Nickel Back – (Why I wanna be a )”Rockstar”

(commentary on Nickel Back’s song Rockstar by Samuel Thambusamy)


Rockstar” is a song by the Canadian rock band Nickelback from their 2005 fifth studio album All the Right Reasons. Nickelback is a hard rock band most renowned for the modern post-grunge genre. It was only released in the U.S. and Canada, and has since been re-released worldwide. Since its re-release, the song has experienced great mainstream success, and has become active on most charts again, reaching new peaks on numerous charts. “Rockstar” is also one of the most successful singles of Nickelback’s career in the United Kingdom, where it has so far reached #2 in the UK Singles Chart and #1 in the UK Official Download Chart.This song was #100 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Best Songs of 2007, despite the fact that the band has been consistently criticized by the publication
Source: Wikipedia

I’m through with standin’ in line
To clubs I’ll never get in
It’s like the bottom of the ninth
And I’m never gonna win
This life hasn’t turned out
Quite the way I want it to be
(Tell me what you want)

I want a brand new house
On an episode of Cribs
And a bathroom I can play baseball in
And a king size tub big enough
For ten plus me
(Yeah, so tell what you need)

I’ll need a.. a credit card that’s got no limit
And a big black jet with a bedroom in it
Gonna join the mile high club
At thirty-seven thousand feet
–(Been there done that)–

I want a new tour bus full of old guitars
My own star on Hollywood Boulevard
Somewhere between Cher and
James Dean is fine for me
(So how you gonna do it?)

I’m gonna trade this life for fortune and fame
I’d even cut my hair and change my name

‘Cause we all just wanna be big rockstars
And live in hilltop houses, driving fifteen cars
The girls come easy and the drugs come cheap
We’ll all stay skinny ’cause we just won’t eat
And we’ll hang out in the coolest bars
In the VIP with the movie stars
Every good gold digger’s
Gonna wind up there
Every Playboy bunny
With her bleach blonde hair
And well…

Hey, hey, I wanna be a rockstar
Hey, hey, I wanna be a rockstar

I wanna be great like Elvis without the tassels
Hire eight body guards that love to beat up assholes
Sign a couple autographs
So I can eat my meals for free
(I’ll have the quesadilla, ha ha)

I’m gonna dress my ass
With the latest fashion
Get a front door key to the Playboy mansion
Gonna date a centerfold that loves to
Blow my money for me

And we’ll hide out in the private rooms
With the latest dictionary of
Today’s who’s who
They’ll get you anything
with that evil smile
Everybody’s got a
Drug dealer on speed dial, well
Hey, hey, I wanna be a rockstar

I’m gonna sing those songs
That offend the censors
Gonna pop my pills
From a Pez dispenser

Get washed-up singers writing all my songs
Lip synch ’em every night so I don’t get ’em wrong
Hey, hey, I wanna be a rockstar
Hey, hey, I wanna be a rockstar



We all live for something (if not for somebody!). All of us chase our (wildest) dreams. Tell me! who doesn’t? We want to “Live Life KINGSIZE and we’d do anything for it. More often than not, we do “things” that we don’t like just to get to “people -places -and things”. It is tragic that our dreams are not fuelled by ambition but hurt and frustrations. We want to get “somewhere” just because it hurts us not to have “things” that others have.

Nickel Back’s Rockstar is all about the craving for – “a been there done that ” life. The dream to be a rockstar is propelled not by a sense of purpose. Rather, it is a desperate attempt to get what others have. He’s hurt. Standing in clubs that would never let him in – all because he is a Nobody. You’ve got to be somebody, somewhere in the corporate ladder. The constant rejection builds a deep sense of failure and defeat at the psyche level. You tell yourself you are never going to win. All is lost and its all over. Well… many of us can identify ourselves with this: Life has not turned quite the way I want it to be.

What is it that we want out of life? We think we know it but we don’t. We all want – a brand new house, a huge bathroom with a king size tub that would hold all our friends. What is it that we need? A credit card with absolutely no credit limits – a big black jet with a bedroom – and an out-an-out out of the ordinary experience. We all have a list of “wants’ and “needs”. Why? We desperately seek a been-there-done-that experience.


So how you gonna do it?! Simple! I’m gonna trade this life for fortune and fame. I’ll do anything. I’d even cut my hair and change my name. We all carry a prize tag. We are willing to sell our souls to feed pleasure to our bodies. We kill the soul to excite the heart and the mind. I’m willing to change myself – my values, commitments and beliefs. For all I need is a job to help me get what I want. Hey, Hey, I wanna be a rockstar – not because I love to sing or to have a sense of fulfillment.

I wanna be a rockstar because it would help me live in hilltop houses, driving fifteen cars, easy girls, cheap drugs, hang out in the coolest bars, be friends with movie stars, hang out with the rich and the famous (who’s who  will get you anything with that evil smile), sign autographs, date a centerfold model (and live out my wildest imagination). You could do just anything for this kind of life – being the envy of the neighbour. You could offend the censors, do drugs, live that way you want.

But, Is Life just money, pleasure, fame and powerful friends? The poverty of materialism is there for all to see. Such easy life does not come easy. You have to trade Life (as we know it) to get life (as we like it). Is it worth to trade life, change your name (lose your identity) and your appearance all for a fleeting dream? Mr Loser, you end up as a loser! What does it profit to get himself the whole world but lose his soul?

What is the best way to live life fully and meaningfully?Don’t just trade your life for fame and fortune. Live it. Enjoy it. Be yourself. Don’t have a hair cut. Don’t change your face. Don’t kill your soul. Don’t lose life by searching for it. Pursue your dream – not at the expense of your soul. Live life with a sense of pride – not with a sense of hurt. Be a winner – not a loser. Be a rockstar, techie, academic, politician – just anything. Just live it “fully” and “meaningfully”.

It is our choices Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – Dumbledore, Harry Potter Series(CS18)

Humans have a knack for choosing precisely the things that are worst for them – Dumbledore, Harry Potter Series


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