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.