Before They Were Rockstars: Maynard James Keenan of Tool

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Tool's famous front man Maynard James Keenan was born James Herbert Keenan, one of many surprising facts about the man's early life. But perhaps the most amazing part of his story is the fact that the man who wrote a song called "Stinkfist" not only sang in Glee Club, but also joined the Army at one point. After a rough upbringing consisting of a stifling stepfather and a sick mother, Maynard was inspired to join the Army by watching Bill Murray muck it up in the movie Stripes. Maybe it's just me, but doesn't that seem like a bad reason to join the army? Maybe he should have watched Full Metal Jacket. He studied at West Point Prep School and got great marks in English and Math. He also was a singer in Glee Club and was on the cross-country team. At one point in James' time at the school, he named himself Maynard seemingly out of nowhere. Later he dropped out of West Point and moved to Los Angeles to pursue his love of animals by working as an interior designer for pet shops. Yes, you read that right. Maynard's pet shop design job didn't last long. He was fired and he ended up in set design. Later he would meet future Tool guitarist Adam Jones and future band-mate Danny Carey, who was his neighbor. Danny heard Maynard yelling at another neighbor in the alley behind his apartment and thought Maynard would make a great singer. Carey wold sometimes fill in for drummers who missed rehearsal at Maynard's apartment. This would of course lead to the formation of Tool, and the rest is rock history. Maynard, among other musical projects, now also makes his own wine at his home in Jerome, AZ. Not a bad life for an ex-pet store interior designer, eh?

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