10 Things Famous Musicians Taught Me About Being Broke and Stupid!

Broke Musician Tips

It’s Friday, payday, playday.

Finally I can buy that dope Boss Limited Enhancer and effects pedal for my bass. Guitar Center here we come baby. I struck a sweet deal with the sales rep and he gave me 10% off. Not bad eh?

Over the weekend I spent hours experimenting with the zillion of effects trying to find the perfect set of sounds for my bass. On my next gig I’m gonna blow their minds.

Two months later I headed towards my mailbox to get the mail right after I finished up teaching my last bass class. I grabbed my mail and threw away the junk mail. I spotted my car note opened it up and it had a minimum balance of $700.

“$700?? WTF?? My car note is $350.”

The note indicated last months balance was not paid. I checked my bank accounts balance. Want to know what it was?

$25… Ahhhhh!!!!

What happened?

Uhhh… Don’t you remember buying all that bass gear awhile back dummy?

What do I do? First of all I hate borrowing so that’s out of the question. I know…I’ll hock my old saxophone from high school and among other things or I’ll just return the gear I bought months ago.

I ruffled through my papers for the Guitar Center receipt which thankfully I kept. The receipts money back guaranteed already expired. Arghhh!

I gathered up certain music gear and equipment which I didn’t want to sell but had to. I went to Sam Ash Music to sell the gear and those thieves barely gave me enough dough to pay my car note.

Learn this lesson from me, “King Dumb Dumb”. Your household should be managed first. The four basic needs that need to be taken care of are:

  • Food and water (I don’t mean splurging at the Cheesecake Factory.)
  • Shelter (Rent, utilities.)
  • Clothes (Only if you’re clothes are falling part or you’re getting too fat.)
  • Transportation (Car note, insurance, gas, car repair.)

Enough about me let’s learn 10 things famous musicians taught me on how to be broke and stupid.

  1. Tony Braxton: “I owe between 10 to 50 million dollars in debt to creditors and the IRS so I had to file chapter 7 again.”
  2. David Crosby: “My solo career failed so I had to file bankruptcy in 1985.”
  3. MC Hammer: “I burned through $33 million and went bankrupt in 1996. It was fun while it lasted, Lol.”
  4. Dee Snider: “Lawsuits over tour advances and endorsements got me.”
  5. Goo Goo Dolls: “We sold over 2 million albums and we still owe the record label I wonder why.”
  6. Isaac Hayes: “I started a record label and ended up owing over $6 million in debts.”
  7. Jerry Lee Lewis: “I filed for bankruptcy in 1988 with over $3 million in debt.”
  8. Lisa “Lefty Eye”Lopez:  “I sold 13 million in album sales but I still went bankrupt.”
  9. Michael Jackson: “You guys are losers, I racked up half a billion in debts. I beat you all. Lol!”
  10. Wilkie Nelson: “I owed the IRS 16.7 million dollars in back taxes, but that’s ok. I released an album called the “IRS Tapes” and soon paid it off.
  11. Meat Loaf: “I found shady money managers and never saw a dime I ended up in bankruptcy twice.”
  12. Suge Knight: “I had $11 to my name after I file bankruptcy in 2006. Tupac come back!”
  13. Tom Petty: “I filed for bankruptcy in 1979. No biggie, I released an album later and now I’m back.

There you have it straight from high paid dummies. We all make mistakes and I’m sure they all learned a valuable lesson. Debt is a huge part in the downfall of many famous musicians. I thank God I never liked borrowing. I did however had to borrow to get a car, but I didn’t know any better.

“Wise men learn from their mistakes, but wiser men learn for the mistakes of others.”

“But remember my friend it doesn’t matter now much money you earn as a musician if the four basic needs are not met than being broke is not a matter of chance but rather a matter of time.”

One last piece of advice… Never borrow money!!

Not from family, friends, coworkers, banks, boyfriend, girlfriend, neighbors, dog, cat, pet snake… You get the point.

“The borrower is slave to the lender.”

If you’re starting a business and your really need to borrow than make sure you have your ducks in a row. When a business model has been unproven to be successful in the market than it’s risky and not a good idea. Billionaire Mark Cuban said it best:

“Only morons start a business on a loan.”

Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment below and let me know your opinion.


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