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Maynard James Keenan

Well, the man did so much in so many areas that it was really difficult to summarise it all.

So here are 40 facts about the "octopus" (there is no other way to define him):

(Photo: Tim Cadiente)

1. He was born on April 17, 1964, as James Herbert Keenan, in Ravenna, Ohio, United States.

2. He is the only son of a Baptist family with Irish and Italian roots.

3. In 1968 his parents divorced and his father moved to Michigan. For this reason, he used to see him only once a year for 12 years until 1980.

4. When he was 11 his mother suffered from a brain aneurysm, which greatly influenced him, leading him to write songs like "Jimmy", "Wings for Marie" for the band "Tool", and the song "Judith" for the band "A Perfect Circle".

5. This led his mother to offer him to move in with his father and this will have a tremendous effect on Maynard as a teenager.

6. He joined the wrestling team of the high school in "Scottsville" where he studied, and of which his father was a coach.

7. In 1982 he graduated from high school and joined the army and in 1983 he joined the West Point Pre-Military Preparatory School. During this time he adopted the name, Maynard.

8. In 1984 Maynard was supposed to continue from the West Point Military Academy Preparatory School to the army but choose to leave and start his musical career.

9. He began studying art design at a college in Michigan while switching between several jobs, including as a backstage worker.

10. In the 1980s he played bass guitar in the band "TexA.N.S" with whom he released in the years 84 and 85 two albums. He later sang in the band "Children of the Anachronistic Dynasty" with which he released two albums. During this time Maynard wrote an initial version of what would become the song "Sober" - "Tool"'s first and most successful single.

11. From 1990 to 1993 Maynard played guitar and sang with the band "Green Jellö", where he also met his friend in the band Tool - "Danny Carey". In fact one of the voices in the band's famous song "Three Little Pigs" from the debut album. He also appears on keyboards for the song "Slave Boy" from the band's second album - "333".

12. At that time he teamed up with Tom Morello who even gave him credit for teaching him to tune the guitar lower to get a slower and heavier sound.

13. He even jammed with Morello, Brad Wilk, and Zack de la Rocha who would later form with Morello the band "Rage Against the Machine".

14. He met guitarist Adam Jones when he moved to Los Angeles in the late 1980s.

15. In 1990 they formed the band "Tool" together with bassist Paul D'Amour who was later replaced by Justin Chancellor and drummer Danny Carey.


16. In 1992 they released their first mini-album "(Opiate)" and immediately afterward went on a tour with "Fishbone" and "Rage Against the Machine".

17. In 1993 they released their debut album "Undertow" which was a huge success. Already on this album, Keenan's very unique poetry and writing stood out, which combined melodies and wildness accompanied by anxiety. Henry Rollins, lead singer of "Black Flag" and "Rollins Band" participated in the album he was Keenan's partner in weightlifting at the time.

18. In 1996 the band released their second album "Ænima". The album reached sales of a gold album within 10 weeks and won best metal performance in 1998.

19. After the launch of "Ænima" the band found themselves in a lengthy legal battle with its record company. The legal proceedings led the band to take a hiatus.

20. During this time, Maynard took the nickname "Gaylord C" and worked with Tim Alexander the drummer of "Primus" and Mike Bordin the drummer of "Faith No More" on the song "Choked" - a track included on the compilation album for drummers "Flyin 'Traps".

21. At the same time Maynard found time to work with "Tool's" former guitar technician Billy Howerdel on

a side project called "A Perfect Circle". The supergroup started performing in 1999 and released its first album "Mer de Noms" in 2000.


22. Maynard also designed the logo that appears on the album cover.

23. After a 5-year hiatus, "Tool" released its third album "Lateralus". The album went straight to number one on the Billiard 200 and was a huge success receiving great reviews from critics. Maynard has been praised for his writing ability.

24. In parallel with working with "Tool", Maynard continued to maintain the supergroup "A Perfect Circle". Their second album "Thirteenth Step" was released in 2003. Maynard's son - Devo H. Keenan sings background vocals on the album. A year later, the band released the album Cover Versions "Emotive".

25. In 2003 Maynard appeared with the band "Puscifer" in the soundtrack of the movie "Underworld". They performed the song "REV 22:20". This is a side project of Maynard together with Danny Lohner from the band "Nine Inch Nails". In 2006, "Puscifer" contributed the song "The Undertaker (Renholder Mix)" to the soundtrack of the sequel "Underworld: Evolution".

(Photo: Travis Shinn)

26. Maynard had a surprise appearance at a concert in Seattle in February 2005 for tsunami victims in South Asia, along with "Alice In Chains" in place of the late lead singer Layne Staley and performed the songs "Them Bones", "Rooster" and "Man In A Box".

27. On April 1, 2005, Maynard announced, as one April Fool's joke, that he had discovered Jesus and that he was temporarily abandoning recordings of "Tool's" new album, probably for good.

28. In 2006, "Tool" released its fourth album "10,000 Days". Maynard went on to write about more personal topics, including the songs "Jambi", "Wings for Marie" and "10,000 Days (Wings for Marie, Pt 2)" written following the death of his mother in 2003. This album also went to number one on Billboard 200 already in its first week. Maynard also produced the album.

29. In the following years, Maynard focused on the "Puscifer" project with which he released in 2007 the debut album "V Is for Vagina". Maynard played guitar, drums, percussion, and clarinet on the album.

30. Maynard later released with "Puscifer" three more studio albums "Conditions of My Parole" from 2011 "Donkey Punch the Night" from 2013 and "Money Shot" from 2015.

31. In 2018, Maynard released the album "Eat the Elephant" with the band "A Perfect Circle".

32. Only in 2019 after 13 years of hiatus, "Tool" released their fifth and most amazing album “Fear Inoculum”.

It was the band's third consecutive album to reach number one on the Billboard charts.

33. In parallel with his musical career, Maynard also developed a mini-stand-up career. In the early 1990s, he and satirist Bill Hicks became friends. He used to do stand-up at amateur nights in clubs across Los Angeles and Hicks opened several "Tool" shows, including the one at Lollapalooza in 1993.

34. Maynard also has a small TV career. He appeared in several episodes of the HBO comedy series - "Mr. Show".

35. And if all this is not enough to understand how much this man is a "polymath" man, then Maynard does hold a "vineyard," he is a winemaker who owns a winery in Arizona. He scattered his mother's ashes, who died in 2003, in this vineyard.

(Photo: Chad Cochran)

36. Maynard has many collaborations, including the song "Know Your Enemy" from "Rage Against the Machine's" debut album.

37. He also appeared with "Tool" in the song "Divorced" by "The Melvins" from the album "The Crybaby".

38. Another interesting collaboration is in the song "Passenger" from the "White Pony" album of the Deftones.

39. Maynard was also a partner in the song "Fallen" from the debut album of "Thirty Seconds to Mars".

40. Maynard even sang a duet with Tori Amos on the song "Muhammad My Friend" in the show "Tori Amos: Live From New York".

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