Remember this scene in Animal House where John Belushi encounters that fruitcake playing guitar surrounded by women? He’s wearing a black sweater, sporting a horrible mustache, and strumming a nylon-stringed guitar all while serenading his fans with a cheesy love lyric that goes “I gave my love a chicken.”
John Belushi’s eyebrows reflect the audience’s perspective in that he’s asking “What is this weirdo doing in my frat house playing this corny love song?”
He breaks his calm demeanor and proceeds to batter the guitar against the wall! All the while this sensitive guy is in shock over why some crazy asshole like him is doing this! Then the women are panicking as the remnants of the acoustic guitar ricochet in their direction.
John Belushi is “Sorry” but we, the audience, are not.
The reason is that the clash between these two characters is a typical occurrence when we find someone who plays the guitar to “score with chicks!”
Let me tell you the truth Beavis. We’re gonna score, finally!
Women don’t become attracted to some guy JUST because he can play a musical instrument. If that were true Guitar Center would start having Valentine’s Day sales and form a partnership with Hallmark.
God, I can already imagine the greeting cards that will play “Smoke On The Water” being sold there.
No my friends. Women like musicians because they’re passionate about their music, spontaneous in the most extreme sense, they’re in control of their destinies (most of the time), and ultimately because they’re fun to be around as they’re so full of life.
Music communicates all these things subconsciously!
That’s why most of the musicians in the 80s really didn’t make it. Their goal was not to be great artists who were passionate about the things their music communicated, but chick magnets.
The Beatles, Elvis, Motley Crue, G n’ R, and Led Zeppelin on the other hand all had lots of social status due to the fact that they can make everyone feel a little more alive through their music. And they also played because they got a sort of inner fulfillment from making music.
(I can see some of you shaking your heads but hear me out)
Watch these guys on stage and you’ll notice that they never stand on stage with a blank stare on their face waiting for the audience’s approval. The audience wants a piece of that cool confidence or wild enthusiasm that ooze out of them on stage.
Daniel J. Levitin, the author of This Is Your Brain On Music, backs me up on this…….
“Collective music making may encourage social cohesions – humans are social animals, and music may have historically served to promote feelings of group togetherness and synchrony. Singing around the ancient campfire might have been a way to stay awake, to ward off predators, and to develop social coordination and social cooperation within the group. Humans need social linkages to make society work, and music is one of them…….
Music making, because it involves an array of physical and mental skills, would be an overt display of health, and to the extent that someone had time to develop his musicianship, the argument goes, it would indicate resource wealth.”
I’m going to transfer this discussion on someone who is not a guitar god, but can play a little bit….
I Saw Her Face, But I’m Not A Belieber
Allow me to vent on why all the ladies love the Biebster in light of the evidence presented…..
He has the confidence and passion just like many other musicians, but his persona exposes some truth about sensitive artists.
Justin Bieber’s fragility reminds many girls of their cute little gifted sibling. To some he might bring up a current or past crush from childhood. For all the other girls, they want to be the one he wants simply because every girl wants him.
But he is also a cute little puppy smack dab in the middle of an industry full of Rottweilers and Pit Bulls. The women must provide the fight this dog does not have. Take a look at all the twitter posts about him that’ll be gathering momentum at this moment.
Women are entrapped by the experience Bieber’s words and music create, which basically says that he’s so fragile and vulnerable because he’s overwhelmed by the girl (or the female listener) that inspired him to sing. It’s a fantasy that many girls dream of.
Sorry fellas, but not even the Beatles could cope with this army once they tripped over this fact. That’s the real reason they retreated to the studio. I suggest accepting it for what it is.
Mr. Levitin will again tell you the truth about the power of words with music……
“Music, particularly memorable music, would insinuate itself into the mind of a potential mate, leading her to think about her suitor even when he was out on a long hunt, and predisposing her toward him when he returned. The multiple reinforcing cues of a good song – rhythm, melody, contour – cause music to stick in our heads. That is the reason that many ancient myths, epics, and even the Old Testament were set to music in preparation for being passed down by oral tradition across the generations. As a tool for activation of specific thoughts, music is not as good as language. As a tool for arousing feelings and emotions, music is better than language. The combination of the two – as best exemplified in a love song – is the best courtship display of all.”
Justin Bieber is a special case of adolescent love, but the goal is the same everywhere else. To make the listener think about the musician and become open to the influence of the words in the song.
It’s nothing that has not happened before as it happens in all of art, and not just in music. John Kennedy had that same effect as a leader as did the poet, Lord Byron. Both were fragile men who needed the maternal strength of women, and then communicated that need effortlessly.
Don’t buy it? Maybe it’s the hair?….
The Beatle’s Cool Charm
No I doubt that. Looks are usually representative of something else.
One of the reasons the Beatles will always remain enormously popular IMO is that their personalities are perfectly mirrored in their music. All of them emitted this warmth in their songs that very few bands since have been able to replicate.
Whether it’s marmalade skies, waves of joy, or taking a sad song into something better, I never fail to put a smile on my face when humming these lyrics to myself. And what I love even more are the quips I’ve collected from each:
“All of you in the front, clap your hands! Everyone in the back, just rattle your jewelry!” -John
That’s the whole thing about charm and confidence is that you want to associate with those who readily give it off, particularly through an art form like music. It’s so rare that a group like the Beatles comes along with boatloads of it, so we want to fully embrace this energy!
But it’s enormously difficult to do this! Hear what Geoffrey Miller, author of The Mating Mind, has to say about creating art:
“We find attractive those things that could have been produced only by people with attractive, high-fitness qualities such as health, energy, endurance, hand-eye coordination, fine motor control, intelligence, creativity, access to rare materials, the ability to learn difficult skills, and lots of free time……The fundamental challenge facing artists is to demonstrate their fitness by making something that lower-fitness competitors could not make, thus proving themselves more socially and sexually attractive.”
We were dying for a band that could make us forget about nukes, subdue our teenage angst, and regain a source of positive well-being after the horrors of the first half of the 20th century.
Not something you can do with a handful of open chords……
The interesting thing about the time they came along was that it was not long after President Kennedy died, in 1963. A book I read about the Beatles, “Can’t Buy Me Love”, points to this as a significant factor to their success here in America.
Do all of these things matter to a woman? You bet your ass they do.
“Anyone who could sing and dance was advertising to potential mates his stamina and overall good health, physical and mental. Second, anyone who had become expert in music and dance was advertising that he had enough food and sturdy enough shelter that he could afford to waste valuable time on developing a purely unnecessary skill.” -Daniel Levitin
One look at their faces in their TV performances or album covers will tell you they had a damn good time playing their music. You see, the women came once they started to see and understand that, and not before when they were alone strumming their chords.
It’s a common problem of confusing a sufficient premise for a conclusion. Basically, it’s not enough to play your chords right and sing in key. (What would you do if I sang out of tune?)
There’s much better reasons than that, and in the Beatles case, it was their message of peace, love, and cannabis (No kids, I’m just joking) that took over. The call for social cohesion and togetherness.
Although Geoffrey Miller disagrees…….
“Aesthetic signficance does not deliver truth about the human condition of a particular human, the artist. The aesthetic features of art make sense mainly as displays of the artist’s skill and creativity, not as vehicles of transcendental enlightenment, religious inspiration, social commentary, psycho-analytic revelation, or political revolution.”
But us guys can understand this in the fact that no one likes to associate with a vibe killer or a stage 5 needy clinger, which is what socially awkward people or bad musicians communicate.
It’s incredibly difficult to create vehicles for social commentary or religious inspiration, like Miller states, because of the need for a higher quality mind to produce it.
To me the Beatles are everything because they could do all these things. Hopefully I’m not starting to sound like one of their crazy fans a la Bieber….Lol, but they did create moody, dark music like “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” and “Helter Skelter.”
We’ve all got a dark side to us that can be just as exciting, but in an opposite way…..
Dancing To The Jailhouse Rock
“I conclude that musical notes and rhythm were first acquired by the male or female progenitors of mankind for the sake of charming the opposite sex. Thus musical notes became firmly associated with some of the strongest passions an animal is capable of feeling, and are consequently used instinctively…..” -Charles Darwin
Unlike Justin Bieber or the Beatles, Elvis wasn’t always a nice guy. I mean “nice” in the sense that they didn’t play by society’s unwritten rules of etiquette, or subscribe to a rigidly polite social persona that tempered one’s animal instinct.
Artists break this rule of conduct with a reckless freedom akin to the Joker from the Dark Knight.
Why do we love the Joker and Elvis so much? It might be hard for many to admit to themselves, but they practice this freedom we all want. It’s a certain drama, created out of the chaos the Joker unleashes, that makes us hold our breath. He walks a fine line amidst all the explosions, car chases, and taunts he throws at Batman.
All the while we are in awe of this dangerous man, as the Joker gets along just fine without the rules. Or at least seems to.
It’s like underage drinking. Why is it so common and why do efforts to curb it fail? Because we rarely do the hard work of listening to what these kids are going through, and why?
But it’s just another thrill to break a rule and get away with it, and if we’re cunning enough to get away with the crime and behave the way we want, so much the better. Every person has unbearable passions that they need to express sometimes. And these rock stars, politicians, and athletes can get away with breaking the rules we don’t want to follow because we put them on a pedestal.
By sharing their life on stage they allow us to have the fun that’s often missing in our lives. That’s why women flock to them. There’s a dangerous excitement you’ll get when associating with such characters and it’s great, as long as you don’t get burned.
The question is how long can you go before that happens?
Translate what I just told you to Motley Crue, Guns n’ Roses and Led Zeppelin’s notorious reputations. They crashed Lamborghinis, dated supermodels, and threw TV sets out of their hotel room windows. Then they laughed with the same enthusiasm as the Joker did because they didn’t care what anyone else thought.
They could get away with it because they played by their own rules, which were often none at all.
Vince Neil of Motley Crue told about how the guys around him in L.A. would be like “Yeah! Rock n’ Roll Vince! Hell Yeah!” and Vince would reply “Dude you don’t get it.”
Rock n’ Roll is a celebration of what’s natural and it does so by living the way they want, and not the way their contemporaries wanted them to live.
That’s the difference between Vince Neil and some guy who wants to serenade a girl, any girl, that he comes across. They were more than chick magnets.
They liked to watch the world burn, and they threw away any hesitation to do so. They played the game of living their life to the most dangerous level possible.
Anyone who strummed chords to be cool didn’t get it.
Just Don’t Get Burned Yourself
This was all a little unexpected wasn’t it? Were you expecting a magic pick up line or another tale about Robert Johnson at the crossroads?
The fact is that it is easy to explain the success, this case being the attraction buttons of women, to a turn-key solution like daddy’s money, Brad Pitt’s looks, or some kid’s hair style.
Think about why us guys think we need tons of money to pay for gifts and dates? From that perspective it’s really easy to understand what you gotta do to get laid right?
Well it’s actually what the rich man already has before he makes the money that attracts a woman, which the guys I just finished talking about (even the Joker in a way) all had as well.
A rich guy usually can handle himself really well, he rarely lives in a world of scarcity, and most everyone likes to be around him for the same reasons people love rock stars, but in a drastically healthier way.
They have success that grew out of confidence to do what they wanted.
Again it’s premature for me to act like an authority on this subject, but I can confidently say that successful people have a winning attitude everyone can admire.
Success breeds enthusiasm in others and is a form of life affirmation. And music is the ultimate form of communicating the greatness of life and love, and frivolous thrills.
It’s the positive traits of success and charming personalities that often get drowned out by the live fast, die-hard lifestyle practiced by the guys we just talked about. This happens, again, because it’s much easier to admire their supermodel girlfriends and gossip about their bad behavior than to recognize the aura that seeps out of them.
It’s that aura which I’d recommend to anyone seeking to emulate a rock star. Obviously I don’t recommend putting on clown makeup and a cheap purple suit in order to get girls.
Those that take that a little too far will face the consequences just like all the guys in Motley Crue did, who by the way had people dying around them. It’s karma on her bitchiest days.
Although getting a new hair style to signal good health might be harmless.