5 Rockers With Incredibly Unusual Hobbies

Billy Corgan. Jon Kopaloff-FilmMagic-GettyImages

Many rock stars have well known musical side projects. But some rockers also have less well known non-musical hobbies and/or business ventures—from involvement with professional wrestling to wine making to piloting jet planes. Here are some of the most interesting and unusual ways that rockers spend their time when they're not recording music and rocking concert stages around the world. 

The Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan Professional Wresting Promoter and Tea Room Owner 

Frontman for The Smashing Pumpkins Billy Corgan is an avid, lifelong professional wrestling fan describing himself as a "wrestlemaniac." In 2011, Corgan helped form Resistance Pro, an independent wrestling company where he served as creative director. Corgan left Resistance Pro in November 2014 after AMC cancelled a reality show about the venture he was set to star in a month earlier. In April 2015, Corgan became Senior Producer of Creative and Talent Development for Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling. Watch an interview with Corgan about joining TNA Wrestling here.

In 2012, Corgan opened Madame Zuzu's Tea House and Art Studio in his native Highland Park neighborhood in Chicago. Corgan occasionally performs shows at Madame Zuzu's including an infamous eight-hour synthesizer jam based on the theme of Herman Hesse's 1922 existentialist novella Siddhartha performed on February 28, 2014 which can be viewed here.


 

Maynard James Keenan Winemaker

Maynard James Keenan moved to Los Angeles in 1988 and formed the popular hard rock band Tool in 1990. Tool's 1996 song "Ænema" expresses Keenan's growing dissatisfaction with living in Los Angeles. In his lyrics he hopes that California will fall into the ocean from a natural disaster. Keenan sings, "Learn to swim, I'll see you down in Arizona Bay." Ironically, Keenan moved to Jerome, Arizona in the mid-90s and eventually established the Caduceus Cellars winery and Merkin Vineyards.

Keenan, whose grandparents and great-uncle made wine in Northern Italy, has spearheaded the popularity of Arizona wine. In this clip from the 2010 documentary Blood Into Wine Keenan tells actress/singer/Puscifer collaborator Milla Jovovich he's still learning about the wine making process. Keenan reveals that in the future he envisions "the stage performances [with his bands] will become the fun part, the break from the wine making." Keenan sold his Hollywood Hills second home in 2014 and now resides primarily in Arizona.

Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden Jet Pilot, Fencing Champion and Craft Beer Creator

Singer Bruce Dickinson joined the heavy metal band Iron Maiden in 1981. In the 90s Dickinson took flight lessons in Florida and eventually attained his airline transport pilot's licence. For Iron Maiden's 2016 "The Book of Souls World Tour" Dickinson serves as captain of the band's "Ed Force One" Boeing 747-400 jumbo jet—named after the band's mascot Eddie.

Dickinson will pilot the band and their equipment to 35 countries across six continents. Watch a video of Dickinson discussing being a pilot here. In addition to aviation Dickinson has also competed internationally in fencing—once placing 7th in Great Britain. The singer also collaborated in 2013 with Robinsons Brewery in Stockport, England to create Trooper bottled ale. The beer has been shipped to 40 countries and sold over 2.5 million pints worldwide making it Robinsons' most successful export.

Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers Bee Keeper

In addition to holding down the bass groove with Red Hot Chili Peppers since 1983, playing with Radiohead's Thom Yorke in the supergroup Atoms for Peace, and co-founding the Silverlake Conservatory of Music for underprivileged children, Flea still has time for other hobbies. Since August 2015, Flea's Los Angeles backyard has housed an apiary with three beehives and over 200,000 bees.

Flea's new hobby is an effort to restore the dwindling honeybee population. Flea commented on his new obsession in an Instagram photo post, “Deep to the hive super organism. I love my bees. Flea’s bees.”  

River Cuomo of Weezer - Knitter

In a case of life imitating art, it turns out Weezer's first hit single "Undone - The Sweater Song" has a real-life tie in with Cuomo's hobby, knitting. In a series of 2009 Twitter posts Cuomo wrote, "Night-times reading Sherlock Holmes or knitting by my wife in bed couldn't be cozier." He also Tweeted, "Switched to knitting" and "I'm knitting in this pic. Not on Blackberry...

" during this time. So please don't pull threads and destroy any of Cuomo's sweaters—he may have knitted the sweater himself.