Life After Rock Stardom: 7 Artists' Post-Musical Careers

Let's face it. Not everyone is cut out for - or interested in - being a sixtysomething rock star. But what type of careers awaits a retired musician? Many rock stars stay in the music industry realm by recording, managing, or producing, but for the same reasons we found fascinating humor in rock stars' odd hobbies, we appreciate the surprising and random post-rock careers some musicians pursue. Here are a few of our favorites.

Jim Martin: The former Faith No More guitarist traded in axes for... pumpkins? After the group disbanded in 1998, Martin focused his efforts on farming "epic" pumpkins in Castro Valley, Calif., achieving winning weights at contests like the Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off.

MC Hammer: Evidently, Hammer wasn't, indeed, "too legit to quit." After a mid-'90s musical dry-spell, lawsuits, and filing for bankruptcy, Hammer (aks Stanley Kirk Burrell) starred in the ministry TV show M.C. Hammer and Friends, and appeared on Praise the Lord programs as an ordained minister; he even officiated Corey Feldman's 2002 wedding. He's since reincorporated the "MC," which he now claims stands for "Man of Christ," back into his stage name.

D'Arcy Wretzky: When she's not battling former bandmate Billy Corgan for royalties, being arrested, or taking horrendous mugshots, the former Smashing Pumpkins bassist tends to her Michigan horse farm and reportedly owns an antique store - two endeavors that one would expect to promote peace and leisure, but it seems the contrary; earlier this year, Wretzky was jailed for missing court dates related to a ticket she received for failing to control her horses. Shortly after, she was arrest on a misdemeanor drunk-driving charge.

Dave Rowntree: After Blur disbanded(ish) in the early '00s, band drummer and evident scholarly Renaissance Man, Dave Rowntree used the hiatus to pursue his career in politics. In addition to clerking at a law firm, he became chair of London's West End branch, and in 2008, and began law school. He successfully balanced his studies with Blur's 2009 reunion gigs, and is now the founding director of the Featured Artists Coalition, a non-profit organization that aims to protect the rights of musicians in the digital age.

Peter Garrett: After fronting Midnight Oil for nearly 30 years, the frontman pursued a career in politics after the group disbanded in 2002, serving as President of the Australian Conservation Foundation, and was appointed as a member of the Order of of Australia in 2003, for his contributions to music and the environment. He is now a prominent Australian politician, environmentalist, and activist, and has been a Labor Party member of the House of Representatives of Kingsford Smith, New South Wales, since 2004. He is the Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage, and Arts.

Miki Berenyi: The fire-haired Lush front woman started a family after the band disbanded in 1998; at the age of 40, she began working as Chief Sub-Editor at UK-based tech publication Web User Magazine.

Feargal Sharkey: The former Undertones front man left music for... music. Business, that is. After a seven-year post-Undertones solo career, Sharkey was appointed as the CEO of British Music Rights and later became the head of UK Music, an umbrella organization which represents the collective interests of the UK commercial music industry.

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Neph Basedow
Contact: Neph Basedow