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  • Joanna.Live

Jon Levin (of Dokken), Brilliant Rockstars & Non-traditional Students

Jon Levin, a fellow Piscean (I couldn't resist throwing in that tidbit), has a second career of which some fans are unaware. In his young adulthood, Levin moved to the West Coast to pursue an education and career in entertainment law. Being an accomplished rock musician who was influenced by Randy Rhoads, Eric Clapton, and George Lynch, Jon Levin was not a fan of the grunge music scene in the 1990s, which prompted him to pursue higher education instead of a full-time music career. Since graduating from law school, he has served as legal counsel for licensing programs, such as Orange County Choppers and Rockstalgia of Paidas Management, and fortunately for us, Levin has returned to playing music and currently tours with Dokken.

Being an international educational consultant who assists students in determining their futures, people tend to erroneously think that I believe every student should attend college. Not so. Not so at all. College is a good fit for some students, but then there are others who are skilled with their hands and are better suited to learning a trade, or those who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) where a career moving around is preferable (personal trainer or paramedic), and then others who have a skill upon which they can build a small business (computer technician, artist, etc.). Additionally, we live in a fast-paced, technologically-advanced age where students are no longer expected to follow a traditional trajectory of graduating from high school and heading straight to college. There are many programs available to non-traditional students where a skill or education can be pursued at any age. Some simple math demonstrates that Levin was one of these non-traditional students since he was born in 1966 and graduated cum laude 30 years later (in 1996) from Loyola Law School.

It's no secret that many musicians opt to forego high school and college in lieu of pursuing a career in music. I happen to think this is fabulous because I feel that the world is a giant classroom, and what better way to learn about people and life than to travel the world? Had I been given the opportunity to expand my creative skills while traveling the globe instead of attending college right after high school, I would have jumped at the chance, but alas, that was not the path I was meant to travel.

While writing this blog, a memory of a conversation I had with a past boyfriend came to mind. We were talking about musicians and he made a derogatory comment that all rockstars are stupid. Firstly, I do not care for the word "stupid" and I tend not to include it in my vocabulary. Secondly, this man's comment was totally ludicrous, biased, and vastly unevolved. That's like saying all Americans are loud and obnoxious, or all Californians drive a Prius (we all know that they drive Teslas). I happen to think that musicians are brilliant because they're doing something highly creative that they love and are immensely passionate about, and they're getting paid for it. Additionally, these professionals' creations uplift, heal, and bring people together. There's nothing "stupid" about that!

Jon Levin was smart because he was open to exploring alternative avenues when he was faced with an obstacle. He looked around at the music scene in the 1990s, decided it wasn't for him, and embarked on a journey where he expanded his skillset that has served him well.


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