September 1, 2004
Eric Melin holding the fruit of his labor.
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In it for the money: When Lawrence's finest aren't rocking your ass off, they're slumming it for chump change
For every great and famous musician who's ever won a Grammy, had a hit single or packed stadiums with lighter-toting superfans, there's no doubt a lowly day-job story to be told. As legend has it, Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne wrote much of the band's early material while slinging hush puppies at a Long John Silvers; Johnny Cash spent three years going door-to-door selling appliances before walking into Sun Studios; Alex Van Halen nearly lost his finger working as a machine operator -- the list is long and frequently hilarious. For Lawrence's elite crop of working-class guitar slingers, day jobs aren't a footnote in some VH1 documentary but rather a way of life.