Rock stars are notorious for not going by their given names, but some rockers go on to get cool new nicknames even after they’re established. While a full on name change like Reginald Dwight to Elton John is one thing, here’s a look at rock star monikers that probably haven’t been seen on any of these rock stars’ income tax returns.
The King of Rock and Roll/The King- Elvis Presley. Way back in 1956, Elvis Presley quickly rose to fame and revolutionized the early days of rock and roll. His risqué stage moves may have caused conservative grownups to raise their eyebrows, but Elvis gained unprecedented fame among teenyboppers and was quickly dubbed “The King of Rock and Roll.” Although he died unexpectedly in 1977, Presley’s official website still proudly carries his undisputed King of Rock and Roll title.
The Lizard King- Jim Morrison. At the end of The Doors song “Not to Touch the Earth,” lead singer Jim Morrison proclaimed, “I am the Lizard King, I can do anything”. The Doors front man was indeed mysterious and his nickname The Lizard King is something that was never fully deciphered before his death in 1971. Morrison liked to dabble in hallucinogens, which resulted in many of his song lyrics and poetry making absolutely no sense (I’m a Doors fan but I’m just saying what we’re all thinking). While there was probably no deep meaning behind the reptile-loving Morrison’s self-proclaimed Lizard King nickname, it was taken from his poem “Celebration of the Lizard King.” Morrison also liked to call himself “Mr. Mojo Risin’,” so go figure.
The Glimmer Twins– Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. According to Wikipedia, The Rolling Stones lead singer and his right hand man allegedly picked up this nickname after a 1968 vacation in Brazil, when a woman on the ship asked for “a glimmer” of a clue as to who they were (she must have known they were somebody, but just couldn’t place who). The duo liked their newfound nickname so much they started using it as a pseudonym on their production credits.
The Toxic Twins- Steven Tyler and Joe Perry. Not to be outdone by Jagger and Richards, “American Idol’s” newest host and his partner in crime were dubbed The Toxic Twins due to their hard partying lifestyle and bad-for-each other relationship in the 1970s. While Tyler has admittedly cleaned up his act, let’s hope his”Idol” cohorts Randy and J-Lo won’t be quite as toxic for him as his Aerosmith band mate was back in the day.
Diamond Dave- David Lee Roth. The original Van Halen lead singer was a diamond in the rough for sure, but other than that, the roots of his nickname are still up for debate. Still, it was a shiny happy nickname and it sure beats Hagar’s “Red Rocker” moniker.
The Prince of Darkness- Ozzy Osbourne. The British rocker sang some dreary tunes back in his Black Sabbath heyday (“Paranoid,” anyone?), so it’s no wonder that he was crowned The Prince of Darkness. And any guy who bites the head off of a live bat has earned a nickname like this.
The Boss- Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen’s bossy nickname stems back to well before his “Born to Run” fame. Instead it has been said that he got saddled with this name back in his early days of playing clubs in New Jersey, when he was in charge of collecting his band mates’ nightly gig pay and doling it out. He’s the only guy on this list whose name came before his fame.
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