Many of us admire or even envy rockstars. What’s not to envy after all? A rockstar’s life consists of rocking on stage with thousand –maybe even millions- of people adoring everything you do, getting treated like royalty and attending parties. And of course getting paid big time to do it all. That’s the life! As if being members of one successful band isn’t enough, rockstars always find the time to start a side project, or another band. As if they needed more money and fame. But surprisingly, that’s not all rockstars are up to in their spare time. No, these dudes even get the time to have hobbies. You see, they take up unusual hobbies, not to promote their career like we would, but just because they feel like it. These people are truly amazing, not only do they have the energy to have successful careers, but they also get the energy to commit to other things, things that are seemingly as mundane as playing chess or growing pumpkins.
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If you are intrigued to see what rockstars do when they are not on tour, we have put together a list of a few rockstars and some of their unusual hobbies. So read on to find out what your favourite rock star does in his spare time.
It is reported that most members of the band The Red Hot Chili Peppers have a thing for the game of chess. Apparently, however, the band’s bassist, Flea, is a bit of a stand out with his superior chess skills. Flea even took his hobby so far as to challenge the world’s number one chess player, Magnus Carlsen, while the band was touring for the Rock in Rio festival back in 2011. It is no surprise that Flea did not win that battle, however those who witnessed the match say he did display some serious skills and lasted the longest out of all the band members.
2. Phil Collins
The former frontman of the band Genesis, Phil Collins, once revealed to Rolling Stone that he is also quite the collector. Collins’ Swiss home is reportedly filled to the brim with artifacts from the Battle of Alamo that went down in 1836. His collection reportedly contains pieces like cannonballs, flasks, swords, maps, a Bowie knife and an autographed copy of Davy Crockett’s autobiography. His passion for the battle goes even further; Collins even named his Jack Russell terrier after the Alamo commander William Barrett Travis. He supposedly even has a painting of himself that depicts him wearing a 19-century military uniform next to defenders of the Alamo just before heading into the great battle.
3. Jim Martin
Jim Martin is better known for his position as the guitarist of the band Faith No More. As well as having the skills to shred a solo on the guitar it seems Martin also has an exceptional green thumb. Many famous performers tend to own big patches of farmland, but few get involved like Martin. Martin has previously said that he will spend around six months of the year working on his farm and has sometimes even gotten annoyed that he has had to go off to band practice and not been able to spend time on his farm. A fan of growing pumpkins, it seems Martin has gotten so good at his hobby that he has even managed to win a couple of awards. A particularly interesting one was for the time he managed to grow a massive championship pumpkin that weighed over 1000 pounds.
4. Bruce Dickinson
Though he joined the band Iron Maiden in 1981 it seems singing is not Bruce Dickinson’s only passion and talent. During the 90s the vocalist began taking flying lessons and eventually got his transport pilot’s license. In fact Dickinson even flew his band and their equipment to 35 different countries in their "Ed Force One" Boeing 747-400 jumbo jet. The plane was named after the band’s mascot Eddie. The rocker also owns his very own aircraft maintenance business.
Flying planes is not the only past time Dickinson has indulged in. The singer has also taken up the sport of fencing. He was good enough to even be ranked number seven in Britain at one point in time. Apart from that, Dickinson has also found the time to get into the liquor business in collaboration with Robinsons Brewery in Stockport, England. Creating a Trooper bottled ale, the beer was sold in 40 different countries and has sold around 2.5 million pints. It ended up being the most successful export that Robinsons ever created.
5. Rod Stewart
This 70 year old rocker may have been gracing music stages for countless years, but it is not the only thing Rod Stewart has been doing with his time. For the past twenty years Stewart has been a model train enthusiast. This is not just some small hobby Stewart does on the side. Stewart takes his model trains very seriously, he even requests that there be an area backstage of his shows where he can spend time setting up tracks before the gigs. The singer has even build a replica of Grand Central Station in New York which ended up being featured on the cover of the magazine Model Railroader. This feature was something that Stewart was particularly proud of, he has said that it meant more to him than being featured on the cover of Rolling Stone. The whole design was made up of 100 feet of track pieces, around a dozen carriages, locomotives and skyscrapers and around a hundred passengers that were dressed in 1940s inspired clothing.
6. Dave Mustaine
Being a heavy rocker in the band Megadeath is not the only extreme thing frontman Dave Mustaine gets up to. In fact he has quite a few other hobbies to keep him entertained. Mustaine has been known to spend time jumping out of planes; he even wrote a song dedicated to his skydiving activities called High Speed Dirt. He also tackles horse breeding and has a miniature horse by the name of Rocky. His third and final past time is martial arts. Mustaine has managed to get his black belt in Taekwondo and Ukidokan and has even been made a Goodwill Ambassador of the World by the World Taekwondo Federation, which when abbreviated is called WTF. Seems fitting.
7. Alex James
When the band Blur took a twelve-year hiatus between albums, what exactly did band member Alex James do with his spare time? He got in to cheese making of course. In fact he did pretty well, coming out with three varieties called Farleigh Wallop, Little Wallop, Goddess and Blue Monday which all reportedly tasted pretty damn good.
8. Charlie Watts
Hearing that a rockstar like Charlie Watts of Rolling Stones has a thing for collecting classic cars may not seem that strange. When you do not actually have a driver’s license though, then it does seems a bit more unusual. Why would you collect cars if you can’t drive them? Watts and his wife also spend their time breeding champion horses which does not require a license and makes a bit more sense.
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As if being famous rock stars wasn’t enough, it seems that rock stars have also got a myriad of other talents and hobbies sitting below the surface. This list just goes to show that when it comes to rock stars, there tends to be more than meets the eye.
Do you know of any other rockstars with unusual hobbies or interests? Share with us in the comment section below.