Fame, willing women, and boatloads of drugs can all be yours, without you ever having to carry an amp. Besides rock journalist, the guitarless frontman is surely the single most desirable job in the rock-music world. Think being a star takes charisma, good looks, talent, and unbridled sexual energy? Think again. Axl Rose is the homeliest trailer-park refugee to ever besmirch Los Angeles, yet spent most of the '90s in a three-ring cocaine circus with Stephanie Seymour. Ozzy can't even pronounce his own name, but he's been filling stadiums for the last 246 years. Brush up on the basics and you'll be polishing that lifetime-achievement Grammy before you know it.
First and foremost, forget about style and forget about substance. The true key to becoming a great frontman is substance abuse. If this one isn't obvious, you simply haven't been paying enough attention to the nightly stumbling performances gracing club and stadium stages everywhere. Every gig from the Red Rocks Amphitheatre to your aunt's second-wedding reception provides free booze to the band. Since you don't have any guitars to tune, it's easy to spend your idle time getting profoundly wasted. Intoxication is what legends are made of, not unlike early-1980s Robin Williams. Remember, Iggy Pop never rolled around on broken glass sober.
It's easy to get discouraged and start thinking you don't have the natural genetic traits inherent in a born frontman. At this point in rock history, the myth that a frontman must be good looking, well dressed, and charismatic has become erroneously accepted as fact. In reality, quite the opposite is true. So go ahead and fire that image consultant and stop following your girlfriend's fashion advice. As a rule, rock stars are smelly, poorly clothed, and bearded. That doesn't stop them from getting more action than Yul Brynner in The Ten Commandments. Don't let your lack of hygiene and woefully poor fashion sense stand in the way of your stadium dreams. If Alternative Press has taught us anything, it's that you don't need to look cool to front a band. Whiney dudes with pierced lips who look like they hang out at the mall have legions of disaffected high-school girls ready to flash for the first time. If you still have doubts, a good rule of thumb is that Iron Maiden T-shirts never go out of style.
Similar to fashion, lyrics are a waste of time for the simple reason that no one cares what you have to say. You may as well just dig through your inbox and start reading your favorite Viagra spam onstage. That's what the Mars Volta do, and they're laughing about it all the way to the bank. For you sensitive emo crooner types, just pick out a few long words from your thesaurus. If you're in a metal band with Cookie Monster vocals, it's even easier. Just go with something threatening like the French national anthem or an impromptu cover of "Shiny Happy People." If anyone catches on, they will merely find it clever and ironic.
What you may want to be concerned about is your between-song banter. Be sure to take advantage of your microphone by using it to change the world. The dudes in the pit who were just punching each other in the head might really want to hear your sob story about the plight of some obscure indigenous people. The vapid hipsters ignoring you while sucking down cocktails just might switch to biodiesel because you told them to. There is no better place than the stage to wax philosophical about politics, social justice, and how much better the scene used to be.
Finally, it's extremely critical to establish a connection with the audience. The best way to do this is to point at the crowd as often as possible. It's also a solid way to pick out the groupies you want to take back to your smelly van after the show. Pointing cannot be overdone. Practice in front of a mirror. Your confidence will skyrocket once you see how cool you look. And if Bono has taught us anything, it's that ego can take you farther than talent. Noel and Liam from Oasis both know that they're cooler than John Lennon and Elvis put together, and so should you.