10 Rock Star Jobs Before They Were Famous

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We’ve all been there: working jobs just to make a dollar.

For most rock stars, the road to success wasn’t traversed overnight. Many of our idols had to work dead-end gigs to help cover recording costs or provide a stable income outside of live shows.

We’re looking at 10 music superstars that worked the grind before making the big time.

Gene Simmons

Job: Assistant to Editor at Glamour & Vogue

Gene Simmons also worked as an elementary school teacher and a hotel pool lifeguard.

Johnny Cash

Job: Military Code Breaker

Cash worked in the cryptographic intelligence unit of the army.

Rod Stewart

Job: Gravedigger

When Rod wasn’t digging holes in London’s Highgate Cemetary, he also professionally played soccer with the Brentwood Football Club.

Kurt Cobain

Job: Janitor

After dropping out of high school, one of Cobain’s first gigs was returning to the same halls as a custodian.

Chris Cornell

Job: Fish Handler

Working for a seafood wholesaler, Cornell would sweep up the guts of a slimy market.

Tony Iommi

Job: Sheet Metal Worker

It was at this job Iommi chopped off the end of one of his fingers. The prosthetic fingertip helped develop his distinct guitar style.

Chuck Berry

Job: Beautician

Chuck Berry’s gifts extended far beyond music, and surprisingly included esthetics!


Job: Bus conductor

Not quite the ‘policeman’ gig you were hoping for.


Job:Golf Caddy

The gig only lasted for two weeks.

Mick Jagger

Job:Porter at a Mental Health Facility

He reportedly earned four pounds, ten shillings a week.

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