In honor of Labor Day, Noisecreep asked some of our favorite musicians to tell us their worst job before they found success playing heavy metal. As you'll read below, the guys did everything from work the counter at a porn shop to sling pizza at a Chuck E. Cheese. Enjoy the list and on behalf of the musicians featured in it, we thank you for supporting their careers and helping them escape the 9-to-5 grind.
"My worst job before Anthrax was being a waiter and breaking my ass all day for crappy tips. That's why I know how fortunate I am to make a living from playing music. I'm very thankful for that."
"I was working construction with my stepdad. It was the worst. He was uptight and pissed every day, all day, and I bared the brunt of that. One day when I was 15-years-old, we were pouring concrete with five other workers and he said the wrong thing to me. I finally had it and told him where to put it. I then walked 14 miles home; I left at 12:30PM and he passed me in his truck at about 4:30PM and with about three miles still to walk. He honked his horn and kept on driving. My attitude is still the same: Wanna f--- with me? I will go it alone."
(solo, Skid Row)
"Landscaper! I did it for 2 weeks before I got fired for singing too loud on the job! That's a true story."
"I worked at a Chuck E. Cheese pizza franchise. I was supposed to be in the Chuck E. suit, but I always got out of it. I might have been the worst employee that company has ever had. I would give free food to my friends every time they came in and I also would take all of the video game tokens for myself. Needless to say, I didn't last very long there [laughs]."
(A Pale Horse Named Death, Type-O Negative)
"I was 13-years-old and hired to clean a taxi dispatchers office. These people were all really fat and every week when I would go in to clean the place their office chairs would have the worst smell of decaying a-- that would make me wanna puke. Another one was being a butcher in my late teens and dealing with all the odor of animal entrails and blood. The smell of iron would permeate through my clothing from all the blood I would get on myself."
(Quiet Riot, Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne)
"It was 1976 and I had just arrived in Los Angeles, near the Hollywood area where all out of town wannabe rock stars were gathering. I was searching through the paper for part time work and saw an appealing ad aimed at out of work musicians and actors to sell baby pictures door to door. So I immediately took the job. My pitch was basically like this: knock on the door... 'Hello, my name is Rudy and our team of professional photographers will be in your neighborhood this Saturday to take photos of your family. All you need to do is make a $5.00 deposit and without any obligations, our creative staff will take a beautiful studio quality photograph that will capture a magical moment that you will cherish for the rest of your lives.' So a bunch of us were driven in a van and dropped in the middle of God knows where outside of LA. As I began going from house to house, I continued to get the door slammed in my face. Finally, a nice lady bought into my rap and handed me the $5.00 deposit, which was supposed to be my compensation for the job, and gave me enough money to grab a series of buses and make it back home. Needless to say, that was my first and last day at the worst job I've ever had."
"I would have to say it was a toss-up between cleaning out the fudge-packed d--- slits of the rectally challenged or working at McDonalds. They both sucked but at least at McDonalds I could masturbate on the food. That actually appealed to the locals (Reptoids) who began requesting extra jiz on their s--- sandwiches. Luckily I was impressed into military service before my load-log was drained of c--- vomit. Work sucks, play metal."
"This was many years ago, but I worked at campground/picnic park called Saratoga Springs in California. Most of my work involved working midway games (darts, Skee-Ball, etc.) and basic prep cook responsibilities, but I would occasionally have to dress up as a giant squirrel and dance and shake hands with kids around the grounds."
(All Shall Perish)
"I worked at a paper mache wholesale warehouse. They stocked 1000's of paper mache items. On top of the sheer blandness of this place, it was the most terrible job because my boss thought she was God. I remember the day I quit to go on my first tour, the look on her face when I escaped was priceless! I'll never forget that s--- hole."
"I worked at a porn shop in Toronto. I thought I landed my dream job. On my first day at work this incredibly hot girl came in looking for sex toys. I really thought this was just the tip of the iceberg but I was so wrong! For the 10 months I worked there it was a non-stop parade of losers wearing stained track pants and near-toxic body odor. We also had jerk-off booths in the back which only added to the bizarre mayhem of having to throw out drunks and junkies. Fittingly, I quit on Halloween night. Still, I've managed to bury most of my memories from that job and continue to enjoy watching pornography today."
"My only job -- besides working a bit extra while being a teenager studying -- was at a printing office for two years. I did everything with the exception of the actual printing. It was extremely heavy work with carrying stuff and permanently dealing with a lot of fumes from cleaning the machines. I worked there for 2 years and I'm really happy I've had a regular job, as it makes me more humble toward the fact that since 1992, I've have been able to support myself from the music."
"I used to work at an arcade making change and handing out tokens. Cleaning up the machines and picking people's crap like candy wrappers and the occasional full soda drop. I thought it would be a cool job cause I loved video games so much, but we were not allowed to play the games while on duty. It was absolute torture! Needless to say I was fired for playing on the job."
"In the summer of 1991 I worked as a shoe salesman for three days so I could earn enough money for Metallica tickets. I was Al Bundy at 14. As soon as I had enough cash, I quit."
(World Under Blood, CKY)
"I was 15-years-old and washing dishes at a Mexican restaurant. The food must have sucked because all of the plates came back to me in the kitchen with all of the food still on them. I had refried beans under my fingernails for years and I made $4.25 an hour - minimum wage in 1991. Later on I found out that I was supposed to be making tips as well, but the servers were f---ing me over. But when a stalker chick with a crush on me got a job as my washing assistant, I hauled a-- out of there. That was definitely the last straw."
"My worst job was back when I used to be a guitarist. What a horror! Sometimes I had to play more than two notes at the same time; it's called a 'chord.; Then there was also the fast stuff and high note bends. One day, someone simply removed two strings from my guitar and finally - everything was so nice and easy! That was the beginning of my career in Edguy. The good thing about playing the bass is that I can always allow myself two more beers than my six-string-playing friends can before a show."
(Bullet for My Valentine)
"I was an envelope-filler for a junk mail service and it was f---ing crap! It was the worst 10 minutes of my life -- rock bottom s---. I walked out pretty quickly."
(Bullet for My Valentine)
"My worst job ever was when I worked in a dartboard factory. It was a complete s---hole and every day was terrible. The roof leaked too so when it rained people would get dripped on, and there would be puddles on the floor."
"My worst job before I became a musician was going to school."
"If I had to choose one I would say it was a temp job I had once in an injection moulding factory. I worked on a machine that spit out office chair parts and I had to trim off the excess plastic from the moulding. It was very tedious and the machine didn't give me much of a break. And on top of that it was about 100 degrees in the factory because there were 50 machines that were constantly running for 6 days out of the week."