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33 Percent Rockstar: Music, Heartbreak and the Pursuit of Rock Stardom

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Scott has played over 500 concerts at hundreds of venues spanning almost two decades. From performing to the bar staff at strip mall dive bars, to a sold-out show with members of The Misfits and the Ramones, 33 Percent Rockstar: Music, Heartbreak and the Pursuit of Rock Stardom is about the love of music and life as a struggling musician. It is the true story of what happe Scott has played over 500 concerts at hundreds of venues spanning almost two decades. From performing to the bar staff at strip mall dive bars, to a sold-out show with members of The Misfits and the Ramones, 33 Percent Rockstar: Music, Heartbreak and the Pursuit of Rock Stardom is about the love of music and life as a struggling musician. It is the true story of what happens when you give up everything to follow your dreams—even when they lead to a run-down strip club in a seedy part of Lincoln, Nebraska. Scott learned how to play the bass guitar, and became a musician. He'd eventually become a damn good one. He fell in love and got his heart broken. Twice. He played in multiple bands, recorded multiple albums, and toured the country. In the end, Scott never made it big, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. All for the love of music, he toiled in dead-end jobs, drove across the country in dilapidated tour vans, and dealt with the fragile egos and creative differences of a rotating cast of bands and band members. 33 Percent Rockstar: Music, Heartbreak and the Pursuit of Rock Stardom is a Behind the Music for the vast majority of musicians who never achieve rock stardom and offers a glimpse of the everyday lives of those hopeful, possibly deluded souls pursuing the rockstar dream.


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Scott has played over 500 concerts at hundreds of venues spanning almost two decades. From performing to the bar staff at strip mall dive bars, to a sold-out show with members of The Misfits and the Ramones, 33 Percent Rockstar: Music, Heartbreak and the Pursuit of Rock Stardom is about the love of music and life as a struggling musician. It is the true story of what happe Scott has played over 500 concerts at hundreds of venues spanning almost two decades. From performing to the bar staff at strip mall dive bars, to a sold-out show with members of The Misfits and the Ramones, 33 Percent Rockstar: Music, Heartbreak and the Pursuit of Rock Stardom is about the love of music and life as a struggling musician. It is the true story of what happens when you give up everything to follow your dreams—even when they lead to a run-down strip club in a seedy part of Lincoln, Nebraska. Scott learned how to play the bass guitar, and became a musician. He'd eventually become a damn good one. He fell in love and got his heart broken. Twice. He played in multiple bands, recorded multiple albums, and toured the country. In the end, Scott never made it big, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. All for the love of music, he toiled in dead-end jobs, drove across the country in dilapidated tour vans, and dealt with the fragile egos and creative differences of a rotating cast of bands and band members. 33 Percent Rockstar: Music, Heartbreak and the Pursuit of Rock Stardom is a Behind the Music for the vast majority of musicians who never achieve rock stardom and offers a glimpse of the everyday lives of those hopeful, possibly deluded souls pursuing the rockstar dream.

30 review for 33 Percent Rockstar: Music, Heartbreak and the Pursuit of Rock Stardom

  1. 4 out of 5

    Roxanne

    I won this book from Goodreads for a fair review. I loved this book. It takes me back to my teenage years in the 1960,s when I went to almost band that was performing at that time. Even at my age now I am still rocking until I am dropping. So this subject involving music is great. Scott played over 500 concerts over two decades. He shares a familiar story with some famous bands that when they are doing their music they have bad cars, play at dive places, malls or wherever they could get a gig. T I won this book from Goodreads for a fair review. I loved this book. It takes me back to my teenage years in the 1960,s when I went to almost band that was performing at that time. Even at my age now I am still rocking until I am dropping. So this subject involving music is great. Scott played over 500 concerts over two decades. He shares a familiar story with some famous bands that when they are doing their music they have bad cars, play at dive places, malls or wherever they could get a gig. This is a true story about really loving the music and what life a struggling musician goes through in pursuit of that music. It is too bad he did not make it big like some other bands. But he did play in different bands, recorded music and saw the country. My brother also dreamed of rock star fame but he was not talented. One thing that happened as the band got older and did not get along well, the music seemed not so important and they got fewer gigs. After that some of the band did a reunion show. One thing about music is there always a new genre that comes along and people flock to that. He pulled out of his pocket his bucket list for his music dreams, he did 7 of the nine things. Awesome book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    JM

    Received ARC from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review. I've read a bunch of biographies by all manner of famous rock musicians before. You usually get two kinds: a look into a person with surprising depth despite their public persona, or a self-indulgent tour of the many excesses that public persona has managed to survive. I have to admit that I'm not familiar with the author's work as a musician, but it was fascinating to read about his many trials and tribulations while trying to make it i Received ARC from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review. I've read a bunch of biographies by all manner of famous rock musicians before. You usually get two kinds: a look into a person with surprising depth despite their public persona, or a self-indulgent tour of the many excesses that public persona has managed to survive. I have to admit that I'm not familiar with the author's work as a musician, but it was fascinating to read about his many trials and tribulations while trying to make it in the business and ultimately mostly failing to do so. Plus, I'm about the same age as him and an amateur musician, so I could connect with many of his experiences. I enjoyed this one, and I might try to find some of his music just to complement the book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    33 Percent Rockstar: Music, Heartbreak and the Pursuit of Rock Stardom written by S.C. Sterling is an unusual musical memoir. It is unusual because Mr. Sterling, while a working musician, is not a "house-hold name". He acheived the dream of many, he played in bands who had followings, those bands toured, they wrote original music, recorded eps and lps. Most peop!e do not have that good fortune. Of course during that same time, he struggled paycheck to paycheck at what he described as menial jobs 33 Percent Rockstar: Music, Heartbreak and the Pursuit of Rock Stardom written by S.C. Sterling is an unusual musical memoir. It is unusual because Mr. Sterling, while a working musician, is not a "house-hold name". He acheived the dream of many, he played in bands who had followings, those bands toured, they wrote original music, recorded eps and lps. Most peop!e do not have that good fortune. Of course during that same time, he struggled paycheck to paycheck at what he described as menial jobs, ran up bills, and had bad luck with relationships. I have the feeling though that usually the trade-off was acceptable. Mr. Sterling has given us an insider's look into the sacrifices made by those who feel the call to make music. He does this in a conversational manner and like what happens many times with reminiscing there can be abrupt jumps between memories. It can be jarring but somehow feels natural given the material. 33 Percent Rockstar: Music, Heartbreak and the Pursuit of Rock Stardom is an engaging and quick read. If you are interested in music or in the people who make it, you are sure to enjoy this book. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cory

    This book provides an insight into life as non famous musician that other music biographies don't. I also have to give love to a Denver author. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tea & Cake for the Soul

    I was hooked right from the intro. Remembering your first album, CD or concert is always a special moment, and when you are a real music fan, you will take delight in others’ experiences too. 33 Percent Rockstar starts with SC Sterling’s first big gig supporting Agent Orange and The Misfits. I loved his recollection of the music venue and the feelings at seeing the queue of punters waiting in anticipation to get in. He goes on to describe the realities of soundcheck and the feeling of watching hi I was hooked right from the intro. Remembering your first album, CD or concert is always a special moment, and when you are a real music fan, you will take delight in others’ experiences too. 33 Percent Rockstar starts with SC Sterling’s first big gig supporting Agent Orange and The Misfits. I loved his recollection of the music venue and the feelings at seeing the queue of punters waiting in anticipation to get in. He goes on to describe the realities of soundcheck and the feeling of watching his idols on stage. It’s funny no-one really thinks that all our idols have idols themselves and can be just as starstruck. We get to experience all of this wannabe musician’s firsts – learning to play, first auditions, first band, first gig, and his first recording session. We read of his love for his musical instrument. As someone who can’t play a note, I don’t get this feeling personally but I’ve seen plenty who do and it’s a real pleasure to read. This guy clearly loves music. We witness his journey through different bands, mostly American punk bands. There are bands mentioned here that I love, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t know who they are, it’s a musical journey that any genre can identify with, particularly if you’re into an underground music scene. I thoroughly enjoyed the ethos of the band joining the Vans Warped Tour – no spoilers! I love how he states that songs evoke memories and each can transport him to a time and place. Everyone I know who has a passion for music feels the same. This book is well written and easy to follow. 33 Percent Rockstar by S C Sterling was released 19 April 2019. SC Sterling is also the author of Teenage Degenerate. Available as a paperback, on Kindle and free on Kindle Unlimited.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Taylor (TaysBookishThoughts)

    The book provides a lot of insight into the work and effort it takes to become a good musician or for chasing any dream for that matter. Scott knew what he wanted and he continued to chase it until he reached a point in his life where he knew it was time to move on. Although he technically didn’t reach 100 percent rockstardom, he still got to play with multiple bands in different genres and got to open for some bigger bands. I love listening to music, but I also like learning about the people be The book provides a lot of insight into the work and effort it takes to become a good musician or for chasing any dream for that matter. Scott knew what he wanted and he continued to chase it until he reached a point in his life where he knew it was time to move on. Although he technically didn’t reach 100 percent rockstardom, he still got to play with multiple bands in different genres and got to open for some bigger bands. I love listening to music, but I also like learning about the people behind the music. This book was definitely a little different than your typical biography or autobiography. This book was more like a story, kind of diary-ish, but not exactly. I enjoyed learning about the different bands he was a part of and all the things they had to go through. The best part about the book was seeing Scott go from someone he thought had no musical talent to becoming a pretty awesome bass player. Scott had a dream of becoming a rockstar, so after learning to play bass guitar he and his friend Jake auditioned for a band. Scott ended up playing in several different bands throughout several years, touring the country, recording a couple albums, but never really making it big. 33 Percent Rockstar is about Scott’s life as a struggling musician and his love for music. I recommend this book to anyone who likes learning about musicians and/or people in general.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Astrid Galactic

    "I want to grow up and become a Rockstar." This was the dream of so many young people on their way to adulthood. This too was the dream of S.C. Sterling and this is the gist of Sterling's memoir, 33 Percent Rockstar. Unlike so many who give up that dream early by relegating that as an unobtainable pipe dream, Scott (S.C. Sterling) doesn't give up that dream. He's persistent. But there's a hitch - he can't play a note of music and he knows it. Any goal takes making that commitment by taking that "I want to grow up and become a Rockstar." This was the dream of so many young people on their way to adulthood. This too was the dream of S.C. Sterling and this is the gist of Sterling's memoir, 33 Percent Rockstar. Unlike so many who give up that dream early by relegating that as an unobtainable pipe dream, Scott (S.C. Sterling) doesn't give up that dream. He's persistent. But there's a hitch - he can't play a note of music and he knows it. Any goal takes making that commitment by taking that first step so Scott walks into his local music store and buys himself an electric guitar and a guidebook on how to play. Lo and behold, to Scott's dismay, it doesn't go too well. Playing the guitar isn't something that comes to most people like magic just by strapping on a guitar and strumming your fingers along the strings. There's lots of frustration, failed attempts, beer... and more beer, until he befriends a guy at school who takes Scott under his wings and is determined to mentor Scott until Scott can actually play. The friendship blossoms, Scott does learn to play, and then the bands form and eventually take to the road. But does Scott ever become a Rockstar? Well, he got 33 percent of the way to Rockstardom. Scott shares with us stories of long, boring rides from one gig to the next, scratching up enough money for gas and food, broken down vehicles, and a few personal romantic relationship entanglements. He doesn't hold back as he describes the stench of road weary, cramped up males with limited opportunities to bathe, stale air from too many cigarettes, as well as bouts of vomiting from too much beer. When you're only a 33 percent Rockstar, these are the realities you tend to have to deal with while lugging and setting up your own equipment and trying to get your music heard. This is about as far as most ever get while pursuing that dream. Forget the glittering groupies, big headlines, raucous parties involving wrecked hotel rooms, everyone offering you plenty of free drugs and champagne, and your name gliding across everyone's lips in admiration while anxiously awaiting your next record. No, all that is reserved for the 100 percent Rockstars which is the domain of the few elite. As Scott comes to this realization, he adjusts some of his goals and makes peace with himself. He even seems to finally get his shit together which seems to only help him hold onto his 33 percent Rockstar status. Anyone who has ever entertained thoughts of becoming a Rockstar, or even just have a love of music and the concert lifestyle and all that that entails, would probably appreciate this book. On a personal level, this was very nostalgic for me as I've worked in this environment (and still do) and have known or encountered scores of musicians, including some of the gods of Punk mentioned from Scott's early days of being a fan. Believe me, the glamour fades easily when you witness what the realities are compared to the idealized legends that are held in the minds of most fans. This is an honest book where Scott looks back at his life and shares his memories with us, warts and all... and plenty of disgusting cheap beer. Scott, thanks for the memories. Bravo! Thanks to Book Sirens for a copy of the eBook for a fair and honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Nice

    33 Percent Rockstar is a raw, dysfunctional, true story of the life of an ordinary guy who only wanted to make it big playing music. Just about until the end of the book, when he started playing with his final band, Scott was extremely insecure of his talents. He's relatable in this sense because we are all our worst critics, aren't we? Slowly he crawls out of his shell and finds more of a passion for songwriting and finally learning his guitar. Thanks to his heartbreak over a girlfriend, I thin 33 Percent Rockstar is a raw, dysfunctional, true story of the life of an ordinary guy who only wanted to make it big playing music. Just about until the end of the book, when he started playing with his final band, Scott was extremely insecure of his talents. He's relatable in this sense because we are all our worst critics, aren't we? Slowly he crawls out of his shell and finds more of a passion for songwriting and finally learning his guitar. Thanks to his heartbreak over a girlfriend, I think he truly found his inner musician. This is not your ordinary rockstar story, but it's one I think should be known by all. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

  9. 5 out of 5

    jboyg

    Dream A Little Dream For Me I liked this book but it drove me crazy the author never mentioned the names of the bands he played in, I mean WTF? Aside from that it was an engrossing tale of him following his dream to be a rockstar, the ups and downs, the almost succeeding. Also, a diary of being drunk on the road, endless vomiting and doomed relationships. Kind of fascinating, like watching a sloe motion car wreck.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    Great read for anyone who's ever been in a band or dreamed of being in a band.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alan M

    As the antidote to the many music bios which describe the twists and turns on the road to stardom, 33% Percent Rockstar chronicles author SC Sterling’s attempt to hit the heights. Sterling admits he wasn’t a natural musician, and in many respects his story is one of how his dogged determination did at least get him on stage, on tour and into the recording studio. However, glamourous it wasn’t. Whilst bands form and then split, an enduring constant is the sleep deprived tours, the gallons of beer, As the antidote to the many music bios which describe the twists and turns on the road to stardom, 33% Percent Rockstar chronicles author SC Sterling’s attempt to hit the heights. Sterling admits he wasn’t a natural musician, and in many respects his story is one of how his dogged determination did at least get him on stage, on tour and into the recording studio. However, glamourous it wasn’t. Whilst bands form and then split, an enduring constant is the sleep deprived tours, the gallons of beer, the financial paucity and the grungy venues. Sterling’s style is open and easy to read. Alongside his musical timeline he addresses with some candour his love life and some of his own issues. Despite this, I found it hard to really build a picture of him – possibly because there’s relatively little backstory about him, perhaps covered in his earlier book Teenage Degenerate. There’s little context about what else was going on in his life whilst he was playing. For the most part his various bandmates remain thinly drawn characters. Sterling’s challenge, given his honesty, was to make the repetitiveness and boredom that unknown bands endure as interesting as the highs that come on stage. The story of how one of his bands travelled over 5000 miles following some of the 2004 Warped tour does this. They play in parking lots to punters making their way into the venue, hoping to make enough money from CD and merchandise sales to fund fuel and food. The way they feed off of the reaction from the fans, the sense of being part of something they aren’t actually part of makes a great read. Sadly it doesn’t quite carry over to the rest of the book, so when Sterling finally hangs up his bass, it doesn’t quite carry the resonance it might otherwise have had.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Allison Springer

    I received this book as an arc and am giving it my honest review. I've known many musicians and have even gone on short tours with some. The anecdotes in this book are very close to my experiences with bands. There are many talented and determined musicians out there that never become nationally famous. They tour and work other jobs to make ends meet and often do a lot of drinking while playing and in between. They sleep in vans, sometimes on couches and rarely in hotels. You've got to love what I received this book as an arc and am giving it my honest review. I've known many musicians and have even gone on short tours with some. The anecdotes in this book are very close to my experiences with bands. There are many talented and determined musicians out there that never become nationally famous. They tour and work other jobs to make ends meet and often do a lot of drinking while playing and in between. They sleep in vans, sometimes on couches and rarely in hotels. You've got to love what you're doing and not be looking for monetary gain. The percentage of musicians who actually are lucky enough to support themselves with their art is very small when compared to their entirety. This is a quick read and in many ways a fun read. My criticism of this book is the writing style. It is very episodic and the anecdotes often end abruptly leaving the reader with unresolved endings. He just skips on to the next story. The chapter headings are meant to clarify the time frame of the consequent tales, but its distracting. He may have been 33 percent rock star but he was maybe 10 percent writer. I recommend this for anyone who wants a quick read and doesn't want to have to think about what they are reading. Otherwise, skip it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Perry

    This book gave what seemed like an accurate (and sort of hellish) portrayal of life in a good but not great rock band: practice, drink, perform, break up, repeat. The writing was not particularly strong and there were a lot of abrupt transitions.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Greg

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sascha Camilli

  16. 4 out of 5

    jennet wheatstonelllsl Proc

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mary A Brandt

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

  19. 4 out of 5

    Raven

  20. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  21. 4 out of 5

    Christen

  22. 4 out of 5

    Richard D Kuharik

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bobby Joyner

  24. 4 out of 5

    david patterson

  25. 5 out of 5

    Martin Robertson

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jack Hall

  27. 5 out of 5

    Steve Savage

  28. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Cheresnick

  29. 5 out of 5

    Craig & monica Gilcrease

  30. 5 out of 5

    john greene

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