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Which musicians rose from homelessness?
December 18, 2010 1:15 PM   Subscribe

Inspired by this post: which musicians were once homeless?

I'm not so much interested in people who used to crash on couches for a bit or people who chose to be nomads. Which musicians used to be homeless for reasons more or less out of their control?
posted by Sticherbeast to Media & Arts (27 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Jewel once lived in her VW van.
posted by puritycontrol at 1:19 PM on December 18, 2010


Ben Bridwell from Band of Horses.
posted by squid in a people suit at 1:22 PM on December 18, 2010


Kurt Cobain claimed to have lived under a bridge, though I don't know how much actual evidence there is to support this.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 1:26 PM on December 18, 2010


Ted Hawkins. "There Stands the Glass" and "Bring It On Home to Me." Additional bio here.
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:31 PM on December 18, 2010


Wesley Willis.
posted by PSB at 1:37 PM on December 18, 2010


Blind Willie Johnson, who died in the burnt-out ruins of his house. His composition, Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground, is on the Voyager Spacecrafts' golden records, which are currently speeding along through the outer solar system, some of the farthest-flung man-made objects in the universe.
posted by The White Hat at 1:41 PM on December 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can't say if it came about by choice or lack of control (ie, alcoholism), but it would seem that Tom Waits has intimate knowledge of a Buick's backseat.
posted by Paris Elk at 1:43 PM on December 18, 2010


KRS-One lived on the street and in shelters as a teen.
posted by chrchr at 2:03 PM on December 18, 2010


Seasick Steve: "Hobos are people who move around looking for work, tramps are people who move around but don't look for work, and bums are people who don't move and don't work. I've been all three."
posted by afx237vi at 2:09 PM on December 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


The Jewel story of "homelessness" is pure fantasy, and I know this from the source. I doubt the Kurt Cobain story really constitutes homeless in the sense of nowhere else to go.

Dan Treacy from the TV Personalities really did live on the streets (some years after his peak of fame), for reasons of mental breakdown and psychological disorders.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 2:14 PM on December 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


FM Cornog aka East River Pipe
posted by neroli at 2:17 PM on December 18, 2010


It depends on where you set the bar for 'homeless' and 'chose' and 'control' (these are never easy questions, especially in light of things like addiction and mental health issues, and I'd argue that bringing artists into it just complicates it further), but maybe John Fahey.

And as easy, lucky, free hints, some musicians exaggerate their 'homeless' past as a way of grabbing some street cred.
posted by box at 2:19 PM on December 18, 2010


The girl from Crystal Castles was a homeless runaway crust-punk.
posted by kickingtheground at 2:40 PM on December 18, 2010


Woody Guthrie abandoned his first wife and went on the road during the 1930's.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:46 PM on December 18, 2010


Seal.
posted by mykescipark at 2:49 PM on December 18, 2010


bob Dylan (bad spelling?)
posted by patnok at 2:53 PM on December 18, 2010


Dan Treacy from the Television Personalities.

(Ah, he's already mentioned I see on preview. But maybe the interview link is of interest.)
posted by dayintoday at 3:12 PM on December 18, 2010


The girl from Crystal Castles...

Alice Glass
posted by griphus at 3:27 PM on December 18, 2010


Ella Fitzgerald.
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:51 PM on December 18, 2010


Eden Ahbez, subject of a this MetaFilter post.
posted by Kattullus at 5:50 PM on December 18, 2010


Marianne Faithfull, when she was an addict.
posted by Asparagirl at 7:11 PM on December 18, 2010


One of my bass hero's, Jaco Pastorius near the end of his short life was homeless while losing the battle with alcohol and bi-polar disease

posted by Redhush at 9:09 PM on December 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaco_Pastorius
posted by Redhush at 9:09 PM on December 18, 2010


Charles Gayle was homeless for something like 20 years.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:18 PM on December 18, 2010


Boy George and Joe Strummer are/were both ex-squatters, a category which covers a lot of UK musicians.
posted by tallus at 9:38 PM on December 18, 2010


Harry Partch.
posted by flug at 10:46 PM on December 18, 2010


Moondog.
posted by suedehead at 2:05 PM on December 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


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