Every celebrity works one or two strange jobs before hitting the big time, and often they're jobs they'd rather the rest of the world never knew about. But as we learned when we discovered that Christopher Walken was a lion tamer and Jimi Hendrix masturbated his way out of the Army, sometimes those jobs are so insane they deserve to be recorded in a golden history book and preserved for all time.
7Hulk Hogan Was In A '70s Rock Band
World Wrestling Entertainment
Let's all take a moment to lament the trajectory of the Hulkster's slow decline -- from a larger-than-life Real American clobbering the likes of the villainous Undertaker and King Kong Bundy, to a leathery old racist banging his best friend's wife on a grainy sex tape while his daughter's music screams at him from his cellphone -- and let's take that moment while listening to the beautifully arranged, poignant song "Hulkster In Heaven" from Hogan's 1995 album Hulk Rules:
We wish Hulk's love could bring you back too, big guy.
You might think that song was just a shameless attempt to cash in on a child's tragic death, and you'd be right. But what would you say if we told you that Hulk Hogan started out as a real musician in a real band before he became a wrestler?
World Wrestling Entertainment
Bass guitar and Lycra. Checks out.
It's true. Hulk Hogan was an aspiring musician and spent 10 years playing guitar and fretless bass in various bands. In fact, he even dropped out of college to focus on one such band, a five-piece called Ruckus. This is back when he was still plain old Terry Gene Bollea, a mustache-less proto-Hogan who looked more like a pet store clerk than an international superstar.
Seth Poppel / Yearbook Library
"I got these 24-inch pythons, brother, and they're yours
for only a hundred bucks each, this week only."
See if you can find him on Ruckus' album cover (Hint: He's lurking in the background like some kind of disco genie):
They summoned him by rubbing a magic lava lamp.
Ruckus became kind of a big deal in Tampa, Florida, attracting a lot of young fans, mostly female. According to Hulk, "There was all this hot ass running around, you know? All of a sudden, before I knew it, there was a bunch of wrestlers at our gigs."
He recognized one of the muscle-men as the manager of Superstar Billy Graham, a famous pro wrestler, and started following him around. Eventually, Hulk asked if he could try out, and the wrestling crowd happily auditioned him by breaking his leg. When he came back after that, sans police or lawyers, they began his training, because wrestlers only recruit people who are insane. Ruckus wound up being the Hulkster's final band (not counting Hulk Hogan And The Wrestling Boot Band) before his wrestling career took off and he became known across the globe as that orange goblin who was great at wrestling but had chronic difficulty hearing when crowds were cheering for him.
6Prince Was An Amazing Basketball Player
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When Charlie Murphy talked about the time he got destroyed by Prince during an impromptu basketball game at Prince's house on Chappelle's Show, you probably wrote it off as a hilarious piece of sketch comedy. We are thunderously happy to report that at least part of that story is completely verifiable -- in his youth, Prince was a sick-ass basketball player with an equally solid Afro game.
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Though, somehow, not the most impressive Afro on the team.
According to teachers at Minneapolis Central High, where Prince went to school back when he was still regular old Prince Rogers Nelson, Prince was a good kid who was shy and a bit nerdy. Rather than getting pushed around by the jocks -- like Prince would later have us believe in his biographical ballad Purple Rain -- he was more likely to be found hanging out with them. Which makes us wonder how factual an account Purple Rain really is.
Warner Bros. Records
"You thought Minnesota was a real place? Heh, it's just one of my nonsense words."
Prince was also a great basketball player who was super quick and had great ball-handling skills, but due to his funkadelic Hobbit stature, he could never make the starting lineup. He was always going to be spending a large portion of the game on the bench. But music journalist Toure (the writer of I Would Die 4 U: Why Prince Became An Icon) played ball with Prince, and this is what he had to say:
He picked up my ball and made a face that was understood in international shit-talking parlance to mean I'ma kick yo' ass, and started knifing around the court, moving quick, dribbling fast, sliding under my arm to snatch rebounds I thought for sure I had. He was showing off, being competitive, and, yes, engaging me in the same way I'd interacted with so many men I had played basketball with before. He moved like a player and played like one of those darting little guys you have to keep your eye on every second. Blink and he's somewhere you wouldn't expect. Lose control of your dribble for a heartbeat and he's relieved you of the ball. He jitterbugged around the court like a sleek little lightning bug, so fast he'd leave a defender stranded and looking stupid if he weren't careful.
Paisley Park Records / Warner Bros. Records
Also, he was guaranteed to go skins every single game.
So, not only can Prince dominate at basketball -- he can apparently also teleport. The only way that story could be more awesome is if Prince was playing while wearing platform heels (which, according to Wendy Melvoin, one of Prince's ex-guitarists, is totally something he used to do).