Shortly after the [80-city] tour ended on Dec. 22 with a sold-out show in Tokyo, the band's singer and songwriter, Rivers Cuomo, settled into a tiny, monastic dormitory room at Harvard, from which he will graduate this spring with a bachelor's degree in English.Cuomo's austerity includes abstaining from sex (though he says he's getting married soon, to a person he won't name). He meditates twice a day -- lately, in the dorm closet, underneath the sweaters. He's returning to Harvard after attending in the mid-90s, which was after his band became popular:
... He lives alone, in a modest 14-by-9-foot room with the standard-issue desk, bureau and bed, to which he has added only a map of the world, taped to the wall, and a small Oriental rug bought for less than $200 by Sarah Kim, his personal assistant. "Most people wouldn't expect a rock star to be happy living in a dorm room," said Ms. Kim, "but he is."...
"There are so many difficulties to being a musician, and being a rock star," he said in late January as snow fell outside his room in Sarah Whitman Hall, a red-brick 1911 dorm with arched doorways and wooden banisters smoothed by time. "Here I can escape the pain of my profession. The truth is, I hate to perform. I get such bad stage fright, it makes me physically ill."
During one hiatus from school, from mid-1998 to 1999, he moved into an apartment under a freeway in Culver City, Calif.Normally, material like that doesn't work well in an admissions essay.
"I became more and more isolated," he wrote in an essay for a Harvard dean, explaining his long absence. "I unplugged my phone. I painted the walls and ceiling of my bedroom black and covered the windows with fiberglass insulation."