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Random Famous Musicians Who Once Had Terrible Day Jobs

  • Rod Stewart on Random Famous Musicians Who Once Had Terrible Day Jobs

    (#8) Rod Stewart

    • New Wave, Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Hard rock, Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Folk rock, Traditional pop music, Pop rock, Soft rock, Soul music, Progressive rock
    Rod Stewart dropped out of high school at the age of 15. Afterwards, he held several odd jobs including screen printer and electrician's assistant. Stewart was never a gravedigger, which was a common myth about his pre-rock star life. But he did work at the Highgate Cemetery in London, where he learned an important lesson. The British singer-songwriter worked marking graves and measuring burial plots. He said of the experience, "You learn a lot about yourself, doing physical work. And what I learned about myself was that I didn’t like doing physical work."
  • Stacy Ferguson on Random Famous Musicians Who Once Had Terrible Day Jobs

    (#22) Stacy Ferguson

    • Hip hop music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B, Pop rap, Rhythm and blues, Hard rock

    Back when Fergie was still Stacy Ann Ferguson, she voiced the character of Sally Brown for a few Peanuts TV Specials and The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show. Fergie held a couple other TV gigs before breaking out with The Black Eyed Peas in 2003. She was part of television's Kids Incorporated presentation team and co-hosted a TV program called Great Pretenders.

  • Mick Jagger on Random Famous Musicians Who Once Had Terrible Day Jobs

    (#10) Mick Jagger

    • Blues-rock, Rock music, Dance-rock, Reggae, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll, Soul music, Country, Psychedelic rock, Blues, Funk

    Perhaps Mick Jagger's gig as a temporary porter (errand person) at a psychiatric hospital served as the inspiration for The Rolling Stones song "19th Nervous Breakdown"? Jagger worked at the Bexley psychiatric hospital while he was a student at the London School of Economics. The job was not all work and no play, however: Jagger lost his virginity to a nurse in the hospital's store cupboard.

  • B.B. King on Random Famous Musicians Who Once Had Terrible Day Jobs

    (#18) B.B. King

    • Blues-rock, Soul blues, Rock music, Memphis blues, Electric blues, Jazz blues, Rhythm and blues, Big band, Jazz, Soul music, Blues, Country blues

    Legendary blues musician B.B. King held several farm jobs in the Mississippi Delta region. He picked cotton and baled hay. But the job he loved the most was driving a tractor. After dropping out of high school to earn money, he discovered that he was a "superstar" when it came to riding tractors. "I learned - I was kind of into - today I guess you would say technology because I learned to drive tractors and I was pretty good. I had never heard the word 'superstar' but when I think about it today, I was a superstar tractor driver. I loved it."

    He added, "But as a tractor driver I was popular. Hey, the girls look at you. I made a lot of money. I've been crazy about girls all my life. That was my downfall, I guess. It still is. But I made a lot of money. My salary compared to everybody else was great. I made $22.50 a week. I have chopped cotton for 75 cents a day. I've picked cotton for 35 cents a 100. When you're driving a tractor, you're sitting up there, all you got to do is use your expertise to keep it straight and don't plow up the cotton, which I didn't do too often because Mr. Barrett wouldn't have put up with it. So you slept very well at night having to do that every day. My music and being a tractor driver seemed to make me popular with the people."
  • Jon Bon Jovi on Random Famous Musicians Who Once Had Terrible Day Jobs

    (#7) Jon Bon Jovi

    • Glam metal, Classic rock, Rock music, Country rock, Heavy metal, Pop rock, Glam rock, Hard rock

    Jon Bon Jovi had his first hit single, "Run Away," at the age of 20. But even he had a couple brief day jobs before fronting one of the biggest rock bands in the world. His first job was making Christmas decorations. Next, he worked as a janitor at his cousin's recording studio, a very smart move considering he could record when the studio was vacant. His first professional recording came in 1980, blending elements of his daytime gigs with his apparent love for Star Wars. The track was called "R2-D2, We Wish You a Merry Christmas."

  • Chris Cornell on Random Famous Musicians Who Once Had Terrible Day Jobs

    (#17) Chris Cornell

    • Rock music, Grunge, Psychedelic pop, Heavy metal, Rhythm and blues, Psychedelic rock, Blues, Hard rock, Pop music, Funk metal, Contemporary R&B, Pop rock, Post-grunge, Alternative rock, Funk rock, Alternative metal
    You may know Chris Cornell as frontman of the grunge band Soundgarden, but before he hit the top of the charts with "Black Hole Sun," he worked as a fish handler in Seattle. It's clear that his gig cleaning fish was not as glamorous as being a grunge god. "I did it for years, from my early teens on," he recalls. "My job was to wipe up the slime and throw away the fish guts. I met pretty much every sous-chef in town because they would come in and look around at what we had. I think we had the best wholesale seafood in town. The owner was impeccable about it."

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About This Tool

The vast majority of music creators need to find another job to pay the bills, at least at the beginning of their careers. It is very difficult to make a living from any form of art, whether it is acting, dancing, singing, playing musical instruments, etc., and as far as the current economic situation is concerned, only a certain number of celebrities can get support and high income.

There may be millions of people who want to do nothing but write, record and tour all day, which means quitting day job, which sounds wonderful. But this is very difficult without financial support. The random tool lists 22 famous musicians who had terrible jobs.

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