Five Noteworthy Facts You May Not Know About Weezer
Published Oct 06, 2014Weezer have made something of a cottage industry out of reflecting on their own past, especially frontman and chief songwriter Rivers Cuomo. From "Say It Ain't So" from their 1994 debut through to "Back to the Shack," the lead single off the band's latest LP, Everything Will Be Alright in the End (due out October 7 via Republic), Cuomo and crew have never been shy to weave personal stories into their own crunchy brand of alt-rock power pop. So diving into the band's history, as this month's new Timeline feature does, only serves to deepen one's understanding of the surprisingly complicated group. Below are just some of the notable facts you'll find in our upcoming full feature.
Five Noteworthy Facts You May Not Know about Weezer
1. Rivers Cuomo was raised in a Hare Krishna community
In 1975, [Cuomo's mother] Beverly and the boys move to Yogaville, a Hare Krishna community founded by "guru to the stars" Sri Swami Satchidananda, the opening speaker at Woodstock. It is considered by many to be a cult. There, Beverly meets Stephen Kitts and the two marry. Attending the Integral Yoga School run by the Krishna's, Rivers is known by his Sanskrit name, Rama.
2. Weezer's first gig was opening for Keanu Reeves' vanity band, Dogstar
Cuomo, [Pat] Wilson, [original guitarist Jason ] Cropper and [Matt] Sharp have their first practice together on Valentine's Day. In March, they play their first gig opening for Keanu Reeves vanity band, Dogstar. Without a name, they settle on Weezer, a nickname Cuomo picked up due to a childhood asthma condition.
3. Cuomo is married and has a daughter
In June 2006, Rivers marries Kyoko Ito in Malibu before heading to Japan for their honeymoon. The two met in 1997 after one of Cuomo's solo performances in Cambridge. Their daughter, Mia, is born a year later.
4. Former bass player Mikey Welsh predicted his own death
In July 2011, former bass player Mikey Welsh joins the band onstage at a gig in New York, playing guitar on "Undone – The Sweater Song." Welsh is found dead in a Chicago hotel room three months later. His death is announced October 8 via his Facebook page. His death is suspected to be from a drug overdose, which led to a heart attack. In an eerie coincidence, Welsh predicted his own death, tweeting, "dreamt i died in chicago next weekend (heart attack in my sleep). need to write my will today ." In response the band tweet: "We are shocked and deeply saddened to hear the awful news, our friend and fellow weez rocker @mikeywelsh71 has passed away. We love u Mikey."
5. Cuomo wrote a song for Katy Perry
In the run-up to the release of [Raditude] it's revealed that Cuomo has been writing with pop star Katy Perry. The resulting track, "Work It," is earmarked for Perry's 2010 blockbuster Teenage Dream, but ultimately remains unreleased.