Phoenix, AZ

Why are Rock Stars Moving to Phoenix?

Toni Koraza
Photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash

Do you know why so many rock stars retire in Phoenix, Arizona?

The answer may surprise you. Some of the most famous musicians who call this city home are Jim Adkins and Alice Cooper! Music is everywhere in Phoenix: from the concerts at Phoenix Symphony Hall to the jam sessions at Crescent Ballroom. If rock ’n’ roll sounds like your kind of gig, head on over to one of many Phoenix live music bars and sees what all the fuss is about.

Phoenix has a much lower cost of living than other major cities, making it an attractive place for those looking for a hot climate with plenty to do. You’ll find that there’s never a shortage of things to do and see in Phoenix. Whether it is hiking or late-night bar jams, Phoenix has it all.

Maybe that’s why so many celebrities flock to Arizona? Hmm. Maybe.

Let’s first look at some of the most famous rockstars that moved to Phoenix during their careers. Some of these people technically live in Scottsdale and Paradise, but it’s all part of the Greater Phoenix area.

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper is one of the biggest names in rock music history with an iconic stage show that blends horror movies with music. He has seen constant success across five decades with classic songs like I’m Eighteen, School’s Out, and Poison under his belt.

David Ellefson

David Ellefson is a bass player, songwriter, and founding member of Megadeth. He has been playing professionally since the age of 15 in bands like The Rods (with future Metallica guitarist Dave Mustaine), Metal Church, and Kingdom Come. David joined Megadeth in 1983 after being recruited by Mustaine to replace original bassist Dijon Carruthers.

Ellefson had recently found himself in hot waters when he was kicked out of Megadeth over sexual misconduct allegations.

Jim Adkins

Jim Adkins is the lead singer and guitarist for a band called Jimmy Eat World. Most people don’t know about him because he has been making music since he was eight years old, first starting with drums then moving on to guitar.

Cris Kirkwood

Cris Kirkwood is an American musician best known as the bass player for the grunge band The Meat Puppets. He was born in Phoenix, Arizona, and started playing guitar at age 12. As a teenager, Cris played rhythm guitar with his brothers Curt and Derrick and eventually formed The Meat Puppets in 1980.

John Friesen

John Friesen is one of the most talented musicians in the world. A songwriter, singer, and guitarist John has been playing music for over 30 years. He’s toured with artists like The Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton as a backup musician. Now he’s back home in Canada touring with his own band! Catch him at Toronto or Ottawa this summer to see what all the fuss is about!

Max Cavalera

Max Cavalera is the founder and lead vocalist of the Brazilian metal band Sepultura. Born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on September 13, 1966, Max started playing drums at a young age before switching to guitar at 13 years old.

So, why Phoenix, Arizona?

Phoenix is a hot, dry city in the southwestern United States. It’s also where many rock stars seem to retire. In fact, so many famous musicians live here that it may soon become “The Capital of Retired Rock Stars.”

You may be wondering why these rockers would choose Phoenix over other sunnier destinations like Miami or Los Angeles? Well, for starters, they enjoy living away from the hustle and bustle of big cities while still being close to a bigger city. In addition, most of these people enjoy lower taxes and a favorable investing climate. Arizona has a maximum personal income tax rate of up to 4.5%, compared to 12.5% in California.

Musicians can retain more of their royalties and invest some of that money in real estate: Phoenix, but more precisely Scotsdales and Paradise Valley, two of the wealthiest zip codes in Arizona.

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