What Happens When Children Start a Band

On wikiHow, there are instructions on how to properly start up a band. The entry splendidly reduces the whole tortuous process to a series of simply phrased steps — “Don't have people in the band who refuse to practice!” “Watch out for egos!” “Try to wear the same colors!” — while conveying an unchecked innocence typically associated with children. (Regarding rehearsing: “Does U2 still practice? Of course!”) All that was missing was a warning on the dangers of falling prey to kiddie excess (i.e., gorging on too many backstage chocolate bars and soft drinks).

I caught my 12-year-old and nine-year-old engaging in the sort of hurried, excited talk that accompanies the genesis of a good idea. They were chatting with similarly aged friends about starting a band. I considered tacking on several dozen addenda to that wikiHow entry and printing for distribution. You know, a little instruction on how an aspiring artist can keep breathing in an era where album sales continue to plummet, technology has democratized the recording process, the Internet delivers fame in small, unfulfilling doses, and constant stimulation is hurting our brain's ability to be creative. But that would have been Joe Jackson-level meddlesome, no?

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