When thinking about rock stars, you may picture someone that spends their life hanging with groupies before a show, playing a one-hour set on stage and then it’s time for post-show groupie time. For some, this may be accurate, but there are a number of “classic” rock stars that continue to work their asses off, and I’m not referring to the groupie scene here. In some cases, these rock stars are old enough to collect social security, yet they still make music, go on tour, write books, host radio shows and much, much more. Here are 10 rock stars well past their prime that still work harder than you.
Unfortunately, Motorhead frontman Lemmy just missed the list, recently passing at the age of 70. Despite his ongoing illnesses and age, Lemmy and his band Motorhead were still putting out music right up until his cancer diagnosis, just days before he died. Other honorable mentions include Paul McCartney, a legend that seems to be available anytime there’s an on-screen collaboration, Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day) who found time to release three albums and perform in a Broadway musical based on his music, and finally, Sebastian Bach who continues to make music as a solo artist as well as being an available voice for whatever super group of the week is touring.
We’ve got ex-addicts done straight, rockers that continue to defy celebrity death pools, lots of hair, and of course, Dave Grohl (because he is everywhere). Here are 10 classic rock stars that still work harder than you:
10. Ozzy Osbourne
Ozzy Osbourne has always been a pioneer and in the world of juggling lots of projects. Osbourne set the stage again. Ozzy started off with Black Sabbath before getting fired and going solo. His career really took off and so did his drinking, eventually leading to sobriety. As he reaches his elder years, Osbourne is busier than ever. After several years of headlining his own festival he now makes his own music, finds time to show his face in commercials and can anyone forget The Osbournes? Ozzy and his family gave every rock star another way to earn a living. Not bad for a man known as the Godfather of Heavy Metal.
9. David Coverdale
David Coverdale was the original lead singer of Deep Purple – a lot of people don’t know that. After quitting he went on to front his band, Whitesnake. His band was always prolific, putting out lots of music with endless touring. In his off time he didn’t stop; instead, when his band mates weren’t available he found others to collaborate with. Jimmy Page and Coverdale made beautiful music together before Coverdale went back to his band. Despite their senior citizen status, Whitesnake hasn’t stopped making music, dropping a new album in 2015 titled The Purple Album, a collection of cover songs Coverdale originally did with Deep Purple.
Everything is harder when you are part of this band, at least that’s just the way it looks anyway. Metallica have sold over 110 million albums around the world and they continue to make music and tour and drive each other crazy. A lot of this is their perfectionist ways, the rest is that they no longer party or use drugs. The counseling alone this band requires would keep anyone busy for a lifetime, yet they somehow keep producing intense, long albums that generally resonate with their fan base. On the off chance there isn’t anything going on, they can always count on Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine to stir the waters.
7. Chester Bennington
Chester Bennington is another lead singer that shook off his addiction and supplements drugs by playing in bands. He is most famous for his band Linkin Park, but that’s not his only outlet. In addition to Linkin Park, Bennington has sang lead vocals for Stone Temple Pilots and his band Dead by Sunrise, and has had stints with bands Z-Trip and Julien-K. Not enough bands for you? How about his cover band named Bucket of Weenies! Yeah, Bennington could support a festival with just his bands. He also has dipped his toes on the big and small screen, appearing in Saw 3D: The Final Chapter and working on a television show titled Mayor of the World.
6. Vince Neil
Vince Neil never stops touring, he hasn’t for years. When Motley Crue wasn’t raiding towns Neil would be with his solo band, often playing the same songs. That’s why it’s so surprising when you take a look at his other ventures. Neil has his own tequila line named Tes Rios, a tattoo parlor in Las Vegas, was part-owner of an arena football team (since taken back by the league) and part-owner of restaurants and a strip club aptly named Vince Neil’s Girls, Girls, Girls. A few years back when Motley wasn’t touring Neil used his free time to be on the shows Surreal Life and Skating With The Stars. Yeah, not good choices, the strip club makes a lot more sense.
5. Michael Monroe
How old is Michael Monroe? A hundred? No, he’s not, but considering he is credited with turning Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles into hair band central in the eighties, obviously it’s been a lot of years. Monroe, also known as High in the Sky and Psychedelic Kid is one of the founders of glam punk, glam metal and really everything in between. He started with Hanoi Rocks, but was also part of Demolition 23 and Jerusalem. He has collaborated with many bands including Guns N’ Roses (who also cite Monroe as a major inspiration) and continues to put out solo albums while ripping up the summer festival circuit. You will be hard pressed to look at any major festival and not find his name and should not be surprised to see him up on stage with other acts such as Slash. He’s always up on stage with Slash…
What’s interesting about Slash is the mystery of Slash. He doesn’t really leave his area of music, but his reach is much farther than you’d think. Slash is one of the biggest collaborators in rock and pop music. He has worked with bands ranging from the Yardbirds to Michael Jackson to Insane Clown Posse. Of course there was the band Guns N’ Roses, but then countless solo band incarnations and albums followed. Where can you find Slash? Well, he will be reuniting with Guns N’ Roses, but also pretty much any classic rock awards show or celebration, he is there, often winning awards for best guitarist. In 2015 he supposedly shot scenes for the SpongeBob Movie, but his scenes were later cut. That movie is the one example (and maybe only) of a Slash collaboration that apparently didn’t work out.
3. Duff McKagan
Duff McKagan is best known as original blond bassist for the band Guns N’ Roses. Did you know he’s a prolific writer as well? McKagan has written for Seattleweekly.com, ESPN.com and Playboy.com to name a few outlets. He also pens books, he has written two with a third in the works. All of this in addition to his work with his bands Loaded, Kings of Chaos and recently reunited Guns N’ Roses. He has also performed with Jane’s Addiction and joined Axl Rose on stage during the “break up” years. McKagan also finds time as a major supporter of The Heroes Project. McKagan has left his wild drinking days in the past and has used his time to reflect, do good and continue to make kick-ass music.
2. Dave Grohl
So I guess Grohl is the young guy here, coming in at a tender 47 years old. Grohl is pretty much turned into Mr. Rock Star and has played with just about everyone. He started with Nirvana, but earned his own fame with Foo Fighters and then earned the reputation of being the nicest guy in the rock world, always available to work with bands and lend a hand. He also keeps busy with his “other band” Them Crooked Vultures and had a stint as the drummer for Queens of the Stone Age. When it’s not his band he lends himself as a session drummer. Grohl has played drums for McCartney, Slash, Lemmy, David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Tom Petty to name but a few. He directs, directing the documentary Sound City and has also been a host fill-in for the Chelsea Lately show. Grohl is one of the few working hard to keep rock music relevant and though a tough task, he’s been up for it.
1. Nikki Sixx
How does the founder of Motley Crue celebrate the end of his successful run? By putting out a double album with his other band, Sixx:AM. There are no breaks for Nikki Sixx. In addition to his bands he hosts radio shows Sixx Sense and The Side Show, writes books (The Heroin Diaries and This is Gonna Hurt) and is active in Running Wild in the Night, a branch of the Covenant House. Over the years Sixx has also lent his hand to a number of side projects, working with Sex Pistols, Lita Ford, Meatloaf and The Last Vegas. In addition to his two “current bands” he has been part of Brides of Destruction, 58 and London. It’s amazing the time you have once you kick heroin…
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