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10 Things We Learned from Maynard James Keenan’s Biography

A Perfect Union of Contrary Things, Sarah Jensen with Maynard James Keenan, presents Maynard’s story as a metaphor for the reader’s own evolution and an encouragement to follow our dreams, hold fast to individual integrity, and work ceaselessly to fulfill our creative potential. Team Rock made a list of 10 things learned from the ‘semi-autobiography.’ Team Rock covers all rock from Classic to Metal Hammer, Prog, and more. Check out the list below.


00146489The name ‘Maynard’ came from his poetry.

At high school, James Herbert Keenan wrote poems and illustrated them with a “small, witchy character” named Maynard.He adopted the name while he was in the army.

He idolized Kiss.

He even made a ceramic Gene Simmons face at school, but his dad and stepmom worried Kiss was an acronym for ‘Knights in Satan’s Service’ and that Maynard was a degenerate.

He can navigate a battlefield.

In the military, Maynard was as an artillery surveyor, plotting diagrams and escape routes for his battery during warfare. The first thing he did when he left was get a mohawk.

His first band were political.

C.A.D., aka Children Of The Anachronistic Dynasty, produced two cassettes. Each came with a manifesto questioning the values and future of corporate, middle-class America.

Birds are a big deal for him.

Maynard worked as a merchandise manager at pet shops in Boston and LA, and constructed an aviary in each bedroom he lived in. He once kept a turkey called Butterball.


Check out the rest of the list here.


A Perfect Union of Contrary Things presents the outtakes, the scenes of disappointment and triumph, and the events that led him to take one step after the next, to change direction, to explore sometimes surprising opportunities. Included throughout are passages in Keenan’s own words, often humorous anecdotes that illuminate the narrative. There is also commentary by his family members, friends, instructors, and industry colleagues. The book also features a foreword by Alex Grey, an American visionary artist and longtime friend of Keenan, who has designed Tool’s album and stage art.

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