Yesterday’s revelation that Hulk Hogan used to be a session bassist (yes really!) and nearly joined Metallica, got the musicroom team thinking. Who are the most unlikely musicians with fame and careers in other completely unrelated fields?
Here’s our top 10!
10. John Barnes
Who can forget John Barnes’ display of rapping prowess in New Order’s world cup track, World In Motion? The Liverpool winger left an indelible mark on the hit with a rap he penned and performed himself.
Some may argue that the footballer’s musical cameos don’t truly qualify him for a place on a list of unlikely musicians, but did you know he was the only UK rapper to score a number one hit until Dizzee Rascal’s chart topper, Dance wiv me in 2008?
9. Tony Blair
Before New Order, and New Labour, there was Ugly Rumours, Tony Blair’s rock band from his university years at Oxford. Named after a lyric from The Grateful Dead’s From the Mars Hotel, Blair was the group’s singer and guitarist, joining after imitating Mick Jagger in his audition.
Ugly Rumours only played six gigs forcing Blair to leave his rockstar aspirations by the wayside. We all know what happened next, but would the ‘Cool Britannia’ movement of the 90s have happened without those halcyon days at Corpus Christi?
8. Sir Patrick Moore
Sir Patrick is the venerable host of The Sky At Night, and Britain’s best loved astronomer. He is also a semi-prolific musician, having jammed piano with a violin toting Albert Einstein (another potential fellow of this list), appeared on Morecomebe & Wise jangling a xylophone, and a composer of operettas and scores for his local theatre company.
7. William Shatner
The internet may have drawn a great deal of attention to the musical adventures of the man who played Captain Kirk, but for those still unfamiliar with William Shatner the musician, his spoken word pieces continue to provoke a reaction.
From his 1978 rendition of Rocket Man at the Sci-Fi Awards, to the YouTube remixes and mash-ups of the modern day, William Shatner certainly cuts an interesting figure in the world of music.
6. Neil Buchanan
He was once the jean wearing, red jumpered star of Art Attack, but Neil Buchanan has long enjoyed a double life in the limelight as the guitarist for heavy metal band, Marseille.
Maybe his museum bust sidekick, The Head, got his incredible neck flexibility from head banging at the front of one of Neil’s gigs?
5. Woody Allen
The legendary filmmaker is also an incredible jazz clarinettist, who knew?!
Allen can often be found busting out peformances in the small and discreet venues and jazz lounges of his beloved New York. He often misses the annual Oscars ceremony due to jazz gigs in New Orleans.
Woody Allen and his New Orleans Jazz band have also played Montreal Jazz festival on two occasions.
4. Jada Pinkett Smith
Although most famous for playing the role of Niobe in the Matrix, the actress and former wife of Will Smith, is also the lead vocalist in metal band, Wicked Wisdom.
The band were invited to play the 2005 Ozzfest after Sharon Osbourne saw them perform in a small LA venue. She would later state: “I was blown away. When you see and hear Jada with her band it’s apparent that she has nothing but love and respect for this genre of music.”
3. Richard Desmond
Infamous media mogul, Richard Desmond, is better known for his controversial business portfolio that includes adult entertainment and the tabloid newspaper The Daily Express.
What most people don’t know, however, is that Desmond is also an accomplished drummer, having formed the charity supergroup RD Crusaders, with Roger Daltry. The group has raised £14m to date for charitable causes including Marie Curie, The Teenage Cancer Trust, Norwood Child Care and the Evelina Children’s Hospital.
The band has an open and changing line-up, having featured the likes of Robert Plant, Lulu and Zoot Money over the years.
2. John McEnroe and Pat Cash
If somebody told you that two former elite tennis pros had decided to drop their rackets and pick up their guitars to form a band called Full Metal Rackets, you’d be left with a raised eyebrow and confused demeanour, waiting for the inevitable punch line.
This is no joke however (the name is a fantastic pun though, to be fair) and yet again Roger Daltry is involved.
John McEnroe and Pat Cash teamed up with Steve Harris and Nicko McBrain of Iron Maiden (and Roger Daltry) to record and release a single of Led Zepplin’s ‘Rock n Roll’ for charity.
You cannot be serious? They were.
1. David Hasselhoff
Not only was he the main man in Baywatch and Knightrider, David Hasselhoff also claims to have helped bring down the Berlin wall!
No, not in an action TV series or some cheesy sand-based swimming drama, but through his chart topping pop hits that saw Hasselhoff become one of Germany’s biggest stars throughout the 80s.
Since 1985, ‘the Hoff’ has released 17 studio albums, scoring number ones in Germany, Switzerland and, one three occasions, Austria.
When it comes to teutonic pop, don’t hassle the hoff!
Do you know of any unlikely music makers? Have we missed any you think the world should know about? Leave a comment below and let us know!