Almost by definition, or at least a common prejudice, rockstars are expected to have bloated egos and be anything but shy persons. However, famous musicians are often quite down-to-earth, as proven by numerous prominent figures of the rock domain. Furthermore, rockstars are occasionally shy and introvert individuals, which is sometimes clear by their stage performance but other times comes as a complete surprise. So join us as we make a brief rundown of 11 introvert famous rock or metal musicians.
We'll kick it off with the "quiet Beatle," late great George Harrison. A shy person by nature, Harrison is also known for once saying "I never asked to be famous, I just wanted to be successful." Well, although he wasn't the most famous member of The Beatles, he was still a crucial part of the band that changed the world and shaped modern culture. Some of his notable compositions include "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and "Here Comes the Sun."
He shaped generations with his music and lyrics, but was also an introvert. Over the years, many stories of Bob Dylan's shyness were noted, including those from his fellow rock greats. Interestingly enough, Johnny Cash and Gary Moore used the exact same words to describe Dylan on two completely unrelated occasions. The words were "really shy."
Former Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore redefined the way of the axe and helped create the neoclassical subgenre, but never really spoke too much or expressed his emotions onstage. He delivered revolutionary solos, yet he always kept his cool and sometimes even seemed embarrassed while performing. Nevertheless, he said what he had to said in the best possible manner - through his guitar.
Despite being the mastermind of a quintessential prog rock act such as King Crimson, guitarist Robert Fripp is hardly a household name. As a matter of fact, even a portion of the Crims' fans aren't sure what he looks like. It's always been about putting the idea and music first with King Crimson - exactly the way Fripp wanted it. Despite being somewhat of an introvert, Mr. Fripp is by all means a true legend. He even introduced the new standard tuning, not a feat many guitarists can brag about.
Still in the prog domain, Dream Theater bassist John Myung is likely to be among the first ones to pop up to your mind when thinking about introvert musicians. Shy and quiet by nature, Myung mostly prefers to do the talking through his bass. However, he is also a skilled lyricist - he penned words to such classic DT tunes as "Lifting Shadows Off a Dream," "Learning to Live," "Trial of Tears" and more.
The greatest of the greats, Jimi Hendrix, maybe didn't seem too shy while taking the guitar playing and performance to a new level, but he was in fact a rather introvert person. Hendrix's studio engineer Eddie Kramer once described Jimi as "a very, very shy guy." Several reports even indicate that shyness almost prevented the guitar icon to perform at the Isle of Wight festival back in the day.
Korn frontman Jonathan Davis is often described as "nervous, shy and anxious in person." He is also known for having occasional anxiety attacks. "When I have these attacks, my heart starts to palpitate and freak out and... Sh-t, I dunno what it is, but I just have to go with it," he explained. "It feels like I'm going to f--king die... You can't think, you don't know what's happening."
Maynard James Keenan
The fact that he performed wearing a dress might suggest the opposite, but Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan is reportedly an introvert. He rarely communicates with the audience and is often shy during the interviews. Some even suggest that he suffers from social anxiety based on his behavior and body language.
Seattle rockers were often shy and misunderstood individuals, and Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain is hardly an exception. Many say that Kurt's shyness and sensitivity contributed to his suicide, but the fact remains that Cobain was definitely an introvert, earning him a spot on our list.
He might be a controversial shock rocker on stage, but Marilyn Manson is also an introvert. He had no problem in admitting it either, saying, "I'm kind of shy, and I think that I take that out by performing in front of a lot of people. That's how I get out my shyness."
Finally, Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor comes as the last introvert of our list. Trent demonstrated his shyness on several occasions, and once even discussed it, saying, "I become irritated when I am being written off as aloof or stand-offish when I'm shy and don't know what to say." Let us know in the comments if you can think of any other rockstar introverts. Also, to which extent do you think can shyness and introvert behavior affect one's musical career?