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Prisoner of Fenda

Are you a muso?

Article from Making Music, October 1986

Our handy multiple-choice quiz will let you know once and for all.

WE'VE ALL heard of winos. Some of us may even have dropped 10p into a quivering and grimy hand; not a happy sight. We're all aware of the risks involved in drinking, so we take care not to over-indulge.

But you musicians reading this now — did you know that you're constantly under a threat from a disease almost as debilitating as alcoholism? When life doesn't seem that wonderful, being a muso might seem a great way to have a few laughs. But it isn't long before the fun turns into a bad joke. You'll start looking like a muso, talking like a muso — behaving like a muso. Sooner or later, you'll find yourself having to act like a muso all the time, not just for fun, but to feel normal. Then one day, you'll wake up knowing that, instead of you controlling it, music now controls you. But it doesn't have to end that way. I like to play as much as the next musician, but I'm still a perfectly sane human bingy bangy. You can control your musicholism, and we've prepared this little questionnaire to help you recognise the warning signs.

1) What instrument do you play?
a) guitar 15pts
b) drums 13pts
c) keyboards 13pts
d) anything else, inc. voice 5pts

2) How many instruments do you own?
a) 1 -10
b) 2 or 3 10
c) several 20

(Add 10 points for each different type (eg guitar, piano), 15 for each broken instrument, and a further 30 points if you have ever said "I'm going to do it up and sell it...

3) How many items of musical equipment (amps, keyboards) are permanently visible in your living room? Add 10 points for each.

4) When you go to pub gigs do you:
a) turn up early to catch the soundcheck 20
b) drum on the table while waiting for the band to come on? 15
c) suffer inability to buy rounds? 15
d) always think the band is worse than your own? 20
e) not go to pub gigs? -5

5) When in conversation with your friends, do you:
a) talk about musical instruments? 15
b) ever listen to anything they say? 12
c) carry on talking about musical instruments? 20
d) tell stories about popstars you have met? 17

6) Do you own any tuitional tapes? Deduct 20 if you do.

7) When you visit your local music shop, do you:
a) pick up a copy of Making Music, and have a quick browse? -10
b) just try a couple of effects pedals out with that old Les Paul over there, please? 5
c) know the assistants' names? 15
d) get to borrow gear over the weekend without paying for it? 20
e) try out the guitars just to show off? 15

8) Television: do you:
a) sit through every late night concert, no matter how dodgy? 20
b) know who Mike Post played with? 18
c) hate Paula Yates and Muriel Gray? 10
d) miss Bob Harris? 12
e) like Andy Kershaw? 12

9) Do you own any records by Steve Gadd or Stanley Clarke? Add 15 if yes.

10) At parties, do you:
a) refuse to dance? 10
b) stand in the kitchen arguing about music? 13
c) flick through the stack of records shaking your head? 18
d) attempt unsuccessfully to cash in on the supposed sexual allure of being a musician? 20

11) Can you spell GRETSCH? If yes, add 10; if no, add 15

12) Your clothes: do you wear regularly any of the following?
a) Rucanor baseball boots 10
b) suit jacket and jeans 12
c) T-shirts with name of instrument or music shop 15

13) What do you have in your pocket?
a) a plectrum? 10
b) a drum key? 10
c) a hole? 5
d) the wrong size screwdriver? 12
e) a blown fuse you've been meaning to get a replacement for for ages? 15

14) Do you have on your lapels:
a) badges representing instruments? 10
b) badges representing your own instruments? 20
c) any badgers? -8

15) Add 15 points for any car stickers displaying the names of instrument manufacturers, and 25 for each Keep Music Live sticker.

16) How many musician's magazines do you read?
a) one — Making Music makes the others look crap -20
b) most of them 15
c) one or two, as well as your fine journal 10
d) I subscribe to those American ones — no, they're really good, actually 25

17) Is gaffa tape an important part of your life?
a) my car/house/fumiture would fall apart without it 18
b) my clothes would fall apart without it 15
c) my body would fall apart without it 12

18) How much money do you make from music?
a) nothing 15
b) I do alright 10
c) less than I spend 20


Less than zero

If your first reaction was 'Elvis Costello song', add 100 points. If not, are you sure you're reading the right magazine?


You are either a player blessed with the innocence of youth, or a congenital liar. Whichever way, you're fairly safe from the horrors of musicholism.


Take care. You've obviously been flirting with the idea of being a muso... are you sure you can handle it? Try reading a few back issues of Making Music to take your mind off your problems.

300-450 Low Muso Rating

You've probably already started criticising pop stars who "can't play their instruments properly". This is the beginning of the end; turn back now. Concentrate on being a musician, not a muso.

450-600 High Muso Rating

Although you won't have noticed, you're almost certainly suffering from rampant bigotry, which will manifest itself in conversations of a high tedium content. It's almost too late - write to the Making Music medical department immediately and our team of nurses will come and kill you.


Spinal Tap

Aaargh. [Text content missing due to page damage]

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Howard's Way

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That Was Then

Publisher: Making Music - Track Record Publishing Ltd, Nexus Media Ltd.

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Making Music - Oct 1986




Previous article in this issue:

> Howard's Way

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> That Was Then

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