When my son grows up I want him to be a rock star. Now that may not be a surprising comment from someone who writes a music column or spends his day job on the air at a radio station; however, it is contrary to many parents in America. In a sports obsessed nation, parents are expending time, energy and ridiculous sums of money on youth sports in the hopes that their child will become the next great sport’s star. Or at the very least attend a prominent University for free.
But what if your best-case scenario came true? Though it rarely does, think about the consequences of your child’s life as a sports star versus musician. You might reconsider putting a sax in that hand instead of a mitt.
Though both professions have a life riddled with temptations and the finest accommodations, the fringe benefits of being a music star far out weigh a life on the court. Lets take a look:
Travel For Work- Both lifestyles incur a ridiculous amount of time spent away from one’s home. However, the rock stars travel itinerary tends to be far more appealing. LeBron James earned his millions in the fine metropolises of Cleveland, Sacramento and Oklahoma City. Take a look at the tour cities for an average successful band like Tame Impala. Over the next few weeks they will ply their trade in Copenhagen, Paris, Zurich, Dublin and San Paulo.
Public Perception- Granted, major sports stars are revered by many, but there is also significant animosity towards the practitioners of sport. Fans have no qualms about showing their displeasure even at the home team. Heated discussions of performances are heard endlessly in the media. Meanwhile, no less an authority than The Wall Street Journal recently reflected that the Pope received “a rock star welcome” on his recent trip to Brazil. Have you ever heard a TV commentator bash a guitarist for his lame solo the night before? Rock musicians are the idols of teens and the envy of grown men.
The Aging Process- Sports careers don’t last very long. Music careers last forever, even longer. How often is the term “over the hill” used to reference a drummer? In fact, Charlie Watts, at the tender age of 72, is considered near the top of his game according to reviews of the current Rolling Stones’ tour. In fact, aging rock stars are making more money now than ever. Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles and the soon to be 70 Roger Waters are on multimillion dollar tours performing in front of sold out audiences. Meanwhile the 50 year old Michael Jordan is playing in front of a threesome of golfers.
Career Prospects- Finally there is the actual chance of making it when considering your child’s future. When it comes to the world of sports, so much relies on the physical stature of an individual. Your daughter may possess more heart and head for basketball than any other girl on the floor, but if she is less than 5 foot 7 inches forget about it. However, when it comes to music, any physical specimen can achieve stardom-think Blues Traveler’s John Popper or Mick Jagger. And what about those that don’t quite make it? Well for athletes there are always rec leagues that charge players to play. Conversely for lesser skilled musicians, there is the Holiday Inn bar circuit where even the least talented piano player can earn a buck on the side.
So if you are a parent of a newborn put something in your child’s hand that she can make some noise with.