Tag Archives: Gene Simmons

Miley Cyrus and the Ultimate Double Standard


There has been such shock and outrage over Miley Cyrus’s performance at the VMA’s that is beyond extreme. Why? What did she do that hasn’t been done a million times before? This isn’t because of what she did, it’s because she is Hannah Montana and people just can’t let go of that even years after she quit being that character. She has a responsibility to her audience! Uhm…. no she doesn’t. It’s a character. It’s not who SHE is. Miley is an artist and whether you like it or not, she is going to change, push boundaries and do things people don’t like. That is what being an artist is all about.

How many times have we seen this? Elvis on the Ed Sullivan show, now we laugh and think that was nothing. But when it happened it was just like this outrage. Now Elvis is the King of Rock N’ Roll and the greatest American music icon ever. Jim Morrison pulled his junk out on stage, was constantly a raging drug and alcohol abuser and now he is a rock legend. Often you hear things like what a great artist he was and how he pushed boundaries. He was revolutionary. BS. He was just a druggie wanna be poet who happened to be a rock star in a free love movement and drug induced coma America was going through. Madonna? Holy crap remember all the controversy she caused do to her nude photos, sexuality and religious statements? Now a musical icon with a ton of respect from woman about how she furthered women’s rights and helped made women stronger and able to stand up for themselves. The list goes on and on about people who shocked and pushed boundaries musically. Lady Gaga? Alice Cooper? Kiss? Nothing but controversy when they came out. Now they are revered musical artists that people look up to and respect.

Miley? Not so much. Look, Miley did exactly what rock n’ roll is all about. Pushing boundaries, disregarding the establishment, chaos and controversy. That is what makes rock n’ roll great. That is what most people love rock n’ roll for. Did she picked an audience with kids in it? Yes she did. Was that wrong most likely depending on your moral character. However, most kids were in bed when it aired and she followed in the footsteps of those before her by picking a time and place to create the most shock value. That was extremely rock n’ roll. She is a rock star, that is what she does.

This will all blow ever one day and 15 years or so down the road most will probably talk about this in a completely different light, just like Elvis, Morrison, Madonna and all the others that achieved this level of outrage in the past for their artistic expression.

Whether or not we/you liked the performance is irrelevant. The backlash against Miley is a complete double standard as a woman performer as most men would totally get away with this behavior with out a second thought, can anyone say Axel Rose, Sebastian Back, Gene Simmons? What about when Slayer first came out with all the Devil worshipping stuff? Now they are a legend in Death Metal.

Furthermore each time we talk about this, it keeps it viral and all the shocked parents are just putting it out there more for the kids to see and making it more cool.

Choose people. Either you want your rock stars or you don’t. It is amazing how many other artists can justify their actions to artist expression but Miley can’t. Serious, serious double standard.

We all know sex sells, we all saw the women in the video of the song that was sung who were topless, where was the outrage there? A married man performed this with Miley and no one is saying a thing about that. Where is the outrage there? Double standard.

Time to grow up America. Whether we like it or not, Miley did exactly what rock n’ roll is all about. That is what makes it great and controversial at the same time. However, holding her to a different standard is not fair to her. It is her life, her choice to perform how she wants. If you don’t like it, turn it off and don’t talk about it. Otherwise you are just helping to make it go viral and do exactly what she planned. Making her a rock star and giving her all the press and attention she wanted. Her impact is now much, much bigger.

Miley Cyrus has as much right to perform and express her art just as much as Elvis, Michael Jackson, Jim Morrison, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Alice Cooper or any other shock artist. If you disagree then maybe you just don’t understand rock n’ roll.


Expecting Greatness Without Proper Preparation


By David Lowry

“If you don’t think what I do is the best show on Earth, let’s see what you’ve got!” — Gene Simmons

You could learn just about everything you need to know about the music business from this statement alone. As a manager in this crazy business, I constantly hear things like “If someone would just give us a chance, they would see how great we are. We blow everyone else off the stage.” I have to admit I very rarely ever see something like this. Most of the time it’s just another band with very little stage presence, a set and show that never changes, improves or really entertains. Why is this, I constantly wonder? Is it because people don’t have enough time? They don’t have enough drive? Well it’s a little bit of everything really but mainly, they don’t know how to prepare and use their time wisely or efficiently. Many bands say “well the music scene has changed and it’s harder to get noticed” honestly that is just an excuse period.

The reality is that at the level most of the people reading this are at, it hasn’t changed at all. You still had to do everything I will talk about here just to get noticed and get offered that big record deal in the past. Today you have to do this, and at many stages in your career you may now have to do it all by yourself unless you can pay a team to help you, but the good thing is today you can keep control of your own music career, which may or may not be a good thing depending on the artist.

When I was younger and recruited as a tennis player to play for the Navy sports team, my coach once told me after I was getting frustrated with my inconsistency “Look kid, you may have got here on your own without lessons, but you can’t get down on yourself for not being able to pull of what you haven’t trained and prepared for. Unless you are Chris Evert the number one player in the world, you have absolutely no right to.” Okay I just dated myself I could have said Tiger Woods but the point is made. Bands that haven’t achieved the level they want shouldn’t get mad at themselves, the scene or the music business when they haven’t ever even learned to prepare properly for this business. If after years of serious effort, practice, planning and execution you still aren’t achieving the results you wanted, then you can get mad and frustrated. Until then you are swimming upstream. So turn yourself around and start swimming with the flow so you can get to your destination faster.

In order to get to the next level that every band seems to think they are ready for takes usually a lot more work than they are putting in and truthfully until you get the very basics down like I have posted in past blogs you aren’t ready for the next level. There are obviously many things to be covered here but for the sake of this blog let’s just talk about live performance.

Live performance is the proof in the pudding. If you don’t have the best show at least in your neck of the woods, then you really have nothing. You need to practice, prepare and plan your lives shows. From everything on how to talk to a crowd to how to prepare the right set list and how to put on an energetic entertaining performance. Your practice time should include all of these things and you should never practice with out playing like you would on stage. Why? Because, it takes practice to put on the best show on Earth! You have to practice moving like you would live so you are used to performing that way which leads to making fewer mistakes, check out what does looks good vs. what doesn’t and just as importantly keeping yourself in shape for your live performances so you don’t get tired or worn out. Live performance takes an extraordinary amount of energy and you should be in shape for it just like any athlete prepares for their performance.

You need to find a way to bring a live show or performance that blows people away. What does that mean? I don’t know for your band and can’t tell you until I see it, but the problem is no one is even trying to figure it out. Besides great songs, this is the most important part of your career. This is what creates viral social media marketing. It makes people buy your merchandise at your shows because it creates the emotional bond between fan and the band. It is wins over the skeptics and the industry people you need to help your career. Bands seem to be very unoriginal when it comes to live performance and it can be very hard to tell one band from the other.

To put it bluntly, “No one cares about your career, until you do.” This means until you are willing to truly focus, get together as a band, start acting like a business and a band that can actually blow people away, you are just another band taking up space and spamming every ones Facebook wall trying to get attention the wrong way.

I ask you this; can you beat Gene Simmons at his own game? Learn from the very best at what they do. Quit posing and acting like you are the next big thing when you aren’t because you really haven’t done what you need to do. Become the next big thing because you want it more than anything, because you have put in the time, effort, planning, practice and execution and then let the crowds decide who puts on the best show on Earth. Actions speak louder than words folks. If you are going to talk about how great your band is don’t you think you better deliver on that statement?

Remember you are only as good as your last show.

Till the next time. Get it together and good Luck!

David Lowry is the President of The Lowry Agency, a full service artist management agency that works with musicians, speakers, entertainers, actors and models based in Nashville, TN. David manages and or books the musical careers of Brother Cane, Damon Johnson (Brother Cane, Thin Lizzy, Alice Cooper), Rob Balducci, Dave Weiner, Jon Finn, Kris Bell and Mindset Defect. For more information please contact The Lowry Agency at http://www.thelowryagency.com.