Spiritual (and other) rebirths

They renounced the spotlight to launch the most unlikely new careers, writes Luke Bainbridge.

1. Brian ‘Head’ Welch
Born in Bakersfield, California, Brian Welch, aka Head, formed nu metal outfit Korn with his childhood friends in 1993. The group scored several multi-platinum albums , but all was not well with the guitarist. By 2005 he was in a deep depression and addicted to crystal meth and sleeping pills. A friend invited him to the Bakersfield Valley Bible Fellowship, which prompted Head to leave Korn, citing moral objections to their music and videos, and renouncing his former lifestyle.
‘I was going after my demonic potential,’ he later explained. ‘Worshipping money, fame, worshipping all this other stuff that I felt life was about.’ The following month he was baptised in the river Jordan (pictured). While in the holy land, Welch wrote a song for 50 Cent, aiming to save him. ‘It’s not from me,’ Welch told MTV. ‘It’s from the Big Guy. Even 50 respects the Big Guy.’

Head’s debut solo album, It’s Time to See Religion Die, still awaits a release date.

2. Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter
A founding member of Steely Dan, Baxter also played with the Doobie Brothers. In the mid-Eighties, his interest in music technology led him to explore military technology and into a career as a defence consultant. He now advises the Pentagon on Iraq.

3. Kim Wilde
While pregnant with her first child in 1997, Wilde returned to her love of gardening. She has since presented several TV gardening programmes, published two gardening books and, in 2005, won a Gold Award for her courtyard garden at the Chelsea Flower Show.

4. Reverend Run
A founding member of hip-hop pioneers Run-DMC, Joseph Simmons discovered Zoe Ministries in the late Eighties and became an ordained minister, aka Reverend Run. He starred in recent MTV reality show Run’s House and has published his Words of Wisdom.

5. Dave Lovering
The Pixies drummer turned magician after the band split in 1993 because he felt he ‘couldn’t top the Pixies’. Lovering now performs at a regular cabaret night in Los Angeles when he is not back on the road with the re-formed Pixies.

6. Edward Tudor-Pole
He formed and fronted his own band Tenpole Tudor in 1974, and appeared in the dreadful Great Rock’n’Roll Swindle , but Tudor-Pole is best known for presenting cult Channel 4 gameshow The Crystal Maze , a role he took over from Richard O’Brien.

7. Kate Pierson
On their biggest hit, 1989’s ‘Love Shack’, the B-52s’ singer sang of ‘a little old place where we can get together’. Fifteen years later, Pierson decided to create her own loveshack and opened Kate’s Lazy Meadow motel in the Catskill Mountains, upstate New York.

8. Kym Ryder
A member of original music reality show-derived group Hear’say, Kym Marsh went on to have a brief solo career before marrying EastEnders star Jack Ryder. She can now be found working behind the bar in Coronation Street , flirting with Steve McDonald.

9. Jim Martin
Faith No More guitarist from 1983-1993, Martin is now an award winning giant pumpkin grower. At the 2003 Half Moon Weigh-off, Martin’s 1,064lb pumpkin (above, Jim in red T-shirt) won the award for heaviest pumpkin grown in California.

10. Jo O’Meara
O’Meara sang lead vocals on most of S Club 7’s hits. After the group split, she launched a short-lived solo career, but when her album stalled at number 47 she returned home to Romford and her new career as a dog breeder. Until Celebrity Big Brother came calling.