Stephen Joseph Malkmus (born May 30, 1966) is an American musician best known as the lead singer and guitarist of the indie rock band Pavement. He currently performs with Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks.
Stephen Malkmus was born in Santa Monica, California to Mary and Stephen Malkmus, Sr. His father was a property and casualty insurance agent. When Stephen Jr. was 8, the family moved upstate to Stockton, where he attended Carpinteria's Cate School and Lodi's Tokay High School. As a teenager, Malkmus worked various jobs, including painting house numbers on street curbs and "flipping burgers or whatever" at a country club. At age 16, he spent the night in jail after consuming alcohol, urinating in the bushes, and walking on the roofs of several residential homes. Later, he was placed on probation for underage drinking, and was also expelled from school "for going to a party in the woods where people were taking mushrooms. I didn’t take them, but some guy narc’d on me."
Malkmus learned the guitar by playing along to Jimi Hendrix's recording of "Purple Haze". During high school, he played in several Stockton-based punk bands: Bag O Bones, The Straw Dogs, and Crisis Alert. After graduation, Malkmus followed in his father's footsteps by attending the University of Virginia, where he majored in history and was a disc jockey for the college radio station WTJU. During this time, Malkmus met fellow WTJU DJs David Berman (who would later front the Silver Jews) and James McNew (of Yo La Tengo). In the late 1980s, he was employed as a security guard at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, along with Berman and Bob Nastanovich...
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