"So You Want to Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star" is a song by the American rock band The Byrds, written by Jim McGuinn and Chris Hillman and included on their 1967 album, Younger Than Yesterday. The song was released as a single on January 9, 1967 (see 1967 in music) and reached #29 on the Billboard Hot 100 but failed to chart in the United Kingdom. The song was inspired by the hype surrounding the creation of The Monkees, whose television series had recently debuted in America, launching the prefabricated band to international fame. The manufactured nature of the group caused Hillman and McGuinn to look upon the current state of the pop world with more than a little cynicism.
Musically, one of the song's main hooks is provided by McGuinn's striking 12-string Rickenbacker guitar riff, while Hillman's driving bassline forms the core of the song. Hillman has stated that he composed the song's bass guitar part during a recording session for South African musician Hugh Masekela. The song also features the trumpet playing of Masekela, which represents the first use of brass on a Byrds' recording. In addition, "So You Want to Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star" features the sound of hysterical teenage pop...