57 Things You Might Not Know About Weezer

For one thing, his name is not actually Jonas.


1. Rivers Cuomo named the band Weezer because that was a nickname given to him by kids in school who teased him for having asthma.

2. Cuomo's dad Frank Cuomo was a drummer in the '60s, and played on jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter's 1970 album Odyssey of Iska.

3. Cuomo and his younger brother Leaves grew up on a Hindu ashram called Yogaville in Connecticut.

4. Cuomo's first exposure to rock music was Kiss' Rock and Roll Over, which was one of the few records to make it into the culturally isolated Yogaville community.

5. Cuomo was born with his left leg nearly two inches shorter than his right leg. After he became a successful rock star, he underwent a procedure to correct the condition that involved the surgical breaking of the bone in his leg, followed by several months of wearing a steel brace that required self-administered stretching of the leg four times daily.

6. Cuomo wrote his first song when he was 14. It was called "Fight for Your Right," and he described it as a Kiss-style heavy metal anthem.

7. Cuomo formed his first band when he was 14. It was called Fury, and also featured his brother Leaves on guitar. They played a set of three Kiss covers at their first show.

8. His second band was a hair metal group called Avant Garde. They changed their name to Zoom after moving to Hollywood.

9. The first verse of "Say It Ain't So" calls back to a moment in Cuomo's teen years when he opened his refrigerator and saw a beer, and immediately knew that his mother and stepfather were about to get a divorce because his stepfather had started drinking again.

10. Cuomo mentions his stepfather by name — Stephen — in the verse of "Say It Ain't So" directed to his biological father, who had not actually spoken to in years. ("This bottle of Stephen's awakens ancient feelings.")

11. Cuomo was introduced to eventual Weezer members Matt Sharp and Pat Wilson through a co-worker named Pat Finn when he was working at the Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard.

12. Cuomo and Finn started a short-lived band called Fuzz, which evolved into another band called Sixty Wrong Sausages with Finn and Sharp. They only played one show.

13. Cuomo challenged himself to write 50 songs for a new project in December 1991. This batch of songs included future Weezer tunes "Undone," "Only in Dreams," "My Name Is Jonas," and "The World Has Turned and Left Me Here."

14. The first lineup of Weezer — Rivers Cuomo, Pat Wilson, Matt Sharp, and Jason Cropper — officially formed in February 1992.

15. Weezer played their first show ever at a venue called Raji's in West Los Angeles on March 19, 1992.

16. The setlist included "Undone" and "The World Has Turned and Left Me Here" along with early tunes "I Can't Forget the Way" and "The Biggest Animal."

17. The B-side "Mykel & Carli" is a tribute to two of the band's earliest and most devoted fans who went on to become the leaders of the band's fan club. Both girls died along with their sister Trysta in a car accident in 1997.

18. Original Weezer guitarist Jason Cropper was asked to leave the band under mysterious circumstances while they were making their debut album, and had to sign a strict confidentiality agreement banning him from talking about his time in the band to this day. All of Cropper's parts were removed from the record, but he was paid for his work as a full member.

View Entire List ›