Ten Rules of rock and roll according to Robert Forster


Many years ago a compilation Book called the Ten Rules of Rock n Roll was released. It was a collection of Robert Forsters music reviews/articles for the Monthly. He was an amazing critic and one of the best music writers ive ever read. I loved how in the introduction he mentioned when he was approached for the gig he said the only writing he had ever done outside of music was writing a hair care article for a zine. I think I need to do a hair acre article on this site, plugging the joys of the beer wash, and seriously come to the Bala and touch my hair and feel the results. At the back of the book Rob actually gives us the list of the ten rules of rock n roll according to him. So heres my two cents on Robs rules, what he got right what he got wrong and my own ten rules of Rock n Roll

Never follow an artist who describes his or her work as “dark”.

Yeah don/t know bout that Rob. You wrote some dark stuff yourself so do you count yourself on this list? Nothing wrong with being dark or calling your work dark. Unless you/re that bloke from Mayhem Dead, you know the silly fucker that would take the clothing he was going to wear on stage and put them in the dirt the night before so he his clothes you smell of death. He did a lot of other stoopid shit. Thats probably the point when you need to cheer the fuck up, other then that, darks alright with me.

The second last song on every album is the weakest

For me track one or three is usually the best. Usually track two is the weakest for me, but the second last is for me usually a filler.

Great bands tend to look alike

No they don/t. No one should look alike in a band. No one at our table at the Balaclava looks a like, if they did there would be problems. TISM all had the same costumes, but I could tell the difference between each member due to the shape of their eyebrows. Each member should ave their own style and look, and not look like the person next to them. Wrong again Rob.

Being a rock star is a 24 hour a day job

Couldn/t agree more. Tim Rogers, Fred Negro, Stacey Pommer all embody this.

The band with the most tattoos has the work songs

Thirty years ago Rose Tattoo would ave had the most tattoos and they certainly didn/t write the worst songs. But now everyone has em, and all this mainstream “punk bands” are covered from head to toe in em, so today I would say yes I agree with that statement.

No band does anything new after the first twenty minutes

Nah hes wrong. Play a few classics, then wait until 20 minutes in to play your first new tune. The oldies to keep em focused, then hit em with the new stuff while there on a high. Wonder where the Forst man is getting his info from. Mind you as much as I love his work he never came across as Mr Rock n Roll. I doubt KISS wrote Rock n Roll all night after the Go Betweens.

The guitarist who changes guitars on stage after every third number is showing you his guitar collection.

This doesn/t sit well with me when I see this. Three guitars is the maximum amount of guitars someone should bring to a gig. You don/t need to change your guitar every song. Its wasting time and shows what a wanker you are.

Every great artist hides behind their manager

How many managers can you name? And how many of them are cunts? Malcom McLaren, Colonel Tom, Glenn Wheatley. Name a nice manager that is also well known? The best managers are the ones you never hear from, and the rock star is the one up front and centre.

Great bands don’t have members making solo albums.

Why? He should ave really justified this list Rob. Just because he wasn/t making solo albums when the Go Betweens were together doesn/t mean others shouldn/t do it. As long as solo/side projects don/t conflict with their main band I saw Go for it. The solo LPs by Blackie from the Hard Ons and Buzzo from the Melvins may not be there best work, but it shows how brilliant they are as musos as it shows them in a different setting, striped back and out of their comfort zone they can still make incredible music. More music the better, solo records are alright by me.

The three piece band is the purist form of rock and roll

The three piece is fucking great, just the bare basics, one guitar bass and drums. Most three pieces are raw and rough which I love. I think either the three piece or the five, with a frontman, two guitars a bass player and drummer are the most pure form of rock n roll.


And now heres Matty Munster ten rules of rock and roll

  1. No band should charge more than $30 for a t shirt
  2. Never be a fuck up on stage. Playing pissed or however fucked up is not cool and disrespectful to your audience. Off stage, whatever I don/t care. Do what you want
  3. With the exception of Dave Moll, no one should leave the stage to take a piss break during a set.
  4. Never play in a venue where the price of a pint is more than $11.
  5. No band that has been together for six months or less should play more than twenty minutes.
  6. If you/re making one album every ten years its time to give up, its shouldn/t take more than two years to write a new LP
  7. The best music comes from the rudest people.
  8. No LP should go longer than 40 minutes
  9. Encores shouldn/t go longer than two songs. Leave the people wanting more, make them buy your release or feel like they ave to come to the next gig.
  10. Don/t be a cunt


Posted on 4 Comments

4 thoughts on “Ten Rules of rock and roll according to Robert Forster

    1. cheers Tim, stoked to be part of this site.

  1. Good top ten,Matty 👌🏻

    1. cheers Fi x

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