Friday, January 16, 2015

Teenager Wants To March To The Beat Of His Own Drum

Dear Tazi:

I am 16 years old and in a rock band. My band is made up of mostly older guys over the age of 18. They have finished school and are now concentrating full-time on the band. The plan is to try and get some local gigs while we earn and save money to go on tour next year, and hopefully get signed to a recording contract. My problem is that my mother will not let me do this!

Mom insists that I need to concentrate on my schoolwork and forget about the band. She says there is no point in continuing with them since their goals are obviously not in line with mine; that I need to finish high school and either go to college or get a full-time job. Tazi, if it were up to me I would quit school and go to work full-time so I could go on the road with the band. I hate school and it is a complete waste of my time.

My band-mates have all told me that they like me, but if it comes down to it they will replace me if I can’t go on the road with them; that this is their dream too and that they are doing all that they [must] to make it happen. It’s not fair, Tazi! This is my one chance to make it big! Why can’t my Mom see that?

Student For Now, Drummer For Life

Dear Student For Now, Drummer For Life:

Is your name Rick Allen? I didn’t think so, so please do not think that your life will turn out as his did. [Ed. Note: Rick Allen is the drummer for Def Leppard, who quit school at 15 to tour with the band. He later lost an arm in a car accident, and learned to drum one-handedly!].

If your band is able to stick with their planned schedule, you will have one year of high school left by the time they are ready to start touring; that one year of your life can mean the difference between having completed your education or having to write “dropped out” on a job application. Also, just because your band has a plan does not mean that paid bookings to play will follow. My advice to you is to stay in school and finish your high school education; your band may still be there when you finish. If the band replaces you than it means you were never meant to be a part of it, which may be a good thing; what band would abandon one of their mates like that? Def Leppard did not abandon Rick Allen when he lost his arm! Rather, they waited for him as he learned how to drum with only one arm (incidentally, they say he plays better now than he did when he had two arms!).

As for your mother’s ruling that you must go to college or work full-time after graduating high school: If you are able to support yourself and wish to move out of her house and into your own place, you have my blessing to follow your heart. However, if you are still living with Mom at that time and are dependent upon her support it is her rules you will have to follow. Welcome to life!


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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