It’s easy to be cynical of idol worshipping. When we see the inside of a teenager’s bedroom covered wall to wall with posters of their favorite pop/rock stars we laugh and think its silly or a complete waste of time and money and in some cases may even seem obsessive. Some people spend their last dollar on a concert ticket or a new song or memorabilia from their idol. I recall seeing the most expensive guitar ever sold was not the best guitar ever made but was in fact Jimi Hendrix’s. No doubt purchased by a fan. Some people will lined up for days sleeping on the street to get front row seats at a concert. At times it does border on crazy but there is definitely a positive side to idol worshipping.
We all need heroes
Many successful musicians are themselves the result of idol worshipping. My own passion for guitar started from idolizing bands like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, AC/DC and Pink Floyd. In fact I think having such music idols is one of the key ingredients to long term success. As guitarists our heroes keep us going through the tough times. There were certainly many times early on I thought it was all too hard but it only took a small dose of one of my heroes in the form of a record, video or live concert to get me back on track.
Finding your hero
Our heroes play a vital role and should never be underestimated. In nearly every in depth interview I have seen with successful musicians they quote someone as being their idol. For The Beatles it was Elvis, for Eric Clapton, Angus Young, Keith Richards it was Chuck Berry and on it goes. So if you ever question your reason for playing guitar you might want to look at who your heroes are. If the motivation to practice is low you may need to ramp it up a little by seeking out a hero or two.
David J Hart