No matter how much you love the guitar, sooner or later you're probably going to find yourself looking for an additional hobby - especially when guitar becomes your day job. Rock star hobbies are as varied as any other, but it's perhaps even more incongruous to see a usually denim-and-leather-clad rocker striding along a golf course or crafting an arch.
10. Richie Kotzen - Home Renovation
In an interview with Guitar Messenger, Kotzen (solo, Mr. Big, Poison) explained how he spends his downtime. "The other passion I have is buildings, believe it or not. I own a home in the Hollywood Hills, and I’m constantly remodeling it, and it’s my hobby." At the time of the interview, Kotzen was knee-deep in a bathroom renovation. "I did something very cool – I made my first arch. When you go into the shower, it’s in the shape of an arch, and I never did that before. It’s a whole process to make that happen, so that was kind of exciting for me!"
9. Kirk Hammett - Surfing
Both Kirk Hammett and his Metallica bandmate Robert Trujillo are avid surfers, and as revealed in the film Some Kind Of Monster, he had a huge mural painted in his corner of Metallica HQ depicting the band riding some waves. That's not Hammett's only non-guitaristic passion though: he also has a renowned collection of horror movie memorabilia. "It's something I've been into ever since I can remember," Hammett told Rolling Stone in 2010. "I remember finding my first monster magazine in San Francisco when I was six years old. "My favorite horror movie is probably either The Mummy or Bride of Frankenstein. I'm an old-school guy, you know, a big Boris Karloff fan."
8. Paul Stanley - Painting
KISS's Paul Stanley takes his art quite seriously, and commands accordingly high prices for his work. For a guy who primarily wears black and silver onstage, his paintings are surprisingly colorful and warm, with a preponderance on hippy symbols such as peace signs and hearts, and a Pop Art-like flair for co-opted cultural iconography, including Robert Johnson, the Statue of Liberty, the Mona Lisa and his KISS bandmates.
7. Geddy Lee - Baseball Memorabilia
In the Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage documentary, bass player/vocalist Geddy Lee explains how his love of baseball grew as a way of letting off steam with something not related to music. He found himself watching a lot of baseball in hotel rooms between gigs, and from there he began to amass an impressive collection of baseball memorabilia. In 2008 he donated his collection of almost 200 autographed Negro League baseballs to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City. Lee is also an avid wine collector.
6. Dave Mustaine - Martial Arts
The Megadeth frontman and thrash pioneer has explored many hobbies over the years, including horse breeding and skydiving (the latter being immortalized in the track "High Speed Dirt" from the album Countdown To Extinction) but the hobby he seems to love discussing the most is his love of martial arts. Mustaine started studying different fighting techniques when he was 12, and earned a first degree black belt in Ukidokan Karate under Benny 'The Jet' Urquidez as well as a black belt in Taekwondo. He's even an official Goodwill Ambassador to the World Taekwondo Federation in South Korea.
5. Neil Young - Trains
At one time the legendary Neil Young was a part owner of Lionel, LLC, one of the world's best-known model train and railroad accessories companies, and he still consults for the company to this day. He is named as co-inventor on seven US patents related to model trains, including the Lionel Legacy system, which Lionel claims will allow you to "operate your layout like an engineer operates his train."
4. Steve Vai - Bee Keeping
Everyone's favorite guitar-slinger from Venus became interested in bee keeping when he lived in Hollywood, but when he moved to Encino, California his hobby took even greater focus. As Vai told the DIY channel a few years ago (clip below), "I went online, learned about honeybees, found a local beekeeper - a really nice guy named Dave the Bee Man - and got myself a swarm!" Vai quips that he can relate to the honeybees' 'work ifself to death' work ethic. Vai has been known to auction off honey from his own bees to benefit his Make A Noise Foundation charity, and you can hear musical evidence of his pass-time in the songs "Bangkok" and "Voodoo Acid."
Steve Vai - Beekeeper!
3. Jeff Beck - Cars
The inimitable Jeff Beck is into classic Ford hot rods, and he performs much of the exterior and engine work himself. Beck told TV show Car Crazy that he unsuccessfully tried to buy the yellow deuce coupe driven by the character John Milner (Paul Le Mat) in George Lucas's 1973 film American Graffiti. Beck took matters into his own hands and built his own replica of the car, although a few years later he actually came to own the license plate number THX 138, which Lucas used in the movie in tribute to his previous film, THX 1138.
2. Nikki Sixx - Photography
The Motley Crüe bass player/songwriter spends a lot of his between-show downtime visiting the seedier parts of town to meet and photograph the downtrodden, and the results are all through his latest book, This Is Gonna Hurt. Sixx is also an avid camera collector, although as he says in his book, he will use whatever it takes to get the right shot, even if that means the camera in his cellphone. Sixx's work displays a finely-developed sense of professionalism and style that are good enough to make you forget that his day job is as a member of one of the biggest rock bands in the world.
1. Alice Cooper - Golf
On his VH1 Behind The Music special, the reigning king of shock rock says he took up golf around the time that he quit drinking - it helped to keep his mind off alcohol and essentially became a new, healthy addiction. Alice claims to play six games a week off a handicap of two, and he's such a golf fiend that his 2007 autobiography was called Alice Cooper, Golf Monster. Alice is not alone in his love of the game: other rock n' golfers include Rush's Alex Lifeson and Judas Priest's KK Downing.