Who among us hasn’t fantasized about how cool it must be to play music for a living? The perception of the glamorous life of a rock star is one that has existed since the dawn of rock and roll. However, because of social media, every once in a while we get to peel back the curtain and take a look at the life of a rock star beyond the stage, and when we do, we inevitably find out that they are not larger than life. They are real people, dealing with real emotions and real problems just like the rest of us. Dan Donegan of Disturbed and Fight Or Flight fame is one of the most refreshingly honest rock stars today when it comes to sharing his life on social media.
Social media is both a blessing and a curse. It allows the average fan to make a connection with the rock stars that they idolize in ways that were never thought possible less than a decade ago. Unfortunately, the up-close-and-personal access also has its downside; it allows the squeaky wheels among us to stand on their virtual soapboxes and spew their negativity to anyone who will listen.
The value that is placed on music by the younger generations has greatly diminished over the years due in large part to the digital revolution and technology. Sadly, for many younger people, music has become disposable, for lack of a better term. This doesn’t mean that they don’t have a passion for music. Quite the contrary! There is, however, a sense of entitlement that music should not have to be paid for to enjoy. While many in the music business may bemoan this mentality, they have only themselves to blame for creating an environment that is more focused on songs than artist development. The bottom line is that artists must work harder than ever to make a living playing music, and very few live the rock star life that many people envision.
One of the sacrifices that must be made by all aspiring and successful rock stars is time with their families. Many hard rock acts, including some very recognizable names, have not only made this sacrifice, but also have turned to their fans through crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to finance their albums and stay on tour.
There is no more loyal audience than those in the hard rock and metal communities. Beyond the fans, there is a genuine brotherhood that exists between many bands in the genre today as well.
Dan Donegan made some interesting observations recently on social media, and then offered a follow-up to explain himself after the squeaky wheels started spewing their negativity. Please take a moment to read Donegan’s thoughts and feel free to share your own in the comment section below…
“Something a lot of people don’t realize about musicians/crew is most of us are father’s/husbands too & it never gets easy to leave our families behind! Not easy seeing my kids off to school yesterday and seeing them cry cuz’ I have to tour.It is a great life to travel & play music but it can also be very lonely. I’m NOT in anyway complaining about the life I have cuz I’m very fortunate & blessed. Just saying most of you who may enjoy a break from your kids, you get to return home from work & tuck them in bed every night. We drive further away to the next state. Our wives have got to be the strongest people I know, to have to handle all duties with the kids,school,home,bills & also being lonely. Yes it can be glamorous but there’s a price to pay! I’ve missed weddings,funerals, birthdays (including my son’s first b-day), kids school events,etc…There’s lots of great bands busting their asses that are happy just to make enough money to have gas to get to the next city. They put blood, sweat & tears into giving you their music or a show to help
you feel good too!Do me a favor and it doesn’t need to be my band (Fight or Flight/Disturbed) but if you hear about a new band, go buy their cd, knowing that all the sacrifices I’ve mentioned, that they are going thru similar things and missing their families too! We in Disturbed appreciate you the fans who have given us a career & have become our extended family & you know what, when we are away from
you, we miss you too! So that being said, we have every intention of returning someday as Disturbed & seeing all your faces again. All bands do what they can to find balance for our love of music & family. Songs help people heal so find a new band, buy a cd/ download it & help spread the word. Keep rock/metal alive. Enjoy your weekend!Much love & respect- Dan Donegan”
“Let me be clear about my previous post! Most of you get it & unfortunately there’s always a few missing the point! This is not a sob story! This is not comparing who makes a bigger sacrifice. Obviously anyone who knows us knows our support to the troops and how hard it is for them & what they do.I also know truck drivers have it hard being away from family. The list can go on with
many occupations. The point is that even though you may view us as rich rock stars living the dream that there is a human side to us that is our kids, family & friends. We post important things about our personal lives and share with you cause you are important to us. A lot of you enjoy that we take the time to talk to you as friends. it’s not always gonna be about music. I’m sharing a human feeling of how hard it can be to leave our families to go tour. That’s not complaining about what we do it’s just showing that our lives as glamorous as it can be at times will always need some balance between work & family. I am
also trying to make the point that bands go out and work hard & most with not much to show for it but their love for music is what keeps them going. We all need music because we all find songs that have been therapeutic. I was trying to shed light on the human element of us all that when all musicians walk out the door to bring you music , a lot of us leave our crying kids & wives that have to be without their father for sometime. Yes it’s our choice & music helps keep us sane. I could not live or function without family or music. This is not a pity party. It’s just reminding you that we all are alike and all of us make sacrifices in life. I’m asking you to find some new band ‘a and remember that they are giving you everything they got trying to make enough to go to the next stop. They to make those same sacrifices So so go out and buy another bands cd, go to a small venue & discover someone new. Share your comments about some new bands you discovered early & spread the word & keep metal & rock alive! Much respect-Dan Donegan”