This weekend, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea revealed that he had started keeping bees. Apparently, he already has more than 200,000 of the things in his collection. But he’s not the only musician with an unlikely hobby – here are some of the surprising ways that pop stars spend their down time…
Today, and apropos of nothing much in particular, we’re looking at the secret hobbies of some of our favourite musicians, starting with… Roger Daltrey – Trout Farmer. The kids are alright, and so are the fish.
Ellie Goulding – Jogger. In an extensive interview she gave to The Runner magazine, Goulding is quoted as saying; “Yea, I’ve tried smack but there’s no bigger thrill than looking down at your Pedometer and realising that you’ve beaten your average.”
Alex James – Cheesemaker. He lives in a house, a very big house in the country…making lots of cheese.
Gary Numan – Test Pilot. Like Ryanair, Gary plays a song everytime he lands on time, but for him it’s a version of ‘Cars’.
River Cuomo – Knitter. Finally! The meaning behind ‘Undone – The Sweater Song’ is revealed!
Jack White – Upholsterer. The chair Jack is sitting in, in the photo on the left, is made out of Meg’s old leg (don’t worry, it was 40 % wooden).
Charlie Watts – Car Collector. Fact : ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ was written about Watts’ attempt to use unwanted copies of the ‘SuperHeavy’ album as an alternative form of car fuel, by melting them down and adding butter. So far, it hasn’t worked.
Brian May – Astrophysics. At one of Freddie Mercury’s famous ‘dwarves ‘n’ coke’ parties, May kept the revellers rapt with a brief, 13 hour re-telling of his paper ‘Trigonometric Parallaxes of Massive Star-Forming Regions’.
Pixies’ David Lovering – Magician. After many years of attempting to get them to reunite, Lovering was forced to get the Pixies back in a room together and pretend the ‘sawing a woman in half trick’ had gone terribly wrong with bassist Kim Deal playing his stooge. 2 pints of fake blood and a fake leg later, the quartet realised how much they meant to each other and reformed for good.
Rod Stewart – Model Trains. Few know that not only is he an avid collector of model trains, but the Thomas the Tank Engine character Percy The Small Engine was based on the Scots rocker.
Nick Zinner – Photographer. Despite having access to the inner sanctum of rock and roll, Zinner’s favoured photographic subjects are “metal handles on doors. I find them quite scary actually,” he said recently.
Phil Collins – Historian. Despite rumours he has retired, Collins is planning to reunite with his Genesis bandmates for a triple concept album based around Attila The Hun’s wife Susan.
Cherie Currie – Chainsaw Artist. The former Runaways singer now sculpts replicas of The Bangles before setting them alight and singing ‘Eternal Flame’ in a really creepy voice.
Alice Cooper – Golf. ‘No More Mr Nice Guy’ is based on a bad experience he had playing against a someone who pretended to miss the putt just to keep his handicap.
Big Boi – Dog Breeder. Whilst Andre 3000 was celebrating his success with ‘Hey Ya!’, Big Boi was breeding a robot/ husky hybrid who can read minds. He plans to go public with it in 2012.
The Breeders’ Kelley Deal – Knitter. Kelley’s most popular scarfs come emblazoned with the legend ‘I’M NOT KIM’.
Lemmy – Nazi Memorabilia Collector. His favourite piece of memorabilia includes a teacup that Hitler used to drink his favourite brew of Hibiscus and rosebud tea in.
Robbie Williams – UFO Enthusiast. During the original Take That days, Robbie used to make the others watch The X Files on the tourbus, believing it to be a fact based documentary series.
Tool’s Maynard James Keenan – Winemaker. His label ‘Winey Wine’ was shortlisted as one of Decanter‘s ‘Best Chardonnay’ in 1999.
Ronnie Wood – Stamp Collector. During his bitter divorce with ex-wife Jo, he was known to have screamed “I don’t want the house, the cars or the kids, I just want custody of my rare Benjamin Franklin Z Grill stamp!”