Paul Diamond Blow's Rock Musician Resources

How to Be a Rock Star Prima Donna
If You Can’t Be a Rock Star, at Least Be the Next Best Thing—a Prima Donna!

by Paul Diamond Blow

That’s right, it’s time for another “Paul Diamond Blow Starting a Band” article. This time I tackle the subject of prima donnas—“every band needs one/how to be one!” Seriously, every real cool band has at least one prima donna, and there really is room for only one in each band. Mick Jagger is a prima donna, Axl Rose is a prima donna, and of course Yngvie Malsteem is a prima donna’s prima donna. The prima donna’s role in a band is to give the band a sense of “we’re too cool for you.” Of course, many musicians claim to hate ’em, however, often times the prima donna is the most talented (and emotionally scarred) one in the band. To be a true prima donna you need three things: a big ego, mood swings, and talent. (You can’t get away with it if you have no talent.)

Here’s how you too can be a rock star prima donna, or at least act like one:

Show up late to the gigs: Let everyone wonder if you’re ever going to show up. Show up ten minutes before your band plays, if at all.

Act bored and disinterested: While playing the show, look like you’d rather be somewhere else. Stand up against the wall with your legs crossed while playing guitar. Don’t smile. Wear sunglasses at all times. You can also play with your back to the audience—that’s a true sign of a prima donna.

Demand special treatment: If your bandmates each get two drink tickets at the show, demand that you receive three or four. Demand that you get extra people in on your guest list. Demand a case of Hostess Cherry Pies on your rider (if you have one), with exactly 23 cherries in each unit.

Complain about the sound: Yell at the sound man—tell him you can’t hear yourself in the monitors. Tell him to turn you up louder than everyone else. Call him a moron, even.

Refuse to load gear: Before or after the gig, refuse to load any gear, except maybe your own guitar. Tell ’em “it’s the roadies job!” If you are a singer, don’t touch nothing!

Ignore your “fans”: After the gig, when audience members try to talk to you, just give ’em a nod and then ignore them. Again, wear sunglasses at all times. This shows them that you are a true prima donna to be contended with—a “player.”

Always dress the part: Always dress in the finest of threads. This means—if you play rock music—black leather. And of course, always wear shades.

Don’t show up to practice: Tell the guys, “I’m not the one who needs the practice.” Show up to every other practice, but only if you feel like it.

Do all these things and you too can be a rock’n’roll prima donna. (Guys, the girls seem to love ’em!) Now go rock!