Humble Beginnings: Jobs Before They Made It

You'd be surprised where these musicians started out before making it to the big leagues

If you’re a musician working your little fingers to the bone at a dead-end job waiting for your big break, may you find peace knowing some very successful musicians had very humble beginnings before they were famous.

Jack White

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Before Jack White decided to play music for a living, he was a furniture upholsterer for years even opening up Third Man Upholstery. He recycled that name for his record shop/recording studio/label that’s in Nashville today.
 

Wayne Coyne

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Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips gave up the fast life of cooking at Long John Silvers to play in the Flaming Lips. He worked there for 13 years and was once robbed at gunpoint. He really enjoyed the job and it allowed him to work at his music.
 

Brandon Flowers

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Before Brandon Flowers broke with the Killers he worked as a Bellman at the Gold Coast Casino in Las Vegas carrying luggage and bags around for rich people. I’ve also read stories about how he would call his friends and sing song ideas to their answering machines when he would get one while working.
 

Ezra Koenig

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Before Ezra Koenig had one of the most famous and respected indie bands he was an eighth grade teacher in Brooklyn. His kids would throw paper balls at him, put gum on his chair and write on his shirt. To this day some of them still say they can’t picture him being a famous musician.
 

Dan Rossen


Dan Rossen from Grizzly Bear was an Elvis Impersonator before he was famous. A pretty bad one too if I might add, he looks nothing like Elvis and doesn’t even know the words.
 

Kevin ‘Noodles’ Wasserman

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Before Noodles joined the Offspring he was a Janitor at an elementary school. He was planning on quitting the band, then “Come Out and Play” started getting airplay and he reconsidered. Kurt Cobain was also a Janitor at one point before Nirvana took off.
 

Lauren Mayberry

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Lauren Mayberry is the voice of one of the biggest new bands of 2013. Before she played in Chvrches she went to school for four years earning a Law degree and after that a Masters in Journalism. She spent a few years as a freelance journalist before Chvrches.
 

Johnny Cash

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This is a little bizarre. Before Johnny Cash became the legend he is, he was in the Army and was assigned to the Cryptographic Intelligence Unit which is a fancy way of saying he was a Military Code Breaker.
 

Nick Harmer

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Before Nick Harmer played Bass in Death Cab for Cutie he was a Sanitation Worker.
 

Ozzy Osbourne

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Ozzy Osbourne makes this list just because before he was famous a couple of his jobs were perfectly fitting for who he became. He was a car horn tuner and a hand at a slaughterhouse preparing him to become the Prince of Darkness.