From Trent Reznor to Marilyn Manson, ten famous musicians before they were stars
All performers, no matter who they are or how talented they may be, had a time before they were famous when they were still coming into their own. For some, that time can be awkward or even cringe-inducing to reflect on, while for others, the progression seems more natural. Take a look at these ten acts before they were stars.
Trent Reznor with Slam Bamboo
Before Trent decided to exorcise his demons on record he just wanted to make you dance. In this performance, Reznor's kept towards the back of the stage, practically behind a curtain, but around the 1:00 mark, you catch a clear close-up of Mr. Nine Inch Nails himself on keyboards. We can only guess that Trent's decision to dress in all black was an early hint at the "downward spiral" that was to come. For even more fun, check out Exotic Birds, which was another early project that both Trent and Chris Vrenna were involved with.
Dr. Dre with World Class Wreckin Cru
Remember when Eazy-E pulled out that old picture to dis Dre in the shiny suit? Well the get-up was only half the story. Hang in there until the 3:13 mark to hear Dre come out from behind the tables and drop his verse on this track.
Maynard James Keenan with C.A.D.
Nowadays, there's not really too much that Maynard can do to surprise us, but when we first saw this old footage, we have to admit it was totally outside of anything we expected. But then we learned that C.A.D. stands for "Children of the Anachronistic Dynasty," and it all somehow made more sense.
Tori Amos with Y Kant Tori Read
For the first thirty seconds here, we're not sure if we're looking at a music video or a late night Skinemax featurette. This is quite a far cry from Tori we all know today.
RZA as Prince Rakeem / GZA as The Genius
No doubt Wu-Tang changed the hip-hop game in 1994 with the hardcore classic Enter the 36 Chambers. But before that, RZA and GZA just wanted kick it to the ladies. In the New Jack Swing era, this was pretty much par for the course, and these tracks were released by major labels at the time. When you hear "Come Do Me" by Genius, all of a sudden we understand GZA's verse on "Protect Ya' Neck" just a bit little bit more.
Billy Joel with Attila
If you ever wondered what the piano man would sound like doing psychedelic rock, then look no further than his stint with Attila. Oh, and don't miss the hair and mustache.
Skrillex with From First to Last
Before he was dropping the wobble bass, Sonny Moore was fronting a screamo band. Moore's course changed when (surprise, surprise) he blew out his voice and had to have vocal reconstruction surgery.
Aloe Blacc with Roc C
Before Aloe Blacc blew up, he was featured on Stones Throw labelmate Roc C's single "My Life." Aloe is Panamanian, so the accent and patois are probably not a put-on, but this is a far cry from the sound he's purveying now. You can also check out his first group Emanon to hear his skills as an MC... which actually aren't too bad.
Michael Bolton with Blackjack
Blue-eyed soul never sounded so glam. That hair...those mustaches...the wide-legged stance. We're in awe. This has surely got to top anything else we could dig up right? Oh wait...
Marilyn Manson with Spooky Kids
Yes, that is Marilyn Manson...rapping.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.