DevilDriver frontman among metal stars telling of worst things they did for a living before their music careers kicked off

Dez Fafara

Walk away: Dez Fafara

DevilDriver frontman Dez Fafara says his brief tenure working for his stepfather cemented his attitude to life, which he bears out in his music career.

He’s one of a number of big names who have shared memories of the worst jobs they had before turning pro, to mark the US Labor Day celebrations earlier this week.

Fafara tells Noisecreep: “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, with about three miles still to walk. He honked his horn and kept on driving.

“My attitude is still the same: want to fuck with me? I will go it alone.”

Before Rudy Sarzo established his name with Quiet Riot, Whitesnake and Ozzy Osbourne, he took a job booking family photos as a door-to-door salesmen – and his first sale was his last.

He says: “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 neighbourhood this Saturday to take photos of your family. All you need to do is make a $5 deposit.’

“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 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.”

Russell Allen of Symphony X and Adrenaline Mob thought he’d landed his dream role when he started work in a video game arcade. He recalls: “I thought it would be cool because I loved games so much, but we were not allowed to play while on duty. It was absolute torture – I was fired for playing on the job.”

Danko Jones’ experience of a Toronto sex shop was equally disappointing: “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 ten months I worked there it was a non-stop parade of losers wearing stained track pants and neat-toxic body odour. We also had jerk-off booths in the back, which only added to the bizarre mayhem of having to throw out drunks and junkies.

“I quit on Hallowe’en night. I’ve managed to bury most of my memories from that job and continue to enjoy watching pornography today.”

Tobias Exxel of Edguy reveals: “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 friend can before a show.”

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