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How to Prep Like a Rock Star

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A few things don't work yet, and some of the posts are incomplete. See here for more about this.


There was a time in my teenage life when I wanted to be a "professional guitar player". Okay. I wanted to be a rock star. I never became a rock star, but I did learn a few things that have also helped a lot with prepping:

Get Some Attitude

Most rock stars know that they're pretty hot stuff. Don't feel intimidated by the world of preppers, zombies, apocalypses, technical skills, fancy equipment, and specialised language. Start with the basics. And one of the basics is attitude.

You're going to get this sorted. Like totally.

One thing that preppers do is learn different uses for common ordinary items. A mirror has many uses — including using it as a distress signal if lost in the wilderness, and using it to practice your rock star attitude. The cover photo of this web page above is provided as a guide.

Clearly some people need this advice more than others.

Ignore the Haters

Many rock stars were always popular and "cool". But a great many others were absolutely not cool nor popular to begin with. In many cases it was that experience (like being a social outcast at school) that motivated them, and gave them their relentless drive to "become somebody".

All kinds of people will try to pull you down. Just ignore them. Or, better still, don't even talk about your prepping with them. If you start to listen to them, then you might start to listen to them. Which is the last thing you want to be doing.

Don't Give Up If It Takes Years to Prepare

There are thousands of examples of rock stars who were rejected countless times before they finally got noticed and got anywhere. Just stick at it — and you'll be amazed at what you can achieve, and how far you can go, compared to the place you were at when you started.

Widely regarded as the greatest rock guitarist of all time, Jimi Hendrix lived in poverty and slum accommodation most of his life. His first recording failed to chart. Born in 1942, he was still struggling to earn a living wage from music in May 1966. He became famous in 1967, and died in 1970.

Widely regarded as the greatest rock guitarist of all time, Jimi Hendrix lived in poverty and slum accommodation most of his life. His first recording failed to chart. Born in 1942, he was still struggling to earn a living wage from music in May 1966. He became famous in 1967, and died in 1970. Photo by Ribastank/Pixabay.

Care and Don't Care at the Same Time

This is a carefully planned yet also completely random combination of not giving a rat's ass, while at the same time paying painstaking attention to every last detail — practicing, refining, going over it, and over it, and over it again to make sure everything is just right.

It also means not caring about the future at all, while simultaneously being completely obsessed with the future and your future success (as compared to your present ordinariness). Rock stars and preppers both require this skill.

Find Some Influences and Imitate, Imitate, Imitate

I can remember when the hit song "Centrefold" was played on the radio at least once every hour. My father was still alive then. He laughed at it — hearing the tune, and immediately commenting that it was "just a copy" of some other older song that I didn't know (and don't now remember).

Every rock star has done at least one (and usually several) major interviews where they give a list of their influences. That is, people they imitated to learn how to be the stars that they became.

Do this with prepping too. In the age of information, you don't need to reinvent the wheel. Just copy what other preppers are doing. Unlike the music industry, you don't even need to worry about being sued for intellectual property infringement.

Have a Bugout Location

Rock stars usually have one or more secret (or sometimes not that secret) remote, isolated locations where they can go to get away from the crowds. This is one of the goals of prepping too. If you can't afford to buy somewhere yet, at least try to plan somewhere you could go.

If you can't afford a creepy haunted mansion on the shores of Loch Ness that was used for dark rituals by the wickedest man in the world, like rock star Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin could — that's probably a good thing anyway.

If you can't afford a creepy haunted mansion on the shores of Loch Ness that was used for satanic rituals by the wickedest man in the world, like rock star Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin could — that's probably a good thing anyway. Photo by Aleister Crowley / Wikipedia.

Don't Take Yourself Too Seriously

Obviously we all know a lot of rock stars who fail miserably at this piece of advice. Probably most of them. But not all. Some have even made their entire careers based on having a good laugh at what is, in very many ways, a very funny industry and lifestyle.

Similarly, a lot of preppers take things very seriously. But that doesn't mean that you have to.

Marty DiBergi (Interviewer): "Let's talk about your music today, uh... one thing that puzzles me, ummm... is the makeup of your audience. It seems to be, uh, predominantly, young boys."

David St. Hubbins (Vocalist): "Well, it's a sexual thing, really. Aside from the identifying that the boys do with us, there's also a reaction to the, of the female to our music."

Nigel Tufnel (Lead guitarist): "Yeah, really they're quite fearful. That's my theory. They see us on stage, with tight trousers... We've got, you know — armadillos in our trousers. I mean, it's really quite frightening — the size. And, and they, they run screaming."

From the movie "This is Spinal Tap". I couldn't find a free video link but you can pay to watch it here.

If there was only one country left in the world that was any good at not taking things too seriously, it would probably be Australia. So add that to the long list of reasons why Australia is one of the very best places in the world to be a prepper.

Get Dressed for Success

For any undertaking in life, one of the most absolutely critical things you need is the right look. In both rock stardom and prepping, this is even more true than usual. Except that this is one of the few cases where you want to be the complete opposite of a rock star. Rock stars dress to get noticed. As a prepper you dress to not get noticed.

Nothing to see here.

Nothing to see here. Photo by Pixabay/bogitw.

Clearly in an ordinary suburban or rural street you would want a different look to the sniper in the picture above. The look that you want is, basically, the exact average of whatever everyone else around you is wearing. So that you look completely ordinary, and blend in with everyone else around you. This is often called "Becoming the Grey Man".

Despite their obvious difference in motivation, even some rock stars know about the Grey Man:

Yeah, well, you know gray is my favorite color
I felt so symbolic yesterday
If I knew Picasso
I would buy myself a gray guitar and play
Mr Jones and me...
We're gonna be big stars.

Free to Be Me

Although you want to blend in, you also want to be unafraid of being different to everyone else. You want to be different. You just don't want to look different. Most people are utterly terrified of being different. When people talk about "self-confidence" what they usually mean is confidence that other people will accept them.

This desperate need to be like other people is the main reason that more people aren't already preppers. Even now, when the bleak future of modern civilisation is quite obvious, most people aren't prepping because most people aren't prepping. And because it's not on TV. Other than in novelty shows like Doomsday Preppers, which display preppers as extremists — and by doing so even further reinforce the idea that prepping isn't something that normal ordinary people do.

Both rock stars and preppers need to be okay about not being just like everyone else. The difference is that as a rock star you wave your freak flag high, but as a prepper you become the Grey Man.

Get Into Shape Physically

Just do it.

Like many people, sometimes I get slack with this. You just have to stay on it. I wrote almost the entire rest of this web page yesterday. The cover photo of Mick Jagger was already there (and the photo of Keith Richards at the end of the page, and the comments about his collection). This current section about getting into shape was only going to be three words long. ("Just do it.")

But then today I took my own advice and went to the gym. While I was using the gym equipment in front of and directly facing the video screens, thinking about minor edits to this web page, they randomly played the music videos of "(I've Got the) Moves Like Jagger" — and a Counting Crows song (Big Yellow Taxi) that I was thinking about yesterday while working on this page (after listening to Mr. Jones) and which was discussed in the sermon the last time I went to church.

That seemed too much of a coincidence to not be a very, very meaningful sign for me. But what meaning? Perhaps, the meaning is to keep going to the gym... A lot more regularly...

Keep trying. Keep trying. Don't give up. Don't stop... Until you've got the moves like Gabba.

Anxiety and Paranoia are Fashionable

Sure, the idea of an impending apocalypse can be frightening. But get some perspective.

Imagine what it would feel like to stand on a stage in front of 100,000 people — either so off your face on substances that you can barely put a coherent sentence together, or so strung out from temporary lack of substances that you can barely put a coherent sentence together — knowing that your entire performance will be scrutinised, recorded, photographed, and judged by the mass media and people all over the world, on whose favourable opinion of you your entire future depends.

And don't ignore what it would feel like to know that your wild lifestyle is statistically more likely to kill you at a young age than you even living to witness the end of modern civilisation. There could be a whole decade (or if we're lucky, perhaps even more) before civilisation collapses. It's impossible to know for sure — but it's quite possible that there's more than three or four years left.

Yet there were plenty of rock stars who didn't last that long after their careers took off. Jimi Hendrix didn't last four years between famous and dead. Kurt Cobain (of Nirvana) didn't last three. And they're not exactly the only ones who died young, and died soon after achieving success.

If you think about this completely realistically, for most modern people, even to live for three or four years after a total collapse of modern society (and all that goes with it) would be doing very well really. Of course it would be much better to live a lot longer than that. And most rock stars do live a lot longer than that. And so can you, potentially. But even when you consider the rock stars who didn't live that long, many of them are remembered by history as being massive successes in their field.

Yes, rock stars are familiar with risk, survival stress, and anxiety.

Prince was 110% rock star on stage, yet extremely shy in real life. He rarely gave interviews because "I’m so nervous, I’m so shy and everyone else is in there."

Prince was 110% rock star on stage, yet extremely shy in real life. He rarely gave interviews because "I’m so nervous, I’m so shy and everyone else is in there." Quote from prince.org. Photo by Scott Penner/flickr.

Some of the things we prep for (if not all of them) can certainly bring on anxious thoughts at times, so you're in good company here.

Expect to Die Young

You can take the above point even further and expect to die young. This doesn't mean to just give up and not care at all. Clearly as a prepper you care a lot about your future. The important thing is to not care so much that it frightens you off doing anything about your future.

With a few exceptions (like Kurt Cobain), rock stars don't try to die young. But the high risk of it is well understood, and expected as part of the deal. Everyone knows that it's definitely on the cards. It didn't stop all those eager and over-hormonally-charged youth from pursuing their dreams of musical glory — and neither should you let it deter you from becoming a prepper.

If you look at things this way, rather than getting all depressed about your dark impending apocalyptic future of doom, if you don't die young it's a nice bonus. And you're winning.

Turn everything up to 11

But do it quietly.

Why don't you just make ten be the top number? Because we go to eleven.

Why don't you just make ten be the top number? Because we go to eleven. Photo by methodshop/flickr.

Throw bucketloads of cash at the problem, but if you don't have any, that's no problem

You could buy a pretty cool ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) if you had a spare $35,000. Most normal people wouldn't think twice about spending that much on a normal car. But you're a prepper.

Alternatively, for the same money you could buy literally 50,000 cans of on-special $0.70 cent baked beans. Or 50,000 cans of a huge range of assorted 70-cent tinned food. With a shelf life longer than your own life, and which (if not stolen or distributed charitably) would keep you from running out of food for a very long time. Really stop and think about that for a minute.

Which do you choose? You know the answer. You know you want both. Plus a whole lot of other "essential" items. Some of those preppers on the TV shows (and on the internet) have some pretty elaborate setups. And if you're an ordinary person struggling to pay your existing bills, when you see these things it's easy to feel jealous and inadequate.

So what if you can't afford to buy all that stuff? Or any of it? Does that mean that prepping isn't for you? Not at all. There are very many, many, many other options. And often they are better options. If you don't have a heap of money to spend on this, it only means you'll get used to doing the best with what you have available all the sooner. Which is the very essence of being a prepper and a survivor.

There's no end to the stories of rags to riches in the music industry. Many rock stars worked on their skills in isolation and utter poverty for years before they (or we) saw any of the fruits of all that labour. For most of us who weren't blessed with a silver spoon in our mouths, prepping is like this too.

Every prepper wants a fancy bug-out vehicle. Every rock star wants a private jumbo jet. But there are many other ways to spend the money, and many other options if you have no money. Also a cheap, average, family car is going to draw a lot less attention than something like this.

Every prepper wants a fancy bug-out vehicle. Every rock star wants a private jumbo jet. But there are many other ways to spend the money, and many other options if you have no money. Also a cheap, average, family car is going to draw a lot less attention than something like this. Photo by Pixabay/hpgruesen.

In the early days of rock music (real rock music, not the manufactured "idol" style that's popular now) it was often said that poverty and suffering was the required, essential experience that put the "blues" into the bluesman — and which would later turn into their artistic inspiration. In prepping, having to struggle right from the start is what puts the survivor into the "survivalist" — and the real-life, practical experience of preparedness into the prepper.

So suck it up.

It's an Adventure

Both the paths of the musician (even the wannabe musician) and the prepper (even the wannabe prepper) can take you out of the monotony of a regular, ordinary suburban lifestyle. And spending the rest of your life doing nothing else apart from the same thing you do, again, every day, again, while paying for your rent, or mortgage, or car, or next car...

At least here you get to experience some genuine sense of adventure. And prepping definitely has more of a future than the music industry does.

Learn to Travel Light, But Also Have a Massive Collection of Stuff

Rock stars are on tour a lot and need to be able to travel light. Most preppers assemble some type of bug out bag. And like rock stars, their "go bag" usually contains a carefully planned selection of essential medications.

Both preppers and rock stars often maintain huge collections of all kinds of rare and unusual equipment. Many rock stars have multiple residences they can visit anytime they need to, at undisclosed locations, featuring massive archives of things they own and store there just in case they may one day want them. Can you see a similarity here with prepping?

Many preppers would turn green with envy over Keith Richards' collection of 3,000 axes. Oh wait — that's a slang term for guitars.

Just Go for it

Almost everything about both these lifestyles is insecure and unpredictable. Yet the people involved in them usually work for years in the background, trying to succeed against all odds, and ignoring the many setbacks. Even back in the days when there was a viable music industry, not much about it was predictable. The things we prep for are very much like this.

Just go for it.

Rock Stars and Preppers Will Be the Last Ones Left

We need to start worrying about what kind of world we are going to leave for Keith Richards.

"It's great to be here. It's great to be anywhere." — Keith Richards

Finally, don't ever forget this very important point: The first generation of the new human race will be drawn exclusively from a gene pool of preppers and aging rock stars.

Cover image by Marcel Antonisse / Anefo / Wikimedia Commons. Mick Jagger from the Rolling Stones, taken in 1982.

Prepping.com.au Homepage - Australian Prepping Web Magazine

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