We will have heard of stories from the music industry about artists who love nothing more than enjoying themselves by playing their favourite casino games. Heavy metal rock stars are the type of people many would expect to see at the tables, especially with their gung-ho attitude. So it will come as no surprise there have been a few famous characters over the years who have really enjoyed gambling and have made a name for themselves at the casinos.
Salvatore Paul Erna, more often referred to as Sully, is both lead vocalist and guitarist for Godsmack, an American heavy metal band. Erna, who also performs as a solo artist, was once recognised as one of the finest heavy metal vocalists around and is held in high regard by his peers within the industry.
There’s permanent proof of Erna’s love of poker in the form of a tattoo which covers most of his back. Erna had this done after flopping quad aces in a poker game, with his opponent going all in with a royal flush. After proclaiming “There’s no justice in poker”, Erna had the tattoo of four burning aces with the words “No Justice” done.
Scott Ian is the last remaining founding member of thrash metal band Anthrax. The rhythm guitarist and vocalist, alongside his love for music, also possesses a deep passion for poker and spend much of his free time playing the game. In fact, Ian at one stage explored the possibility of making it as a professional poker player, which is something many of his fans thought could happen.
The stumbling block for Ian was that he found it difficult to combine music and poker, that was until the internet and improvement in technology came along, thus allowing him to play poker online. Ian has mentioned this as a turning point in interviews, with his victory at the VH1 Rock & Roll Celebrity tournament in 2016 seeing him take the game even more seriously.
Rock stars don’t come much bigger than the late Lemmy Kilmister. Kilmister, who founded and fronted Motorhead, was a keen gambler and this was no secret. One of the band’s biggest hits was Ace of Spades, which Kilmister wrote, but unlike many other of his gambling loving peers, it was slot games Kilmister enjoyed playing, rather than being interested in learning the rules of blackjack or other table games.
A documentary on Kilmister’s life “Lemmy: The Movie” offers a great insight into the rock stars love of slot machines, with The Damned frontman Dave Vanian suggesting Kilmister would often been seen in gambling venues in London where he’d spend a lot of time spinning the reels of his favourite games. It seemed slot machines and cocktails of jack and coke were the perfect combination for the all-time great.
While there are bound to be countless other rock stars, both past and present, who love nothing more than escaping the hustle and bustle of the industry by enjoying playing their favourite casino games. The three artists we highlighted, have not only made it in the music business, but are also very much accomplished and at home in the casino as well.