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How Almost Famous Changed My Life

*Cue Tiny Dancer by Elton John*



Almost Famous (2000 directed by Cameron Rowe) explores the life of a teenage music journalist striving to break free of his controlling mother and break into the world of rock journalism. When asked to interview Black Sabbath by the world’s greatest music critic Lester Bangs for Creem Magazine, (the anti-Rolling Stone), William Miller deep dives into the world of rock n roll in the 70s. He is then approached by the music editor of Rolling Stone to tour with Stillwater, the band he expressed his gratitude and support for during the Black Sabbath show. As he experiences a journey through the drugs, the fights, the ups and downs, and everything in between, he falls in love with a girl by the name of Penny Lane. While traveling to numerous cities with strangers he’d only known for so long, he was met with all types of challenges along the way, just to get his interview with the band.


William Miller was never necessarily a journalist influence for me, but once I became a music journalist, I began to relate to him more. When you’re a music journalist, you’re looking for chances. You’re looking for amazing opportunities to create with your favorite artists, write reviews of your favorite live shows, and interview your favorite bands. Almost Famous was where I first encountered what a music journalist was and how anyone could become one - if they believe in themselves and make it happen. I was introduced to Creem Magazine through this movie - the magazine that told the truth, kept rock n roll alive and embraced the artists they featured. 



“You missed out on rock n roll. It’s over.” While I haven’t officially been told that in my life, that’s where a good portion of the music industry stands on rock music. And they’re wrong. Currently in 2023, this is most likely the most rock n roll has been alive in decades. With bands such as - Greta Van Fleet, Dirty Honey, Mac Saturn, Classless Act, The Warning, Joyous Wolf and countless others - currently rocking my world, there’s no way I can ignore the rock music of today. 


“If you wanna be a rock journalist, you’re not gonna make a lot of money… But you’ll get free records from the record company.” This statement is completely true. I haven’t made a penny from music journalism, but I can’t see myself having it other way. But I have gotten a lot of free music along the way. 





“We are here because of the music.” When I first heard miss Penny Lane speak those words, I realized I’m exactly where I should be in life. I was clearly brought to the music industry for a reason, multiple reasons. I believe if music journalism doesn’t work out for me, I’m meant to still be connected to the industry in many ways. I’m a music fan, a music journalist, blog owner, music editor, playlist curator, graphic designer, social media manager and so much more for the music industry.


“It’s All Happening.” We’ve all heard this quote in our heads so much and we embrace the memories we have with it. For example, whenever I go see Greta Van Fleet in concerts, whether I’m just with my sister or I’m meeting up with friends, I truly believe - it’s all happening. Those concerts are one of the things I live for, one of my happy places, my home, my people, my spiritual beliefs, my sanctuary. Planning outfits, makeup, jewelry, nails, flights, hotels, making memories, it’s all worth it.


Almost Famous informed me on how important women are to rock n roll - always have been and always will be. Women are the most supportive individuals when it comes to their favorite artists and bands. From buying concert tickets, to buying merchandise, to spreading the world on social media, to buying records, women run the music industry.



“Rock N Roll is a lifestyle.” Growing up, I thought rock n roll was just a genre of music. But as I got older, I found that rock n roll is a lifestyle. Expressing your opinions, loving one another and kicking life in the ass.



BETHANY HILDEBRANDT


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