Overeducated musiciansJuly 6, 2008
Here at zed equals zee, we’re big fans of education. As musicians go, Queen guitarist Brian May pretty much has everyone beat – after setting his doctoral work in astrophysics aside to concentrate on music full-time, he returned to his dissertation some 30 years later, received his PhD, and is now Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University (the photo above is of him at his investiture). We’ve already talked about the Bon Savants, whose lead singer, Thom Moran – as everybody knows – worked as a rocket scientist at MIT, although I don’t know what his academic background is (they are playing at the Middle East Upstairs on Wednesday, July 9th, so you could probably ask him). There are also a couple of artists that I can think of who are actively balancing academic and musical careers. Another z=z fave, The Franklin Kite, features a frontman who did a PhD in astrophysics at MIT, and is now doing postdoctoral research at that university up the river. Even more notably, the lead singer of Bad Religion, Greg Graffin, not only has a PhD in zoology from Cornell, but he teaches at UCLA – apparently, he is on the timetable to teach Life Science 1 in the upcoming winter quarter (January 2009), after which the band will return to the studio.
Know any other scientist/academic/musicians that I missed? Tell us about them in the comments!