4Jack White Was a Furniture Upholsterer (a Good One)
Before Jack White became known as the singer/guitarist for the White Stripes, and as the guy who could pass for a goth ghost or pre-dead Michael Jackson on a bad day, he was dead serious about making a career out of building custom sofas for rich people.
"Really, I'm a fan of any career path that keeps me out of direct sunlight."
And we're not talking about some part-time job he took to pay the bills while he was waiting for a record label to call. White not only went through an upholstery apprenticeship for three years, but also traveled to work under various masters of the craft to further educate himself. And then White became his own master and set up a shop of his own, called Third Man Upholstery.
And he did alright ... until he figured out that he absolutely sucked at the business side of things. He liked building the nice furniture, but wasn't crazy about managing the money part. So instead of making himself sick trying to keep his business afloat, he wrote poetry inside his cushions and stopped giving a fuck.
Which really helped him blend in with the rest of Detroit.
But here's the kind of cool part: White's then-band (known as, naturally, the Upholsterers) made a recording of which only 100 vinyls were ever pressed. Then they supposedly hid them in the furniture, and none have ever been found. So if you happen to live in the Detroit area and own some antique furniture that was at some point fixed by a pale lanky dude, it might well have an extremely well-hidden valuable rarity somewhere inside the cushions. Happy hunting!
3Johnny Cash Was a Military Code Breaker
There are only two things that people from all walks of life will agree on. One is that no one should buy hair from a kiosk in the mall. Two is that Johnny Cash was the shit. And part of the reason for Cash's appeal was that he was a little bit of everything. Drug abuser and born-again Christian. Country, rock and gospel hall of famer. Guy who faces the toilet paper toward the toilet one time, and away from the toilet the next time. And like Elvis, Jimi and MC Hammer, Johnny put in his time in the military.
To answer your question, yes, he always looked old.
But here's where things get awesome in a crazy Man in Black kind of way. Cash was assigned to the cryptographic intelligence unit. As in, the group that stood between America and the Soviets at a time when schoolkids were told to protect themselves from nuclear bombs by hiding under their desks. And Cash wasn't just on KP duty like all the other Southern sons of sharecroppers -- he was one of the guys who intercepted Soviet Morse code. It's like finding out Marilyn Monroe was also a CIA assassin.
Oh, and he was pretty freaking good at it. He was so great at cracking Soviet messages, in fact, that he was the guy who got called for the hardest jobs. That's why it was Johnny freakin' Cash who was the first American to pass along the news that Joseph Stalin was dead.
"I stroked a man in Moscow, just to watch him die."
But when Johnny's time was up, he bolted. For him, the whole thing had been like a prison sentence -- his job was so hush-hush that he couldn't talk to anyone about it, and his off-base travel was severely limited. On the other hand, one of the reasons Cash was so good at honing in on signals was because the job trained his ears for tones and rhythm. So maybe we wouldn't have gotten the Johnny Cash we came to know if he had never done his Cold War spy stuff.