If I were a rock god (it could happen), I’d be content with my gold records, whiskey-filled Jacuzzi, and jaguar on a leash. I’m a simple person with simple needs. But for some real actual superstars, rock fame just isn’t enough. These renaissance men need to show us mere mortals that they can excel in every endeavor they dip their stupid little superstar rock fingers into. Want to feel poor about your achievements? Get off the couch and read on: [photo courtesy of ItLoud]
Brian May/Guitarist for Queen
Brian May is on Rolling Stone’s list of the Top 100 guitarists ever – EVER! Street creds: This god-of-rock played the guitar solo on “We Are the Champions,” sang the bass parts on “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and penned the anthem “We Will Rock You.” With those rock accolades, a guy could pretty much retire to his own private island and bang supermodels all day long. But that wasn’t enough for Mr. May. This renaissance bloke is also an astrophysicist. May earned a doctorate from Imperial College in 2007. His dissertation was on interplanetary dust. His book on the subject, Bang! The Complete History of the Universe, was released in 2006. May’s passion for physics was also an inspiration for Queen. According to NPR:
In “We Will Rock You,” he designed the sound of the famous “stomp stomp clap” section — to make it sound like thousands of people were stomping and clapping — based on his knowledge of sound waves and distances.
That’s right, Brian May is a major nerd. When not remastering old Queen recordings, May serves as chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University. Rock on Chancellor May!
Greg Graffin/ Lead vocalist for Bad Religion
Bad Religion is considered one of the most successful and influential punk acts in U.S. history. Formed in 1979, this L.A. hardcore band has sold over 5 million albums worldwide. Lead vocalist Greg Graffin belted out songs with a social consciousness; riddled with political and religious commentary. In 2003, he earned his PhD in Zoology from Cornell University. Though he continues to tour with Bad Religion, Graffin also spends a couple of semesters each year as a science professor at UCLA. Give me a B+ for impressed Professor Graffin!
If you’ve watched the British comedy show, The Mighty Boosh, you are aware of Gary Numan’s musical magnitude that woos Vince Noir. Numan is considered a pioneer of electronic music. Known for his chart-topping hits “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” and “Cars,” his signature sound consisted of heavy synthesiser hooks fed through guitar effects pedals. But that wasn’t enough for Mr. Numan; he has a secondary career as a leading stunt pilot.
“I wanted to be a pop star, a pilot, or a racing car driver,” Numan said. “All very similar schoolboy ideas!”
Are we friends electric? You bet Pilot Numan!
Moby/Electronica DJ and Tea Shop Owner
Besides his feuds with Eminem, Moby is one of the preeminent electronica artist in the music. This trademarked bald, vegan and animal rights activist – is also a tea shop owner…Okay, that’s not as exciting as being a stunt pilot, teaching science, guy who invented free chat, or studying dust particles – but Moby often acts as waiter at his own tea shop; which must be a puzzling to customers. (“Moby, are the records selling that poorly?)
“Another Earl Gray, Mr. Moby!”