August 30, 2006

TomBlog - rules

Going through stuff I've written recently for magazines etc. Here's my rules for life article:

I'm not much of a preacher. I wouldn't make a benevolent dictator. Do me and my modus operandi really deserve respect or even attention? People and rules rarely do. However, you've got to do what you've got to do. Put the lid back on the toothpaste, write this article, etc. Try to forgive me if this comes across as patronising. 'Nobody likes to be patronised' would make a good rule.

A rule, it seems, is not that good if you stick to it too religiously. So I suppose rule number one is, change is good.

Don't get stuck in a rut, don't get into patterns of behaviour that hurt you. Don't become some conservative fuckhead who thinks the world owes them something. Change your mind on a daily basis. Also, if you keep changing, those same fuckheads won't be able to see you coming. You have to keep changing to avoid becoming predictable, getting blindsided and generally getting fucked over. I suppose, 'don't try to live up to other people's expectations', falls in here somewhere too. Although 'always get a receipt' is a goodun.

Do not, under any circumstances, waste any more than a few seconds worrying what somebody else thinks of you. It will kill you. You can't create, you can't be yourself. Are you the cliché in need of somebody else's approval? If you are, then essentially, you're fucked. That's not to say you shouldn't do stuff for other people. If you're worrying, if you're paranoid, you're not doing anything at all. Smoke less of whatever you've got.

In the same respect, do not fucking martyr your pathetic arse on the altar of rock and roll. If you're fucked up, you're fucked up, but please let's not pretend. Get attention by being brilliant, not by manufacturing a rumpus. In fact, don't be a martyr of any kind. We shouldn't need them.

Follow the green cross code.

See it coming. Know as much as you can, I'm not saying be a know it all, although that may be a necessary symptom. In the music business its incredibly easy to get fucked because you don't know what to expect or what other people's interests are. Do not be that person. Know as much about every aspect as you can. Even the people who are your friends, have their own interests at heart, so don't be the sap who gets fucked because they didn't see it coming. I've been in this business nearly all my adult life so my experience isn't great, but I imagine this applies to everything else.

Always wear a clean pair of pants....if you can.

Always come clean. They'll find you out soon enough. Don't be defensive. Even if you're right it only makes you look guilty. You can't win so don't give someone the satisfaction of watching you squirm. If you have sincerely fucked up, there'll be plenty of time for soul-searching when you're on your tod. Honesty is the best policy and other assorted old bollocks.

Don't be an utter twat.

'Nobody likes a whinger'. If you think that anyone really wants to hear you whinge then you're wrong. Simple as that. You may desperately want to vent spleen about something or what-not in a high-pitch shrill voice. People may nod, they may even nod emphatically. Awful, cruel, be what it may, stop fucking harping on about your problems. I'm not saying don't fight your corner. The worst whingers are the ones who whinge about stuff you're involved in. When shit's inevitable and everyone's just trying to keep their heads down, never fucking complain. It just makes it harder for everyone else. Also, please no more singer-songwriters hell-bent on tear-jerking.

First rule of touring: don't shit on the bus. Never under any circumstances shit on the bus.

Be patient. I know you've heard it a thousand times, but you feel that way because you've lost your patience. When I recognise it in someone else my heart leaps.... genuinely. Giving someone else time - not taking it for yourself is hard, but fucking ace. However, this rule has a condition: don't be patient with arseholes.

Finally, be lucky, try to be your own judge, try not to use the word 'actually', don't try to be cool – trying is not cool, put the tea in before the milk, learn a foreign language, develop your empathy, don't get fanatical, don't go up at the end of your sentences, ignorance is no defence, eat whatever the locals eat, always vote, keep it simple, only be critical when necessary and take care of yourself.


Blogger Bex28morg said...

Good set of life rules!
Last month I left my job of ten years(stuck in a rut)I confess within that time i probably broke every rule you mentioned...but I do wear clean pants everyday and to my sober knowledge I have never taken a shit in a bus!
I was the girl who made sure you kept your receipt-RETAIL!!!After ten years it really fucks with your life rules.
I did waste my time worrying about shopfloor politics and what others think.I did convince my parnoid mind that head office(who took on big brother characteristics)would fuck me over every payday!I was never honest to customers...'but madam you are a size 10'!My vocab lacked substance only using lines like-'at the end of the day'etc etc.I smoked more of other peoples silk cut on my breaks but never shared my own.Whingebag became my middle name and my patience wore thin.I was unable to empthise with anyone not even upset friends or new born babies!
I guess what I'm trying to say is that after years of working with the British public(who are rude!) and being around arseholes you loose sight of what and who matters the most-maybe now I won't.
However I never forgot the most important life rule of all....'never eat yellow snow'! Thanks Mum!x

12:22 PM  
Blogger teacoldwine said...

And wear sunscreen *cue Prince cover*

8:02 PM  
Blogger jacinta said...

You know how sometimes something comes along at just the right moment in time? Well, I read this blog at just the exact right moment that I needed it. To read these rules, to make myself stop and think, to consider and ponder and do all that self obsessed self analysis that we all must face at some point. We all reach a certain point where all we can do is freeze and become frustrated. Reading this today is melting all that, and helping me to realise a few things about life that I should stop and think about. If all you can do in the world is to help someone, just one person stop and think about bettering themselves then you have done a good thing. Thanks Tom, you look after yourself too.

9:45 PM  
Blogger jacinta said...

ps. thankyou for the past couple of nights in Melbourne, memories I will have for years to come. Rest up, we want you to stick around for years to come.

9:47 PM  
Blogger Lisanator said...

I like singer songwriters... ;)

9:53 PM  
Blogger xx jules said...

A couple of additions to Tom's 'rules'.

1) Hang expense: buy tickets to see the Gomez lads for all 3 of the Melbourne shows. You'll never see those exact gigs, sets, renditions again.

2) Screw the toilet seat quandary.
Up. Down. Someone's not happy.

1:36 AM  
Blogger gomezaregods said...

Thanks Tom. That is the best read since "Lord of the Rings". I plan to read it everyday before heading out my front door.

5:05 AM  
Blogger Verloc said...

Rule #1: There's a latent benevolent dictator in all of us. Usually in the anus.

You just made me all the more determined to learn another language. Spanish here I come.

Rule #2: Don't wait. Do it. Do it.

Not living up to everyone's expectations can be so hard in a world where so many people cut at each others in order to feel better about their own insecurities.

Rule #3: If I you want to watch Ben Stiller/Owen Wilson films then you damned well should without feeling culturally bankrupt (see above).

NB: This rule does not apply to Gene Hackman/Owen Wilson films such as 'Behind Enemy Lines'. This would indicate cultural bankruptcy.

Rule #4: Sometimes a bloody good whinge helps. People around you need to know all sides.
If they're good enough people then they'll tell you to shut the fuck up when necessary and vice versa. Probably.

Rule #5: Try not to forget rule #1 and start writing lists of rules.

Thanks for the inspirations.

12:06 PM  
Blogger aussienurse said...

On behalf of all emergency nurses can I say that the importance of wearing clean pants cannot be stressed strongly enough!!!

4:21 AM  
Blogger Viola D said...

Crap. You're right. Thanks, Tommy.

Except as Aussies, we can't help but have an inflection at the end of our sentences... surely you can't hold that against us?

And by the way, out of curiosity, which magazine did you originally write this for?

7:15 AM  
Blogger Francesco Visconti said...

Thanks Tom, it was everything so true that it made me laugh!! :))

Mostly when you say "trying is not cool"...

I just have something to ask, indeed I want to complain: you've never come to Rome!! What are you waiting for?

We're longing to see you playing here...

11:02 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...


could you please send that list to every band everywhere? i'd really appreciate it.



4:46 PM  
Blogger gomezgeek said...

dammit. I was doing so well, until I got to the don't be fanatical part.

what is the green cross code? I might be ign'ant but at least Im willing to learn : )

1:44 AM  
Blogger Ave Maria said...

As I was reading "a song for lovers in between the wars" began to play on my ipod. It was nice you singing softly in the background while I read your rules.

3:45 PM  

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