundational concept connected to each one. Every rock band starts out by playing songs with three fundamental chords: F, B, and A. Consequently most rock songs are built around these three simple chords. So that's where we start too.
To read more about how these basic chords and the advanced chords translate into concepts that will build you into a business rock star, check out Marvelless Mark's book OPPORTUNITY ROCKS available on amazon.com and watch our newsletter for excerpts.
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