Veteran Rockers

The one that immediately jumps to mind is Elvis of Tupelo.

Can anybody think of anybody else? Bonus points for those who both served and rocked with distinction.

Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix and Jerry Garcia were both in the army for the same reason - a judge told them they could enlist in the military or go to jail. Neither had what you would call exemplary service records, and in both cases, the army chose to discharge them early rather than deal with them. Rick James and John Fogerty both joined reserve units to avoid the draft.

Kris Kristofferson, although more country/folk than rocker. Army captain, helo pilot, completed ranger training. Did not see combat, but was offered a professorship at West Point. Turned it down to go into songwriting.

Johnny Cash was a country artist, though he influenced many rockers. He served in the Air Force as a “code intercept operator”.

The Everly Brothers - Marines
Drake Levin of Paul Revere and The Raiders - National Guard
Lou Christie - Army Reserve
Michael Nesmith - Air Force

Maynard James Keenan was in the Army

Maynard James Keenan of Tool - briefly served in US Army.
James Blunt (not a fan of his, but worth mentioning) - served in British army, saw combat in the Balkans.
John “Bushcat” Edmond - served in 3rd Battalion, Royal Rhodesia Regiment

Moving to Cafe Society from GQ.

General Questions Moderator

Heavy metal singer Bruce Dickinson, probably best known for his work in Iron Maiden, served in the British military as a young man.

Shaggy, the Boombastic/It Wasn’t Me Reggae singer, was a US Marine during Operation Desert Storm.

Maybe I’m thinking of someone else but I thought Hendrix was discharged after he broke his leg during a training jump while in airborne training?

Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones was in the Royal Air Force from 1955-57. I think he was the only one of the group that was old enough when there was a draft.

Deniz Tek, an American, but a legend in Australian music was a Navy flight surgeon with the Marines and was the original Iceman.

Got his MA in English Lit from Oxford, iirc. Helicopter pilot and also a nationally recognized gifted athlete. I would consider KK to have the best acting career of anyone who ever came from a singer/songwriter background.

KK should go into politics. Surely he could solve this whole economy problem and the whole mess there in the Middle East.

The Big Bopper
Fred Parris of The Five Satins was on guard duty one night when he wrote “In the Still of the Night,” the Satins’ lovely doo-wop ballad.
Lloyd Price
Del Shannon
Link Wray

Air Force:
The Del-Vikings, all of them
Marvin Gaye
Clyde McPhatter

The Essex, all of them
Tim Hardin
Bob Mosley of Moby Grape

Johnny Ace
Gene Vincent
Bill Withers
Boyd Bennett, rockabilly star, served in WWII

I think Billy Joe Royal was in Vietnam.

Geno Washington (big in the UK in the 60s) was in the USAF and stationed in the UK when he started playing in clubs, etc.

The Monks (wiki link) were a band formed by GI’s stationed in Germany. Their album Black Monk Time is considered a progenitor to punk

Don Preston, Bunk Gardner, and Buzz Gardner of the Mothers of Invention were in the army; Preston met Buzz when they were stationed together in Trieste, Italy.

Roy Harper had a less than distinguished stint in the RAF, lying about his age to get in and faking mental illness to get out.