Music Psychology E04 – Idol & Successors

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Dear readers, in the Music Psychology series, we would like to offer you a view at seemingly obvious topics within the music world from a different perspective. This time it will be about an idol and his or her successors. My guest is a respected music therapist and a member of the board of Music Therapy Association of the Czech Republic (CZMTA) PaedDr. Lubomír Holzer. You can check the first episode here with the background of this series, as well as more information about Mr. Holzer.

Photos of King Diamond & Nergal of Behemoth by: Milan Říský

Originally came out in 2015/05 issue of Czech magazine Muzikus.

English translation credit: Lucie Jurigová


A musician has a power to influence a huge number of people with his music, but for some he/she becomes almost saint. Many of the famous artists can easily mention their role models, moments when they met them and the way how they continuously influence them. Therefore, we have unique connections, which can be mainly seen in shock rock: Alice Cooper – Rob Zombie (here we can see also a progress from a theater to a movie screen), Arthur Brown – Bruce Dickinson, Gene Simmons – Mr. Lordi and many more.

The first pair is very typical. Alice Cooper works well as an idol of many young Americans. Rob Zombie is a model case)with a desire to make it in rock music and someone, who doesn’t have much talent. Hopefully, it is one of the many reasons to look up to idols. A dream of fame, wealth and “easy life” works very well. The third case Gene Simmons – Mr. Lordi clearly shows a case, where a band is copying a famous band – „Let’s copy that slightly/fully!“. It works, let’s use it. There are more tactics than emotions. At first there might be an idol, but later someone to simply use as much as possible. People will buy it. We will be rich and famous. Yeeey.


Subconscious and intentional copying of famous people can be seen throughout human history.


Most of the time, they are fascinated by their image, gestures, show, voice and often even a negative reputation. How are these aspects affecting a young listener?

Yes, everything we want to do and sometimes we even do, based on our music idol, who is provoking, is highly attractive. It’s so fascinating, deceptive and magical. Tempting is often something, which we are not able to do ourselves. We are only dreaming about it. We are imagining ourselves in their position. Shock rock opens the thirteenth chamber. Let’s take an example of Marquis de Sade. Even 200 years after his death, a part of his works is still magically tempting. Subconscious and intentional copying of famous people can be seen throughout human history. This is unfortunately a pattern which we are passing to kids. It’s not needed. Truly gifted “from God” don’t need idols. They possess this since they were born. Young people, who are looking for their idols, because of their need of self-identification based on learned schemes, incline towards musical idols almost automatically. Provoking parents and older generations, disagreement with an unfair world around, leads a part of the revolting teenagers to idols within shock rock, metal, punk etc. Let’s not forget, it’s just a part of young people. As well as that equally numerous group of other young people goes completely different way. They adore mainstream lifestyle, music and social system unanimously.



Ego Booster?

How does it feel for an aging legend being approached by a follower, who became bigger than his or her idol in the meantime? Unless he is an egoist, he must be aware that his or her successor is making him an enormous promotion in today’s consumption society, which has a short memory.

Rising successor still does have a lot to be grateful for. The consuming society needs its food and everyone, who wants to survive, needs to function like that. It’s good to be a good commodity. Carlos Santana is both a legend and a contemporary star, The Rolling Stones as well. The real stars are staying calm and cool till the end. Mick Jagger is 72, Paul McCartney has 73 already. Their stars are still shining. If an aging star is losing his or her shine, he or she probably wasn’t that much of a star. Of course there can be also a different reasons. Everyone needs to put up with losing the fame on his/or her own.



We can very probably apply these thoughts to a private life, for example in the relationship between a parent and child, right?

A parent is always an authority but with a different role. He or she can be a positive or a negative idol. A famous and a successful parent is often a massive challenge to his or her children. They might want to be like him or her, but on the other hand, they might feel useless because they can’t match or success the parent. This phenomenon is also present in music. We know many cases in the families of rock stars. A father supports his child in the crucial situations, so it can become a dynasty. Everyone can rise, but not everyone can make it.


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