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Fall 2002

The Lead Vocalist Syndrome

by Rob Skane

The Lead Vocalist. The bane of every skilled musician's existence. I'm not talking about GENIUS Lead Vocalists like Mick Jagger, Steven Tyler or Roger Daltrey and countless others. I'm talking about the chumps. The preening weenies who only want to be noticed. And if it's at the expense of their so-called "band mates", they don't care. Because their penises are soooo incredibly small and their self-esteem is soooo abnormally low... they'll do any thing to be noticed/observed/adored/spit on... it's all good to these morons.

For those of us in bands who actually play an instrument and have been the victim of such psychotic observations as, "You're too good to play as much as you do, you need to play less." You probably know from where I'm coming with this. And if you don't know, consider yourself very, very lucky. I'm talking about The Lead Vocalist Syndrome. Which basically boils down to a no talent jackass telling you what you can or can not do. I guess this may be similar to working at your job and having a no talent jackass for a boss.

Now, what in the blue hell does, "You're too good to play as much as you do, you need to play less" mean. I can't figure it out. Maybe I'm an idiot, because using this logic I can only assume that Jimi Hendrix didn't even need to take his Strat out of the case. Because he was that good??!! Well, he was...

And from what I'm told...sometimes the boys in the band have to vamp/jam/keep on chooglin' while the Lead Vocalist is busy working the room in the middle of a song. Not between songs, dude... IN THE MIDDLE OF A SONG!! It's more important to be sticking their heads up the bass player's skirt, dry humping the jukebox or lighting their farts at the bar. Get the picture? So what's any red-blooded guitar player who has spent coutlees hours practicing throughout the course of his life to do during this dazzling display of bullshit? SOLO! Your damn right, baby. S-O-L-O. Rip it up. Let it all hang out. Kick out the jams, motherfuckers!! You've got to pick up the slack again because the Lead Vocalist had his hands in his pants while balancing a bottle of Corona on his chin and missed his cue to sing... again. So what else is new. He just wants to be loved.

But there's more. There's always more. After the set you find out that while the Lead Vocalist had the barmaid in a figure four face-lock-while he was supposed to be singing... he noticed that you play too much. He didn't notice that he forgot to sing at the prescribed time. He noticed that you have some skill and he does not. And then you hear these words, "You're too good to play as much as you do, you need to play less."

This is when you have to resist the urge to chop up the Lead Vocalist and throw the pieces in the river. And, from what I'm told... it's a tough urge to resist.

ROB SKANE is resisting the urge.