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Weezer has been one of the most popular bands in rock music almost since their inception in 1992, with three of their four original members remaining active in the band today.
The band has generated a string of hit albums, songs, and sold-out tours that only prove that they’re one of the best in the business. What things don’t we know about this high-profile band?
Here are 32 interesting Weezer facts you didn’t know before.
1. They Formed on Valentine’s Day
What better way to start something new than the day of love? Weezer first formed in Los Angeles on Feb. 14, 1992. The band’s original lineup included Rivers Cuomo, Matt Sharp, Pat Wilson, and Jason Cropper.
2. Jason Cropper Didn’t Even Make it to the Debut Album
If you questioned who Jason Cropper was in the first entry on our interesting Weezer facts list, there’s a reason for that. Cropper, the original guitarist, left the group while they were making their debut album.
Although fans do not hear Cropper on guitar, he was paid for his work. His replacement, Brian Bell, re-recorded all Cropper’s parts and has been with the band ever since.
3. The Band’s Name Came from Rivers Cuomo’s Nickname
What better way to take something negative and turn it into a positive than by using it as a name for your rock band? Rivers Cuomo suggested they name the band Weezer because it was what kids at school called him as they teased him for having asthma.
4. Six of Their Albums Have the Same Name
Weezer may have kept the songs fresh throughout their 15 studio albums, but they didn’t keep the albums’ titles very fresh. Whenever you ask someone to queue up Weezer’s self-titled album, you better differentiate further. The six albums are commonly known by their color: Blue Album (1994), Green Album (2001), Red Album (2008), White Album (2016), Teal Album (2019), and Black Album (2019).
We wonder what color they’ll choose next.
5. The Band Members Love Dungeons & Dragons
They may rock on stage, but off-stage, the members of Weezer are ole-fashioned gamers. In their leisure time, fans would find them playing all sorts of games, including the popular Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. It’s even mentioned in sweet Blue Album deep cut “In the Garage” (“I got a Dungeon Master’s Guide/I got a 12-sided die…”).
6. Rivers Cuomo’s Dad was a Musician
Like father, like son. River Cuomo took after his dad when it came to music. Frank Cuomo was a drummer in the 1960s.
He also played jazz saxophone on Odyssey of Iska, a 1970 album by Wayne Shorter. Later, Frank Cuomo would join his son’s band for a performance of “Back to the Shack” in March 2015. A year later, he returned, playing drums on a live rendition of their hit song “Beverly Hills.”
7. They Opened for Dogstar
After a band forms, it’s logical to think things could take a while to really take off. Not for Weezer. Just five weeks after they formed, their first gig was opening up for Dogstar at Raji’s Bar in Hollywood.
Dogstar is famous for their bassist, Matrix star Keanu Reeves.
8. Rivers Cuomo Went to Harvard
Rivers Cuomo may have been the band’s frontman, but this entry of the interesting Weezer facts proves that he was just as interested in a good education.
After visiting Harvard University upon completing a soundcheck nearby, Cuomo applied. The essay for his application focused on his feelings of disillusionment from his rock lifestyle. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree in English in 2006.
9. Cuomo’s Time at Harvard Inspired a Song
While Rivers Cuomo was focused on getting a degree, he didn’t let his music suffer. In “El Scorcho,” the lines “listening to Cio-Cio San” and “watching grunge leg-drop New Jack through a press table” were taken from an essay a classmate wrote in his expository writing class. The latter is a wonderfully obscure reference to legendary wrestling promotion ECW.
10. “We Are All on Drugs” was Changed for Radio
While this definitely qualifies for our list of interesting Weezer facts, it shouldn’t be a surprising one considering the way things are censored for the media half the time. In order to get radio play for “We Are All on Drugs,” the band had to create a version called “We Are All in Love.”
11. “Buddy Holly” was Almost “Ginger Rogers”
After we hear something, it’s almost impossible to think of it being any other way. Such was the case of Weezer’s hit song, “Buddy Holly.” The song went through several rewrites before it was finally recorded, with the most popular choice being “Ginger Rogers.” That would mean the lyrics almost became: “You look just like Ginger Rogers/Oh oh/I move just like Fred Astaire.”
12. Rivers Cuomo Once Wrote 50 Songs for One Project
While working on a project in December 1991, Rivers Cuomo challenged himself to complete 50 songs. It’s thanks to this challenge that we got future Weezer songs like “Only in Dreams,” “The World Has Turned and Left Me Here,” and “Undone.”
Related: Weezer Takes Minneapolis for a Ride
13. Rivers Cuomo was Celibate for Two Years
In our list of interesting Weezer facts, we’ve already established that Rivers Cuomo is highly disciplined, but this takes it to a whole new level. In 2003, as part of a meditation program, he took a two-year vow of celibacy, which he maintained beyond the original vow.
His vow didn’t only include abstinence from sex. He also did a lot of volunteer work, gave away or sold most of his possessions, and made a point to settle any impending lawsuits and reconcile long-standing conflicts with others.
14. They Didn’t Want “Undone (The Sweater Song)” to Be About Sweaters
“Undone (The Sweater Song” is one of Weezer’s most popular hits, but it was never supposed to be about sweaters in the first place. The band tried to emphasize that for the song’s video but still had to endure more than 20 video treatments involving the clothing item.
Rivers Cuomo has said of it, “‘Undone’ is the feeling you get when the train stops, and the little guys come knockin’ on your door. It was supposed to be a sad song, but everyone thinks it’s hilarious.”
15. A Dog Pooped on Pat Wilson’s Drum Pedal
Speaking of “Undone,” one of the dogs in the song’s music video did something Pat Wilson probably didn’t appreciate. It went number 2 on Wilson’s drum pedal in the middle of the video shoot.
16. Rivers Cuomo Didn’t Want Gimmicks to Make the Band Popular
It’s evident in these interesting Weezer facts that the band members had very specific ideas on how they wanted to be perceived, as proven by their view of what “Undone” should be. After the video for “Buddy Holly,” which featured a Happy Days theme, achieved massive success, Rivers Cuomo feared that gimmicks would be what made the band famous. To avoid that, he insisted that Pinkerton include no “gimmicky videos.” He lifted the ban on literally every subsequent Weezer video.
17. A 14-Year-Old Inspired the Band to Record “Africa”
Sometimes, all it takes is a little nudge, and that’s proven by this spot on our interesting Weezer facts list. Weezer’s decision to record “Africa” by Toto came after a 14-year-old fan pestered them for months on Twitter. It doesn’t stop there. The fan did it from an account solely created to convince them to cover the song.
18. OK Human Went Through Several Instrumentations
OK Human almost had a completely different sound had it not been for the cancellation of Weezer’s Hella Mega Tour in 2020. While the album was originally planned to have an orchestra accompany a rock instrumentation, the band initially changed it to a heavier sound to match the feel of the tour. Once the tour was nixed, they went back to the original plan.
19. Rivers Cuomo Took a Web Programming Class
We already know Rivers Cuomo was a Harvard smarty, but he went above and beyond in a web programming class. For his final project, he created a web market filled with 2,655 previously unreleased demos.
20. Rivers Cuomo was Introduced to Rock Music by KISS
Almost every artist will be able to pinpoint who it was that became the initial inspiration for their career. In the case of Rivers Cuomo, that introduction came from Kiss’ Rock and Roll Over.
The inspiration eventually led to his writing his first song when he was just 14 called “Fight for Your Right,” which he has described as a “Kiss-style heavy metal anthem.” That same year, he formed his first band, Fury, and the group played three Kiss covers at their first gig.
And who can forget this classic lyric from aforementioned banger “In The Garage”: “I got posters on the wall/my favorite rock group KISS/I got Ace Frehley/and I got Peter Criss.”
21. Rivers Cuomo Grew Up in Yogaville
The 21st entry on our interesting Weezer facts list is quite the tidbit. Rivers Cuomo and his younger brother Leaves were raised in a Hindu Ashram called Yogaville in Connecticut, which had extremely strict rules. Rock and Roll Over would have been one of the few albums allowed into the culturally isolated community.
22. Rivers Cuomo Was Born With One Leg Shorter Than the Other
There is no end of interesting Weezer facts about its frontman. Rivers Cuomo was born with one leg almost two inches shorter than the other. He would later undergo a procedure to correct the condition. After the bone was surgically broken, he had to endure several months in a steel brace, which stretched the leg four times a day.
His surgical ordeal is referenced in the song “The Good Life,” and the art for the single is an X-ray of his leg.
22. “My Name is Jonas” Refers to a Novel
For all those who are differentiating the time, “My Name is Jonas” is not about the Jonas Brothers. In fact, it is a reference to a character in The Giver by Lois Lowry.
Related: Jonas Brothers’ Net Worth
23. Rivers Cuomo Wrote for AJR
When you’re a multi-talented musician, it’s always a compliment when others reach out and want to lean on your expertise. AJR did.
After Cuomo posted a Tweet praising AJR’s “Weak,” the band recruited him to help them write another song. Cuomo happily obliged, helping them finish writing one song as well as writing the bridge to their song “Sober Up.”
24. “Mykel & Carli” is a Tribute to Two Fans
When a band is just starting out, it’s hard to forget those first ones to become your fans. Weezer certainly didn’t.
“Mykel & Carli” is a tribute to two of the group’s earliest fans who were so devoted that they eventually became the leaders of Weezer’s fan club. Tragically, both girls, along with their sister Trysta, died in a car accident in 1997.
25. Three Weezer Members Had Side Bands
While the band members of Weezer were tight, many of the members still broadened their horizons when they could. Rivers Cuomo has also held down a side project called Homie, Brian Bell was involved with The Space Twins, and Pat Wilson spent time with The Special Goodness.
26. “Say It Ain’t So” is About Cuomo’s Parent’s Divorce
In Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So,” Rivers Cuomo recalls the moment he knew his mother and stepfather were getting a divorce. He was a teenager when he opened the refrigerator door to see a beer, a sign that his stepfather had begun drinking again.
27. “In the Garage” Refers Back to the Band’s Early Days
If you thought we were done mentioning “In the Garage,” you were sorely mistaken. On the track, Weezer gives fans a glimpse into the early days of the popular rock band. The garage in the song refers to the band’s earliest rehearsal space, the Amherst House in Los Angeles.
28. Weezer Didn’t Truly Take a Hiatus
Remember back when Weezer went on hiatus from 1997 until 2000? Well, it turns out they weren’t truly on hiatus at all. After releasing Pinkerton, the band took on the pseudonym Goat Punishment and played small shows of all Oasis and Nirvana covers.
Related: 10 Intriguing Nirvana Facts
29. Cuomo is a Devout Soccer Fan
Like many, Rivers Cuomo is not a stranger to having a favorite sport, and his is soccer, but he’s taken it to the next level. He has written more than one song for the U.S. National Team, including “Our Time Will Come” after the 2006 World Cup and “Represent” prior to the 2010 World Cup. The latter Cuomo has considered the team’s unofficial anthem.
30. “Across the Sea” is Based on a Fan Letter
Richard Cuomo took many of the lyrics to “Across the Sea” verbatim from a letter he received from a fan over in Japan. The lyrics, erm, haven’t exactly aged well.
31. “Hash Pipe” was Written from an Experiment
Sometimes inspiration comes in the least likely of ways. Rivers Cuomo said he wrote “Hash Pipe” after taking Ritalin and drinking three shots of tequila before sitting in a chair in his backyard, closing his eyes, and imagining a song.
32. The 2002 Tour’s Set List was Random
You’d probably guess that a set list is very thoughtfully planned out before a band takes the stage, and, in most cases, you’d be right. During their 2002 tour, however, Weezer tried something different. Their set lists were randomly made by using the shuffle function on their playlist that featured all the songs they had recently rehearsed.
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