I've been thinking about that conversation since then and I wondered if there wasn't some kind of criteria that's already been established for this kind of thing.
With some really crappy research, I came up with a few pieces of shoddy criteria that have been thought up by individuals on the interwebs:
1. Hubris (maybe, but take a look at a lot of really famous musicians and rock stars, and you'll find that they're actually incredibly reserved and in some instances, are full of self-doubt).
2. "Someone who was willing to journey to a place in their mind not often explored by others." (what the hell does this even mean? this could easily be the same kind of criteria that would decide if you were a heroin addict)
3. "Ability to metamorphose easily and quickly, with industry changes." (actually, this isn't necessarily a rock star, but rather a corporate whore. If we looked at this criterion alone, then Fergie would be the greatest Rock Star that ever lived).
4. "Capable and able to elicit financial resources" (whoever decided upon this one must be an accountant).
Upon searching for more Rock Star criteria, I found that people like to use the term to describe someone that is really great at their craft. For example, "Wow, that hipster is the Rock Star of the bicycle-messenger world." I would rather push myself through a screen than ever be referenced as the "Rock Star" of anything, unless it's the Rock Star of winning the lottery.
Obviously, the only appropriate thing to do is create my own list. The first thing to do is identify the greatest Rock Star ever in the history of Rock Stars. That is so frickin' easy.
Care to challenge me? Don't. Here's a list of things he's done (this, of course, isn't a complete list of greatness, but it's a start):
1. A world-class fencer that has his own fencing equipment company called Duellist.
2. A commercial pilot for Astraeus (as well as their Marketing Director).
3. A mother-fucking aeroplane HERO! (After the collapse of XL Airways UK in September 2008, he piloted an Iceland Express aeroplane and flew home 180 stranded holiday makers from Egypt, as well as a Boeing 757 with a group of British RAF pilots from Afghanistan).
4. An author (The Adventures of Lord Iffy Boatrace (ISBN 0-283-06043-3), was released in 1990 and sold more than 30,000 copies almost immediately. Due to the high demand, the publisher, Sidgwick & Jackson, asked Dickinson to produce a sequel, which became 1992's The Missionary Position (ISBN 0-283-06092-1).
5. A Disc-Jockey (Dickinson presented Bruce Dickinson's Friday Rock Show on BBC radio station 6 Music from 2002-2010)
6. Spontaneous Human Combustion Theorist ( Inside Spontaneous Human Combustion with Bruce Dickinson, in which he investigates the phenomenon of this occurrence by enlisting the help of several experts and performing various experiments to determine its possible cause.)
oh yeah, and he was the vocalist for flippin' IRON MAIDEN.
What was I talking about? Oh yeah, Rock Stars. If we take a page from the book of Bruce, Rock Stars need to be,
1. Multi-faceted. Being a musician is great, but it takes so much more on your resume than that to be a Rock Star (which is why Bruce Springsteen isn't one, sorry).
2. Kooky. You don't see Bob Dylan hosting a show about spontaneous human combustion, do you? Eccentric is one thing. I think Anne Murray is eccentric, but Ronnie James Dio...there's a kook. May he rest in Peace.
3. Have the potential to be a cult figure long after the insane commercial success is over/before it ever started. This is why Scott Stapp is not a rock star, but Iggy Pop and Henry Rollins are. Scott Stapp was the kind of guy that could sell some Creed records (admittedly, I bought one in high school), but now...who (outside of Pittsburgh) still listens to that shit?
4. At no point, can you have had any problems with incontinence. That's why Ozzy and Ian Astbury are out...even if they were cool at one point.
5. Street-Cred. This is why no member of the Strokes will ever be a Rock Star.
Rock Stars are born and bred...and with the way that the music industry has been churning out utter crap lately, I fear that the idea of the Rock Star will fade along with the idea of original songs or decent Rhianna albums.