THE Offspring frontman Dexter Holland is Pretty Fly (for a white guy) having earned a Ph.D. in 2017.
Dexter delayed his dream of going back to school for decades when he shot to international stardom as a huge punk rock star.
But the 57-year-old guitarist and singer is now a H.I.V scientist after he enrolled in the University of Southern California to study molecular biology – and in his spare time he relaxes by collecting stamps.
He said in 2017: “My research focused on the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, the virus which causes AIDS.
“I am interested in virology and wanted to contribute in some small way to the knowledge which has been learned about HIV and AIDS.
“This terrible disease remains a worldwide epidemic – over 35 million people worldwide are currently infected and living with the HIV virus. Over 1 million people a year die from this disease.”
As a teenager Dexter graduated high school in California as valedictorian (top of his class) and struggled to pick between the band and a career in medicine.
He said: “I was kind of having a little bit of an identity crisis like, ‘Do I really want to go into medicine?’ And I was really loving being in the band, but the band seemed so unrealistic. I was not quite committed either way.”
He got a master’s before starting the Ph.D. program, but the band’s album Smash started climbing the charts in 1994.
He said: “We got a manager and I said, ‘Is there any way I can do school and the band?’ And he said, ‘No way. This is the time. If you want to go for it, you got to go for it.”
Dexter returned to his studies 20 years later, with a bag of hit songs under his belt including Original Prankster, Self Esteem and Come Out and Play.
The star told Vice in 2017 that the punk scene was full of like-minded secret brainboxes like himeslf back in the day.
He said: “In punk, you’re an outsider. You approach music in a different, rebellious way, and it turned out there were some really smart guys [in the punk scene].
“One of the first places The Offspring could play was in Berkeley (university campus), at Gilman Street.
“There was a real scene up there, with all these interesting, artistic and quirky—but also very smart—people.
“We got along with them really well. We fit in.”
Dexter also has a pilot license and flew solo around the world in 10 days. He runs marathons, and has his own hot sauce company.
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