Rock Stars who graduated from college?

My husband and I were talking about our beloved Barenaked Ladies and wondering if any of them had graduated from college. We couldn’t imagine they had because they got together in high school (or maybe it was even junior high).

We were thinking rock star is probably one of the few professions where getting a college degree interferes with your likelihood of success.

So who’s done both?

I seem to recall that Brian May of Queen is quite well educated. In fact, he was working on a Ph.D. in astrophysics, I think, and left when the band took off. Presumably he already had a degree or two.

I’ve heard a similar story about some of the guys from The Offspring. I think the guitarist and/or lead singer are ABDs from a Ph.D. program.

Last, a friend into hardcore metal told me of a band that was composed of medical doctors. I’ve forgotten their name, but their songs often mention medical stuff…

Gordon Sumner (Sting) attended the University of Warwick and Northern Counties Teacher Training College. He presumedly graduated from the latter as he later worked as a teacher.

Mick Jagger attended the London School of Economics. Don’t know if he got a degree.

Sheryl Crow graduated from the University of Missouri and worked as a teacher.

Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Michael Stipe were all attending the University of Georgia when they founded REM but they all dropped out when the band became big.

Phish was another college band. Trey Anastasio, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon, Jeff Holdsworth, and Page McConnell were students at the University of Vermont (three of them later transferred to Goddard College).

Liz Phair attended Oberlin College. Again, I can’t confirm she actually graduated.

May attended the Imperial College London and was working on his Ph.D. thesis in astronomy but hadn’t completed it when he left for a musical career. Apparently he was a serious student however and was later awarded an honorary doctorate from Hertfordshire University.

According to wikipedia, Bryan “Dexter” Holland is working on his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the University of Southern California.

American musician Deniz “The Iceman” Tek is a more famous figure in Australian rock. While studying medicine in Sydney he formed the now legendary Radio Birdman an ongoing influence on Australian music. He returned to the states to become a marine flight surgeon with an appropriate cool call sign. He returned to music with various bands in the 90s.

Tom Scholz attended MIT and received bachelors and masters degrees in mechanical engineering before getting a job with Polaroid and puttiing his savings into musical equipment.

Nope. He dropped out when the Stones began to make it big.

Jim Morrison studied film at UCLA and graduated before teaming up with Ray Manzarek, who also studied at UCLA.

She did with a B.A. in Art History. Cite: Sorry I have no idea how to do the HTML link thingie.

I’m pretty sure Gene Simmons (of KISS) was a high school English teacher at one point, so presumably he went to college.

Milo Aukerman ( formerly of the Descendants ) supposedly has a PhD in biochemistry.

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Pretty sure both members of They Might Be Giants are college grads, but can’t seem to find any evidence supporting my claim.

Geoff Tate, lead singer of the band Queensryche, double-majored (I think) in Poli Sci and Econ.

I think this was one of the audience trivia questions they asked at one of the Dallas shows. I’m pretty sure they said that Tyler was the only one who’d graduated from college.

Bob Dylan went to the University of Minnesota but only for one year

Art Garfunkel went to Columbia University

Bob Geldof went to Blackrock College

David Gilmour went to the Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology

Chrissie Hynde went to Kent State University

Janis Joplin went to the University of Texas but didn’t graduate

Lou Reed went to Syracuse University

Paul Simon got a degree in English Literature from Queens College

Grace Slick went to Finch College and the University of Miami

Pete Townsend went to Ealing Art College

The Talking Heads- Rhode Island School of Design (I don’t know how to spell RIZ-dee)

I believe Bruce Dickinson (lead singer of Iron Maiden) got a history degree from Queen Mary’s College in London.

Dunno if either of these really count as rock stars but …

Greg Graffin, lead singer of Bad Religion, which was formed when he was, like, 14, got his PhD in geology or some such from Cornell.

Kris Kristopherson graduated from Pomona College and was a Rhodes Scholar

Bryan Ferry graduated from Newcastle University.

I think it was sociology. (He’s the guy I came here to mention.)

A bunch of guys who went to GWU here in D.C. started a bunch of bands which, while not leading to stardom, did tour and play out alot. Probably the most famous is Neil Fallon of Clutch, which has acheived a good bit of success, though I’d be reluctant tocall them “stars.”

Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave has an undergrad degree from Harvard. A drummer in a previous band I was in played in bands at Harvard at the same time and said that he was a full-on, spandex wearing hair metal kinda guy. My friend’s band actually beat Morello’s and a battle of the bands.

The drummer from Semisonic (“Closing Time” was their big hit) - I think his name is Jason Schlicter - also went to Harvard. He recently wrote a book about his experience in being in a one-hit band and dealing with the Industry that got very positive reviews…