The most famous musical alter egos
16 June 2019, 13:00 | Updated: 16 June 2019, 13:01
David Bowie was the greatest practitioner of the musical alter ego... but he wasn't the only one. Radio X takes a look at the others.
David Bowie - Major Tom, Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane and The Thin White Duke
Dubbed as one of the most iconic rock stars in music history, David Bowie was the ultimate style and musical chameleon. Whether delighting fans as Ziggy Stardust or keeping us on our toes us as the Thin White Duke, Bowie's creations and personas to this day remain some of the most memorable in Rock N' Roll. We celebrate the legacy Ziggy Stardust left behind with some of the best alter egos around
Bono - The Fly, Mirrorball Man and MacPhisto
During U2's 1992-3 the Zoo TV Tour, Bono unleashed three alter egos in The Fly, Mirrorball Man and MacPhisto. The Fly saw Bono clad in all leather, while Mirror Ball Man wore a shining silver lamé suit with matching shoes and cowboy hat. MacPhisto wore a shiny gold suit with gold platform shoes, pale make-up, lipstick, and devil's horns atop his head. Bono's performances and the Zoo TV Tour as a whole, marked a change in stadium concerts in terms of scale and production.
Eminem - Slim Shady
John Lennon may have been a Beatles star and huge icon, but Dr Winston O'Boogie gave John Lennon his only solo US No.1 during his lifetime. Recorded with Elton John, the Rocket Man bet Lennon the song would top the charts. Fulfilling the terms of his bet, Lennon performed the song at Elton John's Thanksgiving performance at Madison Square Garden.
Prince - Camille, Symbol
Camille was the name Prince gave his high-pitched sped up, female-sounding vocals. An album in this style of the same name was due to be released in 1986, but was cancelled weeks before it was scheduled. You can still find Camille though, as most of the tracks were incorporated onto his Sign O' The Times album. He also wrote The Bangles' Just Another Manic Monday under the name Christopher and was a symbol from 1993-2000. We settled for calling him "the artist formerly known as Prince".
Green Day - The Foxboro Hot Tubs
Foxboro Hot Tubs is a garage rock side project featuring all three members of Green Day and Kevin Preston of Prima Donna. Billie Joe Armstrong and Jason White go by the names Reverend Strychnine Twitch and Frosco Lee, while Tre Cool keeps his own established pseudonym.
Morrissey - Ann Coates
Our favourite Manchester bard is known best as Morrissey or Moz, but he took on a fair few characters during the creative process and is credited as Ann Coates on Bigmouth Strikes Again. Uber fan forums also connect the characters Shridan Whiteside, Eddie Riff, Terence Stomp, Whores in Retirement, Stoney Hando and Knuckle Duster to The Smiths frontman.
Paul McCartney - The Fireman
Macca is one half of The Fireman, alongside Youth (Martin Glover). The electronic duo remained anonymous until 2008, unvieling their names shortly after the release of their first album.
Jarvis Cocker - Darren Spooner
Goulish zombie/skeleton-man, Darren Spooner, was the alter ego the Pulp frontman took on for his side project Relaxed Muscle.
Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme - Boots Electric and Carlo Von Sexron
Boots Electric and Carlo Von Sexron are the duo's ostentatious alter-egos in Eagles Of Death Metal.
Neil Young - Bernard Shakey
He may have been Neil Young on the stage, but behind the camera, he was Bernard Shakey, and responsible for directing the likes of Journey Through The Past (1974), Rust Never Sleeps (1979) and Greendale (2003).
Charles Thompson - Black Francis
Following a long line of Charles Thompsons, Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV probably couldn't wait to take on the role of Black Francis when playing in the Pixies.
Interpol's Paul Banks - Julian Plenti
The Interpol frontman released a solo album in 2009 called Julian Plenti Is... Skyscraper. Julian - taken from the singer's lesser-known middle name, now very much stays that way, since he now prefers to record his solo material under Paul Banks.
Jim Morrison - Mr Mojo Risin
The Doors frontman gave himself the moniker Mr. Mojo Risin, which is an anagram of his name. A reference to this name pops up at the end of The Doors track L.A. Woman.
Supergrass - The Hotrats
Two thirds of Supergrass, Gaz Coombes and Danney Goffey showed their sense of humour when they formed The Hotrats... who were a Supergrass cover band.