how can I get thought of as a 'rock star' creative?

David Hepworth

“appear to be having fun ”…

David Hepworth has been writing and broadcasting about music and media since the seventies. He’s been involved in the launch and editing of Smash Hits, Q, Mojo and The Word. He was one of the BBC's anchors for the original Live Aid broadcast.

His latest book, Uncommon People, has just been published. It is a brilliantly readable series of insights into what made rock stars rock stars. These days creatives (not to mention anyone in any walk of life) aspire to this title. A very few might even earn it.

So David, how can I get thought to as a 'rock star' creative?

One of the points I make in my book is that rock stars came in all shapes and sizes. Some of the greatest ones – Little Richard, Ian Dury and Janis Joplin – came from apparently unpromising clay. People are more likely to brand you a rock star if you appear to be obeying your own plan rather than anyone else’s. And you appear to be having fun doing it.

And really, that’s as simple a guide as we can ask for. However, for those of you thirsting for a bit more detail (so not rock’n’roll) here are a couple of paragraphs lifted from the forward to ‘Uncommon People’…

In characterizing people as rock stars we are superimposing on them qualities we associated with rock stars of the past. It’s only when we describe people who aren’t rock stars as being like rock stars that we get an inkling of the qualities we came to associate with rock stars as a tribe.

What kind of qualities? Swagger. Impudence. Sexual charisma. Utter self-reliance. Damn-the-torpedoes self-belief. A tendency to act on instinct. A particular way of carrying themselves. Good hair. Interesting shoes.

Similarly there are qualities rock-star types do not have. A rock-star chef will not refer too closely to the recipe. A rock-star politician will not be overly in thrall to the focus group. A rock-star athlete will not go to bed at the time specified by the coach. A rock-star fund manager will make a huge call based on a gut feeling rather then indulge in a prolongued period of desk research and make a sober examination of the evidence.

Recklessness, thy name is rock.

David Hepworth, A Curate's Egg

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