May 26, 2024

Unknown Pleasures: British Rockers With Bizarre Interests

You could expect a guitar collection, but a cheese collection?

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You could expect a guitar collection, but a cheese collection?

There’s always been something a little unusual about the Brits, that might be what makes them such successful alternative musicians. Some British rockers are just that little bit more unusual than others though. Whilst we get something of an insight into the following people’s lives through their music, there are some extracurricular activities that they enjoy that you might not have immediately guessed. Read on if you want to find out the weird new levels that these guys take their pastimes to. We’ve even thrown in some tips on how to get started if one of these quirky hobbies takes your fancy.

Alex James, Cheese Maker

It doesn’t get much more rock and roll than cheese making

Some hobbies make sense for a rocker, perhaps guitar collecting, beer-drinking, or maybe even a bit of witchcraft, but cheese making? Alex James, of Blur fame, has had a pretty wild life. He toured the world with the band, played to enormous audiences, created some songs that became real anthems of the time, so maybe it made sense for him to settle down to a hobby that’s a little more sedate. Now into his fifties, Alex James lives on a farm in Oxfordshire, where he raises animals and makes cheese. It began as a passion project and has evolved into something closer to a rebirth. Now, James is a regular writer for several British newspapers, including The Sun, where he has a weekly column all about food, as well as the Sunday Telegraph where he has a regular column on farm life. He writes a column dedicated solely to cheese for Esquire Magazine and has been published in dozens of other magazines and newspapers, talking exclusively about his foray into farming. Indeed, this hobby for James has become a bonafide career, you can even try his cheeses if you’re thinking of making the career move yourself.

Lemmy Kilmister, One-Armed Bandit Aficionado

It’s been almost six years now since the death of Lemmy Kilmister at the ripe old age of 70. Ripe when you consider the crazy life his body carried him through. Lemmy was known for having a whole host of unusual hobbies, some more politically and morally questionable than others. However, the hobby that almost accidentally made him the most famous was his love of casino games. It turns out that the instrumental part of Motorhead’s biggest hit ‘Ace of Spades’ had been written and recorded long before the lyrics ever came into being. The lyrics were something of a miracle, a miracle that Lemmy claimed happened in the back of a speeding transit van. He sat in the back of the van, scribbling frantically as the words came to him. Lemmy knew plenty about how card games worked, thanks to his love for all things casino-related and tried to squeeze as many nods to poker into the lyrics as possible. Interestingly though, much as he knew plenty about poker, he wasn’t much of a player, instead preferring slot machines. He once explained in an interview that if the image of a guy playing at a one-armed bandit was as rock and roll as that guy playing poker, then the lyrics to Ace of Spades could’ve ended up quite different. Nowadays joining in with either of Lemmy’s hobbies, whether it’s slots or poker is easy. There are lots of new casinos popping up online, some of them even with rock and roll themed slots. Vegas Slots Online has compiled a list of casinos offering deals to new sign-ups, so if you want to indulge in a couple of spins of the reels in memory of Lemmy, you can do it without breaking the bank. They’re ranked with star ratings, so it’s easy to skim through and choose the one that will suit you the best.

Peter Hook, Master Forger

Peter Hook, formerly of Joy Division and since of New Order and solo success has made his whole life around music. If you’re not familiar with the story of Joy Division, then it’s important to know that their singer, Ian Curtis, passed away in 1980, leaving the band behind. Since then, items that he had signed became incredibly sought after, but owing to his short career, were few and far between. Hook only recently quipped in an interview with Contact Music that he had perhaps made too much of a hobby of forging Curtis’ signature on band memorabilia. He’d sign his name and sell to online collectors. The whole thing came to a head when a collector had advertised the Joy Division debut, An Ideal for Living, signed and dated by all four members of the band, for sale. Hook came forward and asked him the date that Ian Curtis died, it was after the date on the record. Hook explained himself, knowing that the game was up, but still getting a giggle out of it anyway.

author avatar
Bernard - Side-Line Staff Chief editor
Bernard Van Isacker is the Chief Editor of Side-Line Magazine. With a career spanning more than two decades, Van Isacker has established himself as a respected figure in the darkwave scene.

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