ONCE UPON A TIME, MAYNARD JAMES KEENAN WASN’T COOL, EITHER
My father once told me that “celebrities eat and drink and piss and shit just like us,” which was his poetic way of saying that famous folks are just people, too. And that can be a hard fact to remember, even if you’re not the type to get starstruck. Sure, your favorite Rock God might seem awesome right now, but the chances that he or she came out of the womb being Super Cool are slim to none.
Case in point: this 1987 public access footage that Metal Insider unearthed of Maynard James Keenan and his then-band, Children of the Anachronistic Dynasty, performing a song called “Burn About Out”… which is very clearly an early version of the Tool classic, “Sober.” Sure, it’s faster, the anthemic chorus is missing, and some of the lyrics are different — but if it’s not the same exact melody, then I’m the new keyboard player for Dr. Acula.
And my point isn’t “Oh hey Maynard wrote a version of this song six years before it appeared on Undertow,” because I don’t think that’s really news — Tool actually had an early version of the song on their 1991 demo, 72826. My point is simply that once upon a time, Maynard looked totally lame, and surrounded himself with bandmates who also looked totally lame, and that’s okay, because all butterflies were caterpillars once.
Tool are currently on tour and, to the best of my knowledge, still the four coolest guys in the world, who put on pretty much the best concerts in the world. Get dates here.