I had a college professor who was a guitarist in a rock band in an earlier life. Not exactly a rock star, but the band (Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen) had a few albums and songs hit the charts.
Donnie Iris, who had a couple of hits in the early '80s (“Ah! Leah!”, “Love Is Like a Rock”), has continued to perform and record ever since, though he’s now mostly a local musician in the western Pennsylvania/eastern Ohio area.
At some point in the early 1990s, he set up a mortgage business as a side project (and, I would suspect, to pay the bills), which he owned and ran for about 20 years.
I may have missed him already being mentioned, but how about Chris DeGarmo. One of the original guitarists and songwriters for Queensryche, he left the band and became a commercial pilot. You can’t say he’s completely retired since he has done a few collaborations over the years with other artists, but it hasn’t been his primary job in many years. Many fans, myself included, would argue his departure was the start of a long, downhill slide for the band.
Played bass guitar for the Shadows between 1959 & 1962 featuring on three UK No.1 records. Achieved another chart-topper with former Shadows drummer Tony Meehan in 1963. By then an alcoholic, Harris dropped out of the music business in the late 1960s.
He then worked in jobs including, but not limited to, bricklayer, hospital porter, bus conductor, labourer, and seafood salesman on a Jersey beach.
Roger Powell was a protege of Robert Moog and a pioneer in the development of keyboard synthesizers. He is probably most “famous” for being the keyboard/synth player for Todd Rundgren’s Utopia. After his music career he went back to work at Apple and Electronic Arts.
Me. I’m not going to say who I was with but I will be the first to tell you it’s not all it seems and it’s everything I was trying to get away from by going into it in the first place. I’m happier now.
From The Lovin’ Spoonful, Zal Yanovsky opened the very hot, excellent restaurant “Chez Piggy” in Kingston, Ontario in '79. I was a cadet at RMC at the time and one of my classmates discovered it not long after.
Kingston is a magic town with fairly old (for North America) architecture with lots of arched passageways into limestone courtyards, one of which has Chez Piggy and of which I still have very fond memories.
Someone I knew in high school and am friends with on Facebook has long been part of a fairly successful group that used to tour constantly. The band is well-known enough that I’ve seen people with their t-shirts, though being from the place that they started, there’s probably more fans around here than anywhere else. He posted on Facebook about having to take up a real job during the pandemic after 20 years of touring, but he didn’t do it right away when the pandemic started. This is enough to make it clear that they were successful enough that he has some money put away to live off of for awhile, but that he’s far from set for life and didn’t want to rapidly deplete his savings waiting for gigs to pick back up.