1. First you get some like-minded hard-rocking players together from your school.
3. You and your friends only play the clarinet or the cello but you want to be in a rock band. But it’s fine – anything goes.
4. And then comes the most important part: choosing a name. How about a play on words?
5. It helps if someone in the band has a punnable name.
6. Why not go for something from your English GCSE syllabus?
7. You could take a mathematical approach.
8. You could be like East 17 and call yourselves after where you grew up (doesn’t work so well if you’re from Kent).
9. Some are too clever for their own good.
10. And some are so punk rock that they stick it to THE MAN and they just don’t care.
11. If all else fails just get one out of the dictionary.
12. But someone in the band doesn’t like the name. So you go back to discussing it endlessly.
13. And every self-respecting band needs a logo that you can doodle on your maths textbook.
14. ONLY AT THIS POINT CAN YOU ACTUALLY START PLAYING ANYTHING.
15. If you couldn’t practice at school, it was in a shed, garage, front room or bedroom. Someone’s mum would shout “TURN IT DOWN” every five minutes.
16. No one could drive to practices, so you had to get all your gear on the bus. Drummers would re-think their choice of instrument.
17. Someone would always forget something crucial, such as: plectrums, capos, guitar leads, spare strings, drum sticks, tuner, songbook, batteries for effects pedals, etc etc.
18. And there was always one person who didn’t turn up. This was particularly a problem before mobile phones.
19. Songwriting! Your lyrics are THE most important words that anyone has ever written.
20. You play your first gig! It’s incredible – you’re a real rock star. Even if it’s in front of your school assembly.
You win a million points if you ever did a gig that wasn’t mostly made up of your mates and / or parents.
21. By law, all bands formed in the western world after 1991 have to do a version of Smells Like Teen Spirit.
It’s a song that’s been subject to some fairly inventive interpretations over the years.
This is closer to free jazz than the original.
22. You may have a healthy rivalry with other bands in your school / town. You may even poach members from them.
23. After one gig, it’s time to change your name again. How about …
24. And, as all good things must come to an end, your band breaks up after something like eight weeks. And the whole process starts again.
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