On March 18, 1966, Jerry Cantrell was born in Tacoma, Washington. To celebrate the Alice in Chains guitarist's 51st birthday, here are 10 things you might not know about him:
1. Jerry’s first job was delivering newspapers.
2. Cantrell made a name for himself in rock but was raised on country music. He’s said he admires the emotion in country and even considers himself “half-Yankee and half-redneck.”
3. When Jerry was in sixth grade, his mom was dating a guitar player who taught him a couple of chords. He picked it up very quickly, impressing the guy, who suggested to Jerry’s mom that she buy her son a guitar... and she did.
4. In high school, Jerry played the clarinet and sung in the choir. He was such a good singer that his senior year he became choir president. As part of a quartet, he sang the national anthem at basketball games and won singing competitions.
5. Jerry’s high school choir and drama teachers were among his earliest supporters. They encouraged him to pursue music so when Alice in Chains’ first album went gold, he sent them both gold records.
6. Before Alice in Chains, Jerry was in a funk band with future Alice in Chains drummer Sean Kinney and bassist Mike Starr.
7. Jerry appeared in the 1996 Tom Cruise film Jerry Maguire, playing an employee at a copy shop.
8. Jerry’s first solo material was a song called “Leave Me Alone” that made the soundtrack to the 1996 Jim Carrey and Matthew Broderick film The Cable Guy. It reached 14 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
9. Cantrell went on to release two solo albums, 1998’s Boggy Depot and 2002’s Degradation Trip, which got reissued later that year as the expanded edition Degradation Trip Volumes 1 & 2.
10. Cantrell owns a hard rock bar with his buddy, Anthrax’s Scott Ian. It’s called Dead Man’s Hand and is in Las Vegas.
Happy birthday Jerry! There are “no excuses” for why you shouldn't celebrate hard today!
Photo Credit: Getty