How To Be a Rock Star

by Larry Hehn on February 11, 2014

rock starBack in January I became a rock star. For about 35 minutes.

When told that I’d be making my singing debut in front of roughly 400 people, my friend Dan had the best reaction.

“Wow,” he said, “I didn’t know you had it in you.”

Fact is, I don’t, really.

There are no delusions of grandeur here. I would never make it beyond the judge’s table of American Idol. Heck, who am I kidding? The producers would screen me out long before that, and not just because I’m too old.

Still, a friend was in a bind and needed a vocalist. He knew I had been on stage before, and thought maybe I could help.

Sure, Andy. Invite the hard-of-hearing introvert to be your lead singer.

But hey, when a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity like this presents itself, I figured I’d be crazy not to jump at the chance. After all, who wouldn’t want to be a rock star for one night?

I let the band know that I’d come out to one rehearsal and give it a try. They could choose not to invite me back, and I would not be offended.

To my surprise, I was invited to the next rehearsal.

When it became clear that I was going to be the lead vocalist, I decided to make the most of it. I ordered some online voice lessons to help me with my range and overall comfort level. I practiced and experimented. I reviewed other performers to see what worked, and what didn’t.

I got a good, healthy assessment of my own limitations.

And you know what?

It was a blast!

The band was very gracious, encouraging, and lots of fun. The audience, even more so. The gig was a big success.

And, of course, I came away with some tips about how to be a rock star:

  1. Seize the opportunity. Every once in a while, something is going to come up that will stretch you well beyond your comfort zone. Will you take the plunge, or politely decline?
  2. Give it your all. The singers I enjoy most aren’t necessarily the ones who hit each note perfectly. They’re the ones who exude joy and passion when they sing, and connect with their audience. It’s not always about your skill level. It’s about how much “you” you bring to the table.
  3. Don’t take yourself too seriously. We knew we weren’t the greatest band. But the audience loved us in spite of it. Actually, because of it. How could someone refuse when you say to them, “I may never be a pro at this. But here’s my best, and I’m giving it to you, warts and all.”

Whatever you do, why not be a rock star with it?

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. – Colossians 3:23

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Jesse February 11, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Good, thought provoking article. But I’m left with one nagging question: Cover any ZZ Top songs?
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Larry Hehn February 11, 2014 at 2:09 pm

LOL, it sure would have fit, Jesse. We did an eclectic mix of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Green Day, U2, Kiss, and Tal Bachman, but no ZZ Top songs. We should have snuck at least one in there!


Bill (cycelguy) February 11, 2014 at 6:15 pm

I’m truly disappointed Jesse beat me to it. That was my one question i was going to ask. 🙂 Glad you jumped at the chance.
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Larry Hehn February 11, 2014 at 6:38 pm

In the Olympic spirit, Bill, you are a silver medalist!


Caleb Suko February 12, 2014 at 12:22 pm

So Larry, is this on youtube somewhere? I’d love to see and hear you sing!


Larry Hehn February 19, 2014 at 10:19 pm

It’s not on YouTube at the moment, Caleb, but I’ll see if I can forward you a clip!


Peter Graham February 12, 2014 at 2:20 pm

Kinda cool what is possible when you just jump, huh? Good advice we could all use. Thanks Larry!


Larry Hehn February 19, 2014 at 10:24 pm

Yep, might as well jump!


Peter Graham March 6, 2014 at 10:22 am

Hey! Someone should write a song about that!


Larry Hehn March 6, 2014 at 11:31 am



Mike Bisson February 28, 2014 at 11:32 pm

Well Larry, you did it and you did a great job. Great reading! Had no idea the “behind the scene” work you did. I knew we picked the right guy. Awesome.


Larry Hehn March 1, 2014 at 12:41 am

With you on drums, Mike, it was a pleasure. Your encouragement, mentorship, and sense of humor were much appreciated. Thanks for bringing the beat!


Sheila Hale (Maureen Ray) March 29, 2014 at 10:10 pm

This is a deeply moving story. I loved Christina’s Cup Cake Shop. She is just a dear little girl and I am so grateful to the Lord she has a Mum like you.


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