Fact or Fantasy

Hot shots. Injections backstage are no longer of illicit drugs. Thank goodness.

Most backstage shots these days are B12 and folic acid — common nutrient deficiencies in the vegan rock stars — given by medical doctors called in by the artists. These injections give rock stars a much-needed boost of energy for the performance. Artists doing this in the ’70s were completely cutting edge. Today, it’s much more common. Looking for vegetarian B12 sources in lieu of shots or pills? Try cheese, eggs, whey protein and plain organic yogurt

FANTASY Rock stars are lucky to live past the age of 27. Rock & Roll is a death sentence.
FACT Artists who die at age 27 generally fall victim to alcohol/drug poisoning or automotive accidents or plane crashes. There are many rock stars who are still thriving, writing music and touring in their late 60s and 70s. Long live rock!

FANTASY Rock stars are big smokers.
FACT Many used to smoke, but most have quit. It is especially hard for a singer to smoke for years and not damage his or her voice.

FANTASY Rock stars have lots of sexually transmitted diseases from having so much sex with groupies.
FACT This may have been true in a world before the onset of the AIDS epidemic, but today nearly all rock stars use condoms. Surprisingly, a large number of rock stars are actually in committed relationships with wives and girlfriends, who often go on tour with them, usually with their kids. Many artists are extremely family-oriented and the ones who are separated from their families miss them a lot and tend to get lonely and depressed during the tour.

FANTASY Rock stars are devil worshippers and atheists.
FACT This may be disappointing, but in all my years working with rock stars, I have never met one devil worshipper. Are there a few atheists? Of course! But the majority of them follow some sort of spiritual or religious path. Your favorite music idol is more likely to be Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Evangelical Christian, Catholic, Jehovah’s Witness, Peyotist (Native American Church), Muslim, Santerian, “spiritual” or following the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, rather than Satanic.

FANTASY Rock stars have an easy, glamorous life.
FACT Very untrue. It is extremely strenuous and stressful to tour. Life is difficult when you are on the road for months or years, especially if you have a family. Rock stars have no privacy from the public eye, and the physical and emotional pressures are intense. And imagine that many of them can’t go to a restaurant without bodyguards. That’s not too glamorous to me.

FANTASY Rock stars are exhibitionists who need constant attention.
FACT The stage personality of performers is not always the same as the offstage personality. Many artists are quite introverted and private when they are not performing. In fact, they may require a lot of time alone or with family to regenerate between shows or tours.

FANTASY Rock stars are like movie stars: They need plastic surgery to look young.
FACT Of course there are those who will resort to plastic surgery. For the most part, however, if they look great, it is because they are living a pretty healthy lifestyle, including eating well, working out regularly, keeping a positive outlook on life, and using music as a creative outlet. Somehow the Rock & Roll spirit makes people think they can be young forever. And it shows!

FANTASY If a rock star has energy on stage, it is because they are doing massive amounts of cocaine backstage before the show.
FACT Maybe years ago, but it is highly unlikely today. This may sound boring, but if rock stars have lots of energy, it is most likely because they are taking great care of themselves with good food, workouts and training, and some massages before or after the shows. Maybe a Red Bull or two, but that’s about as unhealthy as it gets.

FANTASY Rock stars need blood transfusions to clean themselves from the drugs in their systems.
FACT I’ve never heard of this really happening. Acupuncture, however, is an excellent treatment for helping people detox from drugs. There are lots of incredible herbal liver detoxes that support this process, too. But blood transfusions? Nope, sorry. You’ll have to read Keith Richards’ autobiography LIFE to demystify this rumor!

FANTASY All rock stars are addicted to alcohol and drugs.
FACT Let me put it this way: The ones who are probably aren’t on a big world tour. Many rock stars are in recovery and/or are completely sober. A lot belong to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), having had to clean up to continue creating music, handling the rigors of touring, maintaining their health and strengthening their relationships. The ones who get clean seem very happy and proud of what they have achieved, and often inspire their friends and family to follow along in their steps to sobriety.

FANTASY Classic rock stars who are still on tour need wheel chairs to get to the stage.
FACT Definitely not true. Most of them are in better shape than 80% of their audience. How do you think they can play three-hour shows night after night for two years at a time?

FANTASY The only exercise rock stars get is playing the guitar, beating the drums or dancing on stage. And maybe curling those 12-ounce beers backstage.
FACT That’s true for a few artists, who shall remain unnamed. But for the most part, rock stars have a committed workout program off tour and a lot of them take their routine on the road. The most popular exercises are yoga, running, Pilates and personal training.