What is the university good for, except that you'll have a diploma? You can meet new people. Perhaps you make lifelong friendships, and who knows, maybe a record contract too. The members of the next five bands didn't begin their studies knowing they would establish a world-famous band.
R.E.M. was founded in Athens, Georgia by Michael Stipe (vocal), Bill Berry (drums), Peter Buck (guitar) and Mike Mills (bass guitar). The members got to know each other in 1980 at the University of Georgia. The name „R.E.M.” refers to the stage of sleeping called Rapid Eye Movement. They released 18 albums, the last one in 2011. They play alternative rock music, now as a trio (drummer Bill Berry quited after he had stroke).
The members, Thom Yorke, Colin Greenwood, Phil Selway and Johnny Greenwood met each other at Abingdon School (well, except the Greenwood brothers, who grew up together). Originally the band's name was On a Friday (they held rehearsals on Fridays).
The breakthrough was in 1991, when they signed a six-album contract with EMI. The EMI asked them to change their name to Radiohead (that time the members were university students). They released 8 albums, the first one in 1993 (Pablo Honey), and the last one in 2011 (The King of Limbs).
The Coldplay's members (Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland, Guy Berryman and Will Champion) attended the University College London, they founded the band there in 1996. The frontman, Martin studied ancient history, Berryman wanted to be an engineer and then an architect; Champion studied antropolgy, and Buckland studied mathemathics and astronomy. Berryman – unlike the others – didn't get a diploma.
2. Pink Floyd
The Pink Floyd was formed from a band which was established in 1964. When the former band ended, some of the members (Bob Klose, Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Rick Wright) founded a new band named Tea Set. They were students at Polytechnic of Regent Street (current name: University of Westminster). Syd Barrett, who temporarily became the frontman, joined later and renamed the band to The Pink Floyd Sound (the „The” and „Sound” have disappeared over the years). Looking back to the time of 50 years that have passed since the foundation of the band it can be divided into several periods during which Roger Waters took Syd Barret's leading role, and after that David Gilmour took his place, as well.
The Queen originally was established under the name „Smile”. The founding members, Brian May and Tim Staffell met Roger Taylor at Imperial College London. The Smile didn't achieve success, so Tim Staffell left. Farrokh Bulsara joined then (better known as Freddie Mercury). He suggested renaming the band to Queen. They won 5 Ivor Novello Awards, 3 BRIT Awards, an MTV Music Video Award and a Grammy too.
Of course, not only these five college bands got to be famous. Do you know other bands like these? What are your favourite songs from them? Leave us a comment!
Next week's topic: Train for your thesis!