Tool frontman insults fans — again

Stuart R. Wahlin
4 min readAug 22, 2022


© Markus Felix | PushingPixels

Maynard James Keenan, 58-year-old frontman for the bands Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer, has lived a charmed life for decades — at least in the eyes of his adoring fans. But in a recent post on Instagram, Keenan suggested that nine-to-fivers living paycheck to paycheck wouldn’t want to trade places with him.

Though Keenan remains active musically, he hedged his retirement bets in the early 2000s by building a small winemaking empire in Arizona, where he owns and operates a vineyard and winery. And while he’s certainly got his hands full as he juggles three bands and winemaking, it’s reasonable to assume these are labors of love and passion. At the very least, they’re certainly lucrative endeavors.

But an Aug. 18 post on Instagram left some fans wondering whether Keenan’s life has been blessed for so long that he’s forgotten what it’s like to not be rich and famous.

“11 to 12 Hour Days, 7 Days a Week, during Crush is not uncommon,” Keenan lamented of the harvest season. “People who have a tough time making it through a 40 hour work week should just spare us the ‘I want to work in a winery!’ nonsense. This day saw humid 95° temps but ended with a cats n dogs downpour. We start early to dodge the sun and rain.”

Poor you, appeared to be the sarcastic sentiment expressed by a number of fans who responded to Keenan’s post.

“To be fair, a soul sucking 40-hour work week in a shitty warehouse or cube farm is not quite the same as 80 hours doing something that you actually enjoy and gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment,” one Instagram user responded. “Surely you realize this from your own experiences.”

Another user, who described himself as a cross-country trucker, wrote: “12 hour days? Must be nice to have such a light schedule.”

A woman who identified herself as a working single mother and full-time college student suggested to Keenan, “Less whining, more wineing.”

Another respondent wrote: “Holy fuck you are the most arrogant fucktard. You do nothing but talk shit about people you don’t even know who made you able to buy your fucking vineyard and act like a hipster twat. You even somehow manage to insult fucking cancer survivors because they aren’t as tough as your wife. Good God.”

It was announced in 2021 that Keenan’s wife, Jennifer Lei Li, was in the clear after a six-month bout requiring surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments for breast cancer. She fanned the flames by describing their winemaking lives as “Def not for the delicate.”

A reply by this writer — who once paid $50 for a bottle of Keenan’s wine — to the rock star’s rant could not be found a day after it was posted. In short, the reply urged the singer and winemaker to remember he’s living his dream because of the money his fans throw at him, and that not everyone has the luxury of enjoying what they have to do in order to make ends meet. The reply added that complaining about his enviable life was “a bad look” considering that the dollars spent by allegedly weak nine-to-fivers made it all possible for him. No response was offered before the reply disappeared.

Keenan has developed a bit of a pattern of insulting his fans, whether it’s because they have the audacity to take photos or videos at concerts, or because they simply have differing opinions about his various bands. The former has resulted in fans being ejected from shows for not following his no-cameras policy. The latter caused Keenan to refer to fans as “insufferable people” and “retards” in an interview with Phoenix New Times.

In 2018, a Twitter user alleged Keenan had tried to rape her in 2000 when she was only 17 years old. Keenan denied the claim, and the story quickly went away.

While the enigmatic Keenan clearly worked hard to build a livelihood for himself musically, becoming a rock star is about as likely as winning the lottery — and that’s a blessing he should be grateful for. And while quite talented and hard-working, not everyone with talent and a strong work ethic succeeds. Keenan may want to consider recognizing that he was simply part of a perfect storm that catapulted he and his Tool bandmates to success, and that his subsequent triumphs were built on that one-in-a-million shot that paid off — and that it wasn’t because he’s better, or works harder, than anyone else.

Estimates of Keenan’s net worth range between $40 million and $70 million, so it’s not surprising that some of his equally hard-working supporters aren’t interested in his complaints about how difficult his chosen life is, especially when Keenan appears to be so out of touch with the difficulties his fans face in their daily lives.



Stuart R. Wahlin

Former print journalist, published author and ghostwriter, award-winning screenwriter and filmmaker, tragic figure.