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WHAT MUSICIANS SAY…and what it really means!
by James Linderman
© 2000, James Linderman. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission.

Musicians are arguably the strangest people in the world to be in any kind of relationship with. They usually communicate best through the medium of song and so often do not take their interpersonal communication skills very seriously.

If you were to find yourself in a romantic relationship with any musician that I know, you would be constantly "dazed and confused" by the discrepancies between what they say and what it would appear that they actually mean. The following helpful guide should prove to be invaluable…and more than a little humorous.

1. When musicians say, "I was up before the crack of dawn" they actually mean, "I was up before the crack of noon".

2. When musicians say, "I've had an insanely busy morning" they actually mean, "My Mom made me look in the paper for a job while she made me breakfast and did my laundry".

3. When they say "I have my own wheels" they actually mean, "I can get my bands old van for the night".

4. When musicians tell you… "I have my own place" they actually mean, "I have my own room at my Mom and Dads place".

5. "I own a suit" could actually mean, "I used to be in an Earth, Wind and Fire cover band"

6. "I would love to meet your parents" should be interpreted as, "I would love to have your Mom cook me a free meal".

7. When a musician tells you, "I have no outstanding debt" they actually mean, "Financial institutions do not have any of my current addresses".

8. "I make a living playing music" should be reworded, "I play music, I occasionally make money and I am still living".

9. "I'm broke" means, "I have no money"

10. "I'm very broke" means, "I owe my Mom and Dad money"

11. "I'm seriously broke" means, "I owe a substantial amount of money to two guys named 'Spike' and 'Lefty'".

12. When musicians say "Lets go rent a classic movie" they really mean, "Lets rent 'Spinal Tap' again".

13. "I will never forget to call you ever again" can be re-worded to mean, "I will forget to call you tomorrow…but I really want you to forgive me tonight".

14. "I'm ready for a serious relationship" is musician language for "I have nowhere else to stay"

15. If a musician says "I'm not seeing anyone right now" they are actually indicating, "I'm not seeing anyone else right now during this time that you are standing right in front of me"

16. When a musician tells you "You are more important to me than my band," they are saying to you "No one in my band is in the room so…I can really say anything".

17. "I will never do it again" always means, " I'll make sure that I don't get caught next time, but if I do get caught I will once again say 'I will never do it again'".

18. "I'm listening" should be interpreted as "I haven't been listening for a while but I can tell that you just said something really important".

19. If a musician tells you " It's our anniversary, we're going out on the town" this means, " KFC, and Blockbuster…Dutch treat".

20. When a musician says, "I love you" they actually mean "I wouldn't trade you for all the music gear in the world…or would I".

James Linderman lives and works at theharmonyhouse, a private music lesson, songwriting and pre-production facility in Newmarket Ontario. He is a songwriter and consultant for the Youth Office of the Toronto Diocese of the Catholic Church and leads music workshops across the country. James has a Canadian University and an American College education in music composition and is the author of The Contemporary Songwriters Workbook. E-mail James at
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