* This blog post is a summary of this video.

Making Money and Attracting Attention as a Musician

Author: Dire StraitsTime: 2024-01-24 10:45:00

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Money For Nothing Music Video

The music video for the 1985 song 'Money For Nothing' by Dire Straits was groundbreaking for its use of early computer animation and became an iconic symbol of 1980s pop culture. In this blog post, we will analyze the video's themes of pursuing fame, wealth, and romance through music and minimal effort.

Overview of the Music Video

The video depicts a blue-collar appliance delivery worker voiced by Dire Straits guitarist Mark Knopfler watching MTV and commenting enviously on the rock stars he sees in the videos, feeling they get 'money for nothing and chicks for free.' Interspersed are scenes of the fully computer animated band performing the song. The delivery man serves as the everyman foil to the glamorous MTV rock stars, critiquing their supposed lack of talent or hard work. His exaggerated caricature embodies a skeptical blue-collar perspective on the excesses of celebrity.

Key Takeaways

The video promotes several themes about achieving fame and fortune through music stardom. It suggests that rock stars can earn substantial money and attract beautiful women with relatively little effort simply by appearing in music videos. The delivery man believes he too could achieve this lifestyle if he had bothered to learn an instrument and perform on MTV.

Playing Guitar and Getting on MTV Leads to Fame and Fortune

A driving message of the 'Money For Nothing' video is that playing guitar in music videos leads to wealth and status with minimal exertion. The delivery man observes ironically, 'Maybe get a blister on your little finger, maybe get a blister on your thumb.' He implies rock stardom takes little hard work or talent.

Learning to Play Guitar

The delivery man notes regretfully that he 'shoulda learned to play the guitar' and drums. He believes that if he had just learned a few chords and riffs, he could be the one enjoying a life of luxury and groupies. This suggests music prowess itself takes little time or skill to acquire.

Performing on MTV

The delivery man is awed by the rock stars on MTV playing Caribbean-styled percussion and making 'Hawaiian noises.' Though he mocks them as having minimal musical ability, he still envies their lavish lifestyles. The video implies that making it onto MTV and music video rotation leads to instant money and fame.

Minimal Manual Labor Earns Maximum Rewards

The video further satirizes the idea that strenuous physical labor earns modest rewards, while media stardom and public image bring riches and privilege. The delivery man spends his days doing grueling appliance installations and deliveries but reaps little profit, while the rock stars live the high life just by looking cool on MTV.

Installing Appliances

The delivery man laments having to 'install microwave ovens' and make 'custom kitchen deliveries.' The mundane manual drudgery of his working-class job is contrasted against the lavish excesses of the rock and roll lifestyle.

Delivering Custom Kitchens

Moving refrigerators and color TVs represents backbreaking labor for the delivery man with little prestige or compensation. Meanwhile, the rock stars live like kings just for pantomiming a musical performance under glitzy lights. The ironic injustice is clear.

Fame and Wealth Attract Beautiful Women

A core message of the video is that rock stardom leads to abundant female attention purely based on money and status. The delivery man sees the band members surrounded by sexy groupies and concludes they get 'chicks for free' just for being rich and famous.

Flaunting Wealth and Fame

When the delivery man sees a band member with his own private jet, he labels him a 'millionaire' who gets beautiful women without even trying. The video perpetuates the stereotype that women are attracted to men for shallow reasons like wealth and celebrity.

Emphasizing Physical Appearance

The video zooming in on a groupie's cleavage and backside suggests women in rock videos serve as mere eye candy and status symbols. The delivery man's comments about band members with makeup and earrings likewise implies superficial appearance matters more than talent.

Key Messages and Takeaways

Summary of Main Points

The 'Money For Nothing' music video promotes the idea that rock stardom, however untalented, can lead to outsized rewards of wealth and beauty. It perpetuates stereotypes about gender roles and superficial attractions.

Final Thoughts

While a product of its time, the video's themes resonate in today's celebrity and influencer culture. The delivery man character represents skeptical perspectives on those who achieve fame and fortune without evident skill or merit.


The 'Money For Nothing' video provides social commentary on wealth, status, and gender roles in 1980s pop culture. While exaggerated and ironic, its themes reflect ambivalence about the meritless success of rock stars in the early MTV era. The delivery man serves as the voice of working-class skepticism toward the excesses of celebrity and image.


Q: How can a musician get attention and make money?
A: By learning to play guitar, getting exposure on MTV, doing basic jobs like appliance installations, and flaunting wealth to attract romantic partners.

Q: What are some key skills for musicians?
A: Key skills include learning to play guitar, drums, or other instruments, plus performing live and getting exposure on outlets like MTV.

Q: What kinds of jobs can provide easy money?
A: The song suggests jobs like installing microwaves, custom kitchen deliveries, and moving appliances can provide money for little effort.

Q: How can wealth and fame help attract romantic attention?
A: Flaunting luxuries like jet planes and portraying a rockstar image can help musicians attract romantic attention.

Q: Is emphasizing physical appearance important?
A: The song indicates that looks, makeup, and other stylistic choices also play a role in getting romantic attention.

Q: What are the key takeaways from the video?
A: Main points are that musicians can earn money and fame through guitar skills, MTV exposure, easy jobs, and flaunting an extravagant lifestyle.

Q: How can musicians get the lifestyles portrayed in the video?
A: By mastering their instruments, marketing themselves effectively via platforms like MTV, monetizing through performances, merchandise and royalties.

Q: What final thoughts does the video prompt?
A: The video promotes somewhat exaggerated stereotypes regarding wealth, gender roles and minimal effort paths to success in the music industry.

Q: Is misogyny endorsed in the video?
A: While subjective, lyrics referring to women as 'chicks' to be attained could reasonably be deemed misogynistic by modern standards.

Q: Does the video depict realistic career paths?
A: Not necessarily - the methods portrayed rely heavily on luck and outliers achieving fame and fortune rapidly.