Behold, Jim Kuenzer! Put down the Funyuns and juice box you stole from your second-grade daughter, and take heed!
We, the Gods of Rock, have witnessed your attempts to jam, to shred, and to rock. After careful consideration and deliberation, we proclaim — with the force of 10,000 Marshall stacks, 1,000 Woodstocks, and the unbridled intensity of a handful of Tina Turners — that you are not fit to rock. Nor roll!
We have found not that you did violate one of the Ten Commandments of Rock, but rather 1–2–3–4 of them! These transgressions are listed henceforth:
Violation of the Second Commandment: Thou shalt earn thy ax and amplifier through nefarious dealings with the Devil, preferably at some sort of “crossroads”
One must successfully journey up the stairway to heaven or travel down the highway to hell to acquire one’s tools. Unless they are drummers, of course, in which case they travel under cover of night by Ford Econoline van.
But you, Jim! You procured your mighty Fender Stratocaster and thunderous Fender Hot Rod Deville amplifier at a Guitar Center Rocktober Sale-a-thon Event.
Forfeit these tools at once unto the fiery flames of hell! Or sell them on Craigslist. Your choice, you pathetic poseur.
Violation of the Fifth Commandment: Thy garments and accouterments must contain an intriguing backstory
Whether it be the matching suits of the Beatles, the flowing robes and kimonos of mid-career Rush, or the full-body leather of Judas Priest, our garments and trappings speak tales no tell-all memoir ever could. Does GWAR don the meat helmet because it is the in thing to do? Nay! Does DEVO don the yellow hazmat suits because their chinos are at the tailor? Again, nay! So why would you adorn yourself with a Motörhead T-shirt purchased from Urban Outfitters?
U-R-B-A-N-O-U-T-F-I-T-T-E-R-S. That spells “poseur.”
Rend this garment and burn it at the altar of the Mötliest of Crües or use it to clean the interior of thy Kia Sportage. Whichever brings you greater shame.
Violation of the Seventh Commandment: Thou shall hone thy skills until thy fingers bleed
When one steps into the Hall of Rock, one is asked to swear a blood oath, to master one’s chosen instrument and play it faster, louder, and harder than e’er before.
Shall we examine the progress you have made, Jim?
You subscribed to Dr. Rock’s Play Like a Pro Online Course, but it sits untouched, like all those Planet Fitness memberships you purchase every year and summarily ignore.
You were granted a free lesson with your purchase at Guitar Center, but you used the free hour to see how many Rush songs your teacher, Glenn, could play from memory.
You often sit down to learn songs on YouTube, but it is only moments before you give up and instead watch videos of non-lethal boat crashes.
Is it possible to know less about playing the guitar than before you picked it up? It would appear so in your case. Maybe another trade would be more to your liking, like stamp collecting or knitting afghans for your arthritic grandmother!
Violation of the Tenth Commandment: Thou shall share thy music with the world
Have you performed your brisk melodies at rock’s sacred temples? Have you graced the Roxy, the Troubadour, or even tried to weasel your way into the Cellar on 15th Street next to the Schlotsky’s for their Tuesday night Metal Militia Open Mic? Nay!
Instead, you have opted for the safety and comfort of your living room. Your earbuds crammed into your ear canal so that only you can hear the songs you play to while the rest of the world is forced to endure your talentless noodlings. You leave the curtains open, forcing us to witness your arhythmic dance moves and unnatural undulations, while your offspring and the neighborhood children shriek in terror at your embarrassing performance!
“Turn off the amp!” they cry. “Close the curtains! Put on a shirt!”
Heed their cries, bro!
Conclusion & Judgment
Chiseled into the stone above the Grand Entryway of our palace are these words: “Si clarior, tu es vetulae.” Translation: “If it is too loud, you are too old.” We, the judge, jury, and gods of rock, find you guilty and do sentence you to exile to the Rock Wastelands, located in Branson, Missouri. But chin up. If you’re lucky, they might have an Urban Outfitters there.