You Say It's Your Birthday: Tool's Adam Jones

In a word, awesome.

Today is the birthday of Tool guitarist and artistic guru

Adam Jones. Tool's been carrying the torch for serious punk-metal since their

debut album, Opiate, appeared on Zoo Records in 1992. Their dark,

goosebump-inducing sound has since made them successful in a genre of music

thought long dead. Jones went to High School with Rage Against the Machine's

Tom Morello, and was living next door to future Tool wailer Maynard James

Keenan when Morello introduced them to Tool's other musicians, Danny Carey and

Paul D'Amour. D'Amour and Jones were both in the film business; Jones was

working with artistic effects, and had worked on such heavyweights as

Terminator 2 and Jurassic Park before hooking up with the Tool


After the release of Opiate, the band toured with 1993's

Lollapalooza fest as well as opening for Rollins Band, Rage Against the Machine

and Fishbone. They released their second album, Undertow that same year;

the singles "Undertow" and "Prison Sex" were picked up by MTV despite their

controversial references to alcoholism and child molestation. Both videos were

created by Jones, featuring twitchy poppets, stop-motion animation and

harrowing images like a pulsing tunnel of meat.

D'Amour left the band in

1995, claiming creative differences, and was replaced by the much-envied Justin

Chancellor (who formerly played with Peaches). The band released Aenima

in October of 1996 to much critical acclaim. Their video for "Stinkfist" (those

title MTV has "edited" to "Song#1"), again created by Jones, is seeing heavy

airtime. The group was named among fan's favorites in Rolling Stone's

recent reader's poll, and the band has been nominated for a Grammy for Best

Record Packaging -- another artistic effort in which Jones had his hand. Other

birthdays: The Late Ronnie Van Zant (Lynyrd Skynyrd), Martha Davis (Motels),

Boris Blank (Yello) and Lisa Lisa. -- Beth Winegarner