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Rivers Cuomo ’99-’06, the frontman for the alternative rock band Weezer, said last week he plans to return to Harvard this spring to finish a degree he started 10 years ago.
In an interview on “The Howard Stern Show” last week, Cuomo said he will return to Harvard this February to complete his coursework. He first enrolled at Harvard in the fall of 1995 but left with two semesters remaining, initially concentrating in Music but later switching to English and American Literature and Language. After leaving school in 1997, he returned to campus last fall, living in Cabot House.
Since he first matriculated, Cuomo has alternated between the life of a rock star and a college student. Over vacations from school, he recorded Weezer’s second album, “Pinkerton,” which was released in 1996.
“My time at Harvard was one of the best times of my life....The people were amazing—genuine, interesting, intelligent, humble, focused,” Cuomo told The Crimson in February 2002.
Cabot House Allston Burr Senior Tutor Stephen H. Kargère said that Cuomo’s decision to take time off was not unusual and that it is easy to re-enter at any time.
“Taking time off is completely routine, and a great opportunity to do something interesting,” said Kargère. “You have 40 years of the rest of your life to work.”
He acknowledged, however, that Cuomo’s case was unique. “It’s unusual to have students over 25 living in the dorms,” he said.
Cuomo has kept in touch with his fans by embracing digital technology, maintaining both an account on facebook.com and a diary on his blog, www.riverscuomo.com. He lists his AOL Instant Messager screenname on his facebook profile.
While he has announced his intentions to return to Cambridge in the media, Cuomo has yet to inform Harvard of his decision, according to Susan Livingston, assistant to the Cabot House Masters. She said on Friday that she had not heard yet whether or not Cuomo would return.
But Cuomo wrote on his blog: “I definitely intend to return to (Harvard) in the spring of 2006.”
Despite the lack of official confirmation, Kargère said he fully expects Cuomo to be back in the spring.
“It’s not inconsistent with the impression that I had [when he left campus],” he said.
Jesse L. Krohn ’06 lived next door to Cuomo in Cabot House for a few weeks last year. She described him as a nice person who kept to himself and valued his privacy.
“He was very pleasant—shy—he would probably be very embarrassed to know an article would be written about him,” Krohn said.
Cuomo formed Weezer on Feb. 14, 1992 with Jason Cropper, Matt Sharp, and Pat Wilson. The band signed with DGC Records and released its self-titled debut album on May 10, 1994.
That album became a commercial success, featuring such singles as “Undone (The Sweater Song),” “Buddy Holly,” and “Say It Ain’t So.”
Weezer’s second album, “Pinkerton,” which was released in 1996, did not sell as well. The band broke up after its release, and did not reunite until 2000. The band’s membership shuffled, and the re-formed group released a second self-titled album in 2001. Their fourth album, “Maladroit,” came soon after.
Weezer released “Make Believe,” their fifth and most recent album, in May, with the single “Beverly Hills” getting substantial radio airplay throughout the nation.
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