Rock musicians have a reputation for being super icons with a genius for music and performing, but behind all the big hair, loud guitars and crazy fandom there are intelligent individuals who would give your philosophy and science professors a run for their money. Here are a few brainiacs that not only show musical genius, but have proven their worth through the academic world.

Brian May (Queen): Prior to becoming a key part of Queen, May studied astrohpysics at Imperial College, London. In 1971, before adventuring into the world of rock'n'roll, May began work on his thesis about the formation of zodiacal dust clouds. Simple, right? 36 legendary years later, May would finally hand in that thesis entitled, “Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud.” He would graduate with his Ph.D. in astrophysics a year later and has since accepted a post as Visting Researcher at Imperial College.

Queen – I Want It All

Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine): Known for his unique guitar stylings and politically-charged music, Morello's extensive resume also includes the prestigious accomplishment of Harvard graduate. After graduating high school with honors, he enrolled at Harvard as a political science student and later graduated with a BA in Social Studies. Since then Morello has used his education and his passion for activism to fuel his music. Morello co-founded the political group, Axis of Justice, with System of a Down’s Serj Tankian and is still going strong musically.

Rage Against The Machine – Guerrilla Radio

Art Garfunkel (Simon & Garfunkel): After writing and recording throughout high school with Paul Simon, and even landing a record contract, Garfunkel decided to go to college looking “to find some way to make a ‘decent’ living.” He would earn his BA in Art History at Columbia College, and later earned his Masters in Mathematics at Columbia University. He would return to music to become one of the most important parts of the folk movement and go on to have a lasting solo career.

Simon & Garfunkel – I Am A Rock

This is just a small handful of rock icons who are also geniuses in other aspects of life besides music. Don’t be surprised to find that the people behind the loud music are often times more than meets the eye.

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