|Birth name||Rivers Cuomo|
|Born||June 13, 1970 (age 51)
New York City, U.S.
|Origin||Connecticut, Los Angeles|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, Songwriter, Vocalist, Guitarist|
|Instrument(s)||Vocals, Guitar, Drums, Bass, Piano, Harmonica, Clarinet|
Rivers Cuomo (born June 13, 1970) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and producer. He is the lead vocalist and principal songwriter of the rock band Weezer. He has also released works under his own name, and has contributed to numerous songs by other artists.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Early years
- 1.2 Ashram Farm
- 1.3 Public school
- 1.4 Teenage metal years
- 1.5 Fury
- 1.6 High school
- 1.7 Avant Garde
- 1.8 Moving to Los Angeles
- 1.9 Forming Weezer
- 1.9.1 Signing to Geffen and The Blue Album
- 1.9.2 Initial success
- 1.9.3 Attending Harvard
- 1.9.4 Pinkerton
- 1.9.5 Retreat to Boston
- 1.9.6 Comeback and SS2K
- 1.9.7 The Green Album and return to success
- 1.9.8 Maladroit
- 1.9.9 Meditation
- 1.9.10 Unfinished album with Matt Sharp
- 1.9.11 Make Believe
- 1.9.12 Marriage, parenthood and peace
- 1.9.13 The Red Album
- 1.10 Relationship with fans
- 2 Discography
- 2.1 As a band member
- 2.2 As a solo artist
- 2.3 List of bands
- 2.4 Equipment
- 2.5 Interviews
- 2.6 Essays
- 2.7 See also
- 2.8 External links
Rivers Cuomo was born on June 13, 1970 in Manhattan to father Frank Cuomo and mother Beverly Shoenberger. His mother claims he was named "Rivers" because she first heard the sound of a river outside her hospital window after Rivers' birth. His father claims that he was named after three players from the Soccer World Cup of 1970: Rivelino, Riva, Rivera; all three of which played one another one week after June 13. Rivers was, according to his brother, Leaves, almost named "Apple"--most likely because he was born in New York City. Rivers was raised in upstate New York at the Buddhist Zen Center. There, Rivers' father farmed cows until he left the family in 1975. Afterward, he was mostly absent from Rivers' youth. Rivers and Leaves followed their mother, Beverly, to Yogaville where Rivers remained for the rest of his childhood. There, Rivers was known as "Rama." Said Rivers, "You have to realize we were living in an enclosed community of Hindus. We lived in an ashram. Isn't that insane?...It was a very mellow childhood." Beverly remarried to Stephen Kitts who became Rivers' stepfather.
When Rivers was enrolled at the Pomfret Community School (taught by Mrs. Anderson), he was "a very somber child."
"My teacher asked my mother what was wrong with me because I never looked happy. So, my mother advised her to say, 'Let me see that smile,' and then I would smile. So she did that -- in front of the whole class. She got the whole class to turn around, look at me and say, 'Let me see that smile.'"
Rivers' first musical love was Kiss. In 1977, a young girl whom Rivers was friends with (presumably the one on the Buddy Holly single) played Rivers the Kiss record, Rock and Roll Over. Rivers would later say that this "directed the course of [his] life."
"We were all about six or seven years old. And when we heard 'Makin' Love' or 'I Want You' off that record, we just lost our minds. The guitar was so exciting! I remember we'd all just run around the room in circles, playing air guitar and jumping off the furniture."
Around 1980, Yogaville moved to Virginia. Rather than following it, the Kitts family (Beverly, Stephen, Rivers and Leaves) remained in Connecticut moving to Storrs Mansfield. There, the family lived at an apartment in Warrenville and eventually a home on South Eagleville Rd in the Summer of 1983. Once out of the commune, Rivers and Leaves began to prepare for public schools. According to Rivers, they taught each other to swear to fit in. Furthermore, Rivers joined the Columbia Record Club and bought all the Kiss albums he could. Said Rivers, "I bought twelve albums for one penny or something. Within that package was Eddy Rabbit, Abba, Queen...I think they all had a tremendous impact." Clearly they did - two out of three of those artists are mentioned in 2008's "Heart Songs".
Shortly after entering Mansfield Middle School, Rivers' mother and her friend arranged for Rivers to play with Justin Fisher, who would become Rivers' lifelong friend. According to Rivers, him and Leaves had "the crap beaten out of [them]" at school. Rivers attributes his shyness to bullying.
Upon entering public school, both Rivers and Leaves began to go by the last name of Kitts (their stepfather) rather than Cuomo. According to Justin, Rivers and Leaves' parents permitted them to go by new first names to help them fit in better. Rivers chose the name "Peter" making his name Peter Kitts. He chose this name because of it's similarity to "Peter Criss". Rivers and Justin quickly became the best of friends. The two shared much in common such as Dungeons & Dragons, music and soccer. Said Rivers, "I gravitated toward the, uh...elven, or half-elven; something with high dexterity."
According to Rivers, he was very athletic in his youth. In the Lover in the Snow video, Rivers discusses his diagnosis with a leg problem. Rivers had a rare case of "congenital femur 'something or other'" (as Beverly phrased it in a letter to family and friends). The condition would worsen as Rivers got older. According to Rivers, his desire to be an athlete soon faded as his leg grew worse. As a result, Rivers decided to be a rock star.
In 7th grade, Rivers got Justin into Kiss, which at the time, Justin was a fan of The Beatles and The Beach Boys. From Kiss, Rivers went on to discover metal bands like Scorpions and pop bands like Men At Work, which was Rivers' first concert.
Teenage metal years
At an 8th grade talent show, Rivers and Justin witnessed some classmates covering "Metal Health" by Quiet Riot. Rivers and Justin noticed girls rushing the stage and "everyone freaking out", so the two decided to form their own band, Fury. Inspired by the performance, Rivers asked his parents to buy him a guitar for his fourteenth birthday. On June 13, 1984, Rivers received his first guitar, a Stratocaster copy. Rivers learned the Ace Frehley solos and would attempt to play them for his mother. Said Rivers, "I'd play her the 'Shock Me' solo from Alive II because I thought that was the greatest. She told me that it sounded like a dying cat." The first song Rivers wrote was "Fight For Your Right". Rivers described it as, "...a Kiss style heavy metal anthem. It's funny that I basically do the same thing now. Come up with a metal riff and sing it. I've barely evolved." Tuning into local radio, Rivers got into Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, both of whom later would Rivers sing "taught [him] how to shred."
Rivers identified with heavy metal and felt that it was the sound of his generation. He chose to identify himself as a "metalhead." Rivers once took a Quiet Riot album cover to the hair salon and said, "Make me look like Carlos Cavazo". He then said, "My mom got so upset, she got in the car and drove home without me, which was, like five miles away."
- See Fury
Ten days after Rivers received his first guitar, Fury began holding rehearsals. Fury was the band Rivers formed with Leaves, Justin and their mutual friend Eric Robertson. In September of 1984, Fury played their first show.
As Rivers entered high school with his guitar, he began to seek out more technical guitar players while still remaining loyal to Kiss. Rivers would only allow Kiss posters on the walls of his room, but in his guitar practice room, he put up the posters of other inspiring musicians including Scorpions, Priest, Yngwie Malmsteen and Paul Gibert. Rivers managed to see a Kiss concert with Justin on the leg of the Animalize tour. They also saw the Scorpions.
Rivers attended E.O. Smith High School, which is also where Rivers drew the name for his music publishing. In high school, Rivers continued to develop his metal image while retaining his nerdy habits such as comic book superheroes and Dungeons & Dragons. According to Rivers, him and his small group of metalheads were the constant victims of bullying by jocks and grits. This inspired Rivers and Justin to take up karate. Rivers had a strong interest in east Asia and still does today. According to Justin, it was that interest in Asia which also inspired the pair to take up martial arts.
In high school, Rivers was unsure of where he was supposed to fit in. Said Rivers, "I went to my parents' Zen master and I said, 'Life is shit. I want to shave my head and do this.' He's like, 'You know what? Being a monk is shit too, so I can't advise that for you. What you should do is really listen to yourself and see what path would make you the most excited and just go do that, however crazy it seems.' It took me about five seconds, and I was like, 'I want to be a rock star'."
- See Avant Garde
One year after Fury's formation, Rivers wanted to play a heavier metal and his friend Justin agreed. The two began writing as members drifted in and out. At the time, Rivers was writing his own guitar parts as well as covering Metallica and Connecticut natives Fates Warning. He even went so far as to take guitar lessons from Fates Warning's Jim Matheos. Eventually, Rivers and Justin would call the band "Avant Garde". Rivers has since said, "We were anything but." Eventually, Kevin Ridel was cast as the lead singer.
Rivers took Avant Garde incredibly seriously and had the band rehearsing four times a week for hours on end. Any member that Rivers thought was not taking the music seriously, he kicked out. First, Eric Ridel, their rhythm guitarist was kicked out for partying. Even Justin Fisher was confronted by Rivers about his one night of partying.
Rivers had a profound influence on members of the band. Even at E.O. Smith, Rivers was considered to be the leader of ten to twelve heavy metal fans by his junior year. Rivers has referred to himself as "an outsider, but...I've always been a leader too. I always had a group with me. I gradually attracted a really close group of outsiders to me."
At sixteen, Rivers received his license and a Toyota Tercel from his parents. The Toyota was a huge part of "getting dangerous", as Rivers and his friends called it. Rivers sang about getting dangerous on 2008's Weezer in the song "Everybody Get Dangerous". Adam Orth said, "Rivers used to have this Toyota Tercel and he would drive me and Justin (and sometimes Matt Hayes) home after school...This one particularly steep hill on Gurleyville road that led down to Justin’s house was epic... Rivers would be driving and without warning (it was never guaranteed this game would commence at the top of the hill. Always random.), Rivers would throw the car in neutral and rip the keys out of the ignition and toss them in the back seat as the steering wheel locked-up and the car careened down this deadliest of hills.
The object of the game was for the screaming and terrified (and laughing) passengers to try and find the keys and get them back to Rivers in time so he could start the careening death trap up again and unlock the steering wheel to regain control of the car before we got to the bottom and died in a heap of twisted metal."
In high school, Rivers had a friendly relationship with his music instructor, Kenneth Holton, who encouraged Rivers to play Johnny Casino in the school's production of Grease!. "He was fascinated by heavy metal", said Holton, "but that didn't seem to affect him when it came to my groups. He didn't blow me off because I was a classical theorist. He had very teased long hair all around his head... I guess he thought he was playing the part of a rock star." Still, Rivers claims to have been very aware he was not a rock star in high school. As a freshman, he has said they were picked on. By eleventh grade, he claims they were tolerated. Finally, by senior year, Rivers' said his group had respect.
When Rivers entered his last year of high school at seventeen, he was secretly appreciating all music, not just metal. Rivers was a fan of the Beatles and the Beach Boys, as well as popular artists of the '80s like Madonna and Prince. He also was a patron of classical music performances. Around this time, Avant Garde was also recording their own material.
To advance his guitar skills, Rivers applied and was accepted to the Berklee School of Music program in Boston. The five week music program would allow Rivers to eventually meet his future Avant Garde guitarist replacement. Rivers quickly befriended one Michael Stanton. Michael claimed he wanted to approach Rivers and his quickly formed gang of rockers, but was unsure quite how he could. One day, Michael was playing Master of Puppets on guitar. Rivers heard it, knocked on his door and the two "hit it off really well" (Stanton). "We did everything together. It was a really fun time. We'd record wicked instrumental guitar songs on a 4-track. One was called 'Plankton Frito,' and it had a mean sounding Phrygian harmonized riff" (Stanton).
The two also spent hours writing out elaborate counterpoint dual guitar solos and recording them. Other than playing guitar, Rivers, Mike and some of their friends would go out for pizza at night or take the subway around. They also saw Rocky Horror Picture Show. Together, the two honed their sense of relative pitch. After the music program, Rivers convinced Mike to move to Connecticut to join Avant Garde. Around this time, Steven and Beverly Kitts began having marital problems, which would eventually end in a divorce. Despite the divorce impending, Rivers' house was band headquarters. There, the band would hang out with Leaves, work at Domino's Pizza, play Zelda and Metroid on Nintendo, eat at Denny's, play at arcades, and always focused on the music. There were no alcohol or drugs allowed.
According to Michael Stanton, Rivers was, by this time, a "rock star in the area". According to him, one of Rivers' favorite pastimes was calling up girls and talking to them "seemingly all night". "In my impression at the time, he was making himself miserable quite a bit [to write songs]," he said. Around this time, Rivers' parents were finalizing a divorce.
Moving to Los Angeles
In 1989, Rivers and Avant Garde moved to Los Angeles. While there, the band played a few big shows and eventually changed their name to Zoom in an attempt to make themselves more marketable and focused. At the time, Rivers was attending the Guitar Institute, but not attending classes. He received notice that he would not graduate. At the time, he was also working at Tower Records in LA. At Tower, Rivers came in contact with Pat Finn. Cuomo's time at Tower opened his eyes to a whole new sound of music. "The Pixies are one of the bands that really blew my mind when I first moved to LA and started to discover cool music," Rivers said. Rivers also was turned onto Nirvana. The first song he heard by them was "Sliver", and Cuomo says that when he first heard it he started to dance.
Cuomo also enrolled at LA City College part time. His interest in music shifted from guitar technique to songwriting. "Metal seemed kind of dumb, so I consciously repressed it," Rivers said. "[The genre] didn't seem very relevant anymore so I locked myself away with an acoustic guitar and started writing my own songs." Also around this time, Rivers' then girlfriend, Lisa, broke up with him. Rivers friendship with Pat Finn grew. "Pat was the first really punk guy I ever met. I totally admired and respected him, how completely nuts he was. He was always trying to grab my balls or trying to get fired so he could collect unemployment. He was trying to get the boss to hit him. He played me a lot of great music, and taught me a lot about cynicism. How to talk, how to act. 'Cause I was still fresh out of Connecticut, a complete idiot. And he also introduced me to Matt and Pat." During the winter of 1990/1991, Rivers, now twenty years old, wrote songs like "You Overpower Me", "Anything for You" and "Xmas in L.A.", which was a musical letter home about being away from home for Christmas.
To work with his new songs, Rivers formed a band called Fuzz with Patrick Wilson and Scottie Chapman. The band eventually dissolved/fused into 60 Wrong Sausages. With his life finally looking up again, Rivers was also a 4.0 straight-A student at Los Angeles Communtiy College. Rivers continued to record his own songs and then took them to whatever project he was pursuing at the time.
Rivers very much enjoyed collaborating with Pat Wilson. The two would pen songs together such as "The Pop Screen" and "What's Goin' On?" while Rivers wrote his own more somber pieces such as "Sing to Me Slow" and "I Got So Many Problems." These early songs were the basis of 60 Wrong Sausages. With 60WS, Cuomo recorded the Cholesterol EP. He was also helping Kevin Ridel record for his Christian rock band, The Truth. Cuomo was mostly an engineer and aided backup vocals and guitars where needed on songs such as "My Salvation", "Eyes of the Children" and "I Belong to God".
Rivers rehearsed with 60WS until they played their one and only show on Thanksgiving weekend. Rivers was slowly losing interest in the band and was more excited in his own material. Feeling inspired by Pixies and Nirvana, Rivers and Pat set out to collaborate on a 50 song collaborative project.
According to Jason Cropper, Rivers sensed alternative music was about to explode. It was this belief that guided his new songs like "Why Do We Hurt Each Other?", "I Need Some Touch", "2-2 Tango" and "My Name is Jonas". Jason also recalled the first time he and Cuomo heard "Smells Like Teen Spirit" at the Italian restaurant where they worked. After the song finished, Rivers was upset that it was Kurt who had written the song and not himself. Jason said, "My fondest, pre-Weezer memory is I'm cooking, Rivers is cleaning, and we're both standing in the same kitchen, and that song comes on the radio, in like the first week of its release, and Rivers says, 'I should have written that.' And I'm like, 'Yeah. That's totally true.' Because the music he was writing was improving in quality every day. Every day he wrote a better song."
Rivers thought it best that the band have a large catalogue of songs before they even began playing. That way, they wouldn't waste studio time and would be more focused and cohesive when they finally formed. "I didn't want to get back into a band until I felt like I had a bunch of songs that were good and that had cohesive style", Rivers said. "So I just wrote songs and didn't play at all for a long time. 'Undone', 'Jonas', 'Only in Dreams' and 'The World Has Turned and Left Me Here' were all written before we even played together." Pat's enthusiasm for the songs led to them getting in the hands of Matt Sharp. Matt was so impressed that he came down to Los Angeles to help form Weezer.
On February 14, 1992, a still-unnamed Weezer held their first rehearsal. The vibe was so strong and positive that they practiced for several days in a row, recording the fourteen songs they played on their third practice. Cuomo said, "When we first started practicing, I mean from our very first rehearsal, I thought to myself, 'We're amazing. This is incredible! Everybody's going to love us!"
Unfortunately, the band did not take off as quickly as Rivers had hoped. "Nobody would come to our shows for months and months and months," Rivers said, "I mean, we were playing the songs that became big hits..." Cuomo also said, "We would always be last slot on the bill at 1 A.M. when everyone was leaving. So we had really low self esteem." After two do-it-yourself tours, Rivers said, "I remember Matt and I just finally collapsing, like, nine months into the whole thing and just looking at each other and saying, 'We must be crazy. We must have bad taste.' Because we thought this was cool and nobody was getting it."
Weezer did eventually generate a buzz though, and it was enough to capture the attention of a strong LA fanbase, and even some label interest — in which Todd Sullivan decided to sign Weezer on. Rivers quickly wrote some new songs in a fit of happiness and nervousness.
Signing to Geffen and The Blue Album
Following Weezer's success, Rivers was worried that the band was made famous from the gimmicks of the "Buddy Holly" video and not his songwriting. He removed his glasses because he felt they were also a gimmick. He began to talk less and took complete control of the band. He felt somewhat cheated that the rock star life was not like the life Kiss promised him when he was younger. Beginning to question his rock star life, Rivers wrote the song "Longtime Sunshine" while at home for Christmas in 1994. In it, he contemplated going to an East cost college, leaving the rock star's "lonely life behind" and confessed he would be satisfied in the simple things. Rivers also began to outline what he saw as the next Weezer album. Rivers felt that Weezer was too simple and basic and was intending to go to Harvard to learn classical composition. This paved the way for Songs from the Black Hole and eventually Pinkerton.
Rivers used the money that success afforded him to have corrective surgery on his leg, which had been shorter than the other since birth. Rivers found himself wanting a place where he could retreat and become invisible. He grew a beard, put on his glasses and attended Harvard.
At Harvard, Rivers began to abandon his space opera concept. A bad case of writers block kept Rivers from writing any material for quite some time. The only thing Rivers knew was that Weezer's next album should be completely without gimmick. At Harvard, Rivers was unrecognizable to most. He walked with a cane, had a thick beard, long hair, and thick glasses. According to Rivers, fans would walk by in Weezer shirts and not recognize him.
Rivers writers block let up when he received a letter from a Japanese fan girl. The letter would inspire the song "Across the Sea", and help to kill the Black Hole project. The song's lyrics reveal that the letter meant so much, and he was in such need of attention, that he would lick the envelope where she licked it, and have sexual fantasies about the girl. Around this time, Rivers was also reading lots of Joe Matt comics, studying classical composition, had a strong interest in Madame Butterfly, and was inspired by the guitar stylings of Yngwie Malsteem. All of these things played a strong roll in the songs he wrote. "Across the Sea" featured references to Japanese culture, had chord changes, dynamics and complexity like that of a classical composition, and the guitar was fast and relentless much like Malsteem's. Furthermore, the idea of holding nothing back and exposing everything is similar to the comics Joe Matt makes such as Spent. Cuomo would also fall in love with girls at Harvard, most of whom he was terrified of approaching, one of which turned out to be a lesbian. This prompted the songs "Pink Triangle" and "El Scorcho". "The Good Life" chronicled the lifestyle of Rivers at Harvard. Rivers walked with an "old man cane", was "bitter and alone", was looking more bizarre than he ever had ("who's that funky dude?"), etc. "Falling for You", another song Rivers wrote at Harvard, made reference to the girl he sang about in "El Scorcho".
When it came time to record Weezer's second album Pinkerton, Rivers had taken complete control of the band. He was less social with his bandmates, he was more reserved, and he wanted no gimmicks. He wanted Pinkerton to have a raw and rough sound, which he said was closer to Weezer's actual sound.
When Rivers toured for Pinkerton, he had more of a drive to make sure he was having sex with groupies and living the rock star life. After shows, Rivers would make conversation with girls (typically Asian), and often invite them back to his hotel room to have sex with. Rivers wrote of this in one of his essays, A Mad and Furious Master. In it, he writes, "Then one night, I plucked up my courage and boldly proclaimed, “OK, whoever wants to stay in the room has to . . . uhh . . . take off their clothes and…uhh…get on the bed”. The women tittered and most of them left, but four of them stayed, and to my amazement, did as I asked." Several fan accounts of this are chronicled on the website "Rivers el Pervo".
Rivers also made arrangements so that 75% of all video footage in the music videos was of him. He arranged salaries to members based on contributions to the albums (which left him with a majority of the money). However, after Pinkerton's commercial disappointment, Rivers was somewhat embarrassed and ashamed of the album he had made. In 2001, Rivers said, "It’s a hideous record… It was such a hugely painful mistake that happened in front of hundreds of thousands of people and continues to happen on a grander and grander scale and just won’t go away. It’s like getting really drunk at a party and spilling your guts in front of everyone and feeling incredibly great and cathartic about it, and then waking up the next morning and realizing what a complete fool you made of yourself." After Pinkerton, Rivers sought a less personal writing style and moved to Boston.
Retreat to Boston
With Weezer's future uncertain, Rivers moved back to Boston and dropped out of Harvard. While there, he pursued many different musical projects, including the short-lived acts Homie and Rivers Cuomo Band. He also began attempting to write songs for Weezer's third album, however, most of these songs were ultimately not used for the band's third release.
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Comeback and SS2K
After many shows with Homie, Rivers continued his "songwriting machine", recording more demos than ever before, which eventually led to the reformation of Weezer. With all of his new material, all of Weezer recorded demos and headed right into the Warped tour, and which would eventually lead up to the Summer Songs of 2000 tour (or Ss2K for short). In an interview with Yahoo!, Rivers stated if they weren't on the tour he would "still be in my room wanting to play music."After the tour was over, Rivers had build a new home-studio, which he and the band used to record The Christmas CD (after which Rivers had his braces removed) and what would become The Green Album.
The Green Album and return to success
With all his new material and tons of demos recorded, Rivers and all of Weezer headed back into the studio to record The Green Album. Rivers had written over 75 new songs for the album and was as he said a "struggle" to narrow it down to only 20 songs, which would have to be then marked only to 10.
In February 2003, taking the advice of producer Rick Rubin, Rivers became involved in a form of meditation called Vipassana, and later that year, began a vow of celibacy. His intention was to find balance in his life. He now frequently takes Vipassana 10 day courses every few months.
Unfinished album with Matt Sharp
Cuomo sought out reconciliation with both Mikey Welsh and Matt Sharp as a result of this meditation practice, and began collaborating on new music with the latter. Sharp reported that the pair worked on 15-16 songs throughout the month of February in 2004, and Cuomo joined Sharp on stage at one of his solo shows that same month. Sharp announced that the pair was beginning work on a new record at the performance, but that album has never surfaced.
Marriage, parenthood and peace
Cuomo married Kyoko Ito on June 18, 2006, a woman he had known since the fall of 1997. He proposed to her in Tokyo shortly before Christmas of 2005. The wedding was held at a secluded beach on Paradise Cove in Malibu and was attended by over a hundred people, including six of the seven members who played in Weezer (Mikey Welsh being the only no show) as well as notables Justin Fisher, Kevin Ridel and Rick Rubin. The couple has a daughter, Mia, who was born in May of 2007 and a son named Leo who was born in 2011. Mia has played piano live with her father on a few occasions, such as Weezer Cruise II, adding the accompanying piano to Perfect Situation.
The Red Album
Relationship with fans
In 2009 in a BBC interview, Rivers said "The older fans – their tastes get frozen in time and they’re not able to evolve with the band. We’ve found again and again through our career that we’ve had to shed some fans like a snake sheds its skin, just so that we can stay vital." This was posted on Allthingsweezer and angered many fans there.
Rivers Cuomo has had a very unique relationship with his fan base. Beginning in the early Maladroit recording era, Rivers would post on several Weezer fan message boards, including the official Web site board and the "Rivers Correspondence Board" under the name Ace, which was inspired by Ace Frehley of the band Kiss. Rivers would ask for the fans' advice, treating them as a producer, often exchanging emails through Karl Koch, and eventually posting on boards himself. Some of the correspondence boardies were even invited backstage during tours to play foosball with him. Some of the relationships with the fans pushed Cuomo's temper causing him to once refer to them as "little bitches", Cuomo being upset with the fans' demands for an older sounding Weezer rather than letting the band explore new sounds. Cuomo had also been known for posting on the official Weezer.com message board under the handles RiversCuomo and Zarathustra.
His Instagram and Snapchat accounts have been known to post content that fans have sent them, and he has also been known to reply to conversations. In 2020, Rivers interacted with fans on his own website through 'Riverchat'.
Playing with fans live
Starting on the Foozer tour in late 2005, Rivers Cuomo would invite fans onto the stage to play Undone - The Sweater Song on acoustic guitar. After the performance, fans were allowed to keep the guitars they played.
In 2008, coinciding with the release of Weezer's new self titled album, Weezer (The Red Album), Rivers and Weezer announced a Nissan Live Sets performance in which fans were allowed to bring any instrument of their choice and perform in a Hootenanny with the band.
Let's Write a Sawng
In March 2008 Cuomo started a video series on YouTube called "Let's Write a Sawng." Through the majority of 2008, Rivers exchanged videos with fans online to write a new song called "Turnin' Turnin'". The project resulted in the song "Turning Up The Radio," which appeared on the 2010 rarities album Death to False Metal.
As a band member
- Weezer (The Blue Album) (1994)
- Pinkerton (1996)
- Weezer (The Green Album) (2001)
- Maladroit (2002)
- Make Believe (2005)
- Weezer (The Red Album) (2008)
- Raditude (2009)
- Hurley (2010)
- Everything Will Be Alright in the End (2014)
- Weezer (The White Album) (2016)
- Pacific Daydream (2017)
- Weezer (The Teal Album) (2019)
- Weezer (The Black Album) (2019)
- OK Human (2021)
- Van Weezer (2021)
This discography lists only Weezer's albums. For more detail, please see the Weezer discography
With Scott & Rivers
As a solo artist
|Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo|
|Alone II: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo|
|Not Alone: Rivers Cuomo & Friends Live at Fingerprints|
|Alone III: The Pinkerton Years 1994-1997|
|The Space Between Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Medicine for Melancholy|
|Two Broken Hearts|
- 1999 - "My Head Is in the Sun" by The Rentals - co-writer
- 2002 - "Hurt You So Bad" by Crazy Town - guitar solo (uncredited)
- 2003 - "Inspiration" by AM Radio - background vocals
- 2003 - "Stupid Girl" by Cold - co-writer
- 2003 - "I Suck" by Mark Ronson - co-writer
- 2004 - "Static" by Stereotyperider - co-writer
- 2009 - "The Next Worst Thing" by Aly & AJ - co-writer
- 2009 - "Cure to the Lonely" by Aly & AJ - co-writer (unreleased)
- 2009 - "Love Is the Answer" by Sugar Ray - writer
- 2009 - "Pick U Up" by Adam Lambert - co-writer
- 2010 - "No Good for You" - co-writer, vocalist (unreleased)
- 2010 - "Magic" by B.o.B - co-writer
- 2010 - "Must Be Dreamin'" by Kevin Rudolf - guest vocalist, co-writer
- 2010 - "Anyway" by CeeLo Green - co-writer
- 2011 - "High Maintenance" by Miranda Cosgrove - guest vocalist, co-writer
- 2011 - "Can't Keep My Hands off You" by Simple Plan - guest vocalist, co-writer
- 2011 - "I Feel Like Dancin'" by All Time Low - co-writer
- 2011 - "Rollin' wit da Homies" by Hitomi - co-writer, guest vocalist
- 2012 - "Earthquakey People" by Steve Aoki - lead vocals, co-writer
- 2013 - "Main Girl" by The Tragic Thrills - co-writer
- 2013 - "Magik 2.0" by Becky G - co-writer
- 2014 - "Getting It Out" by McBusted - co-writer
- 2014 - "Hanging Around" by Charli XCX - co-writer
- 2014 - "This Is It" by Kandace Ferrel - co-writer (unreleased)
- 2014 - "Sweet Love" by Halestorm - co-writer (live only)
- 2015 - "Snowed In" by Big Data - guest vocalist, co-writer
- 2015 - "Light Years" by Steve Aoki - guest vocalist
- 2016 - "Don't Let This Feeling Fade" by Lindsey Stirling - guest vocalist, co-writer
- 2016 - "Too Young" by Zeds Dead - guest vocalist, co-writer
- 2016 - "Tired of the Hustle" by Blasco Says - co-writer
- 2016 - "She Makes Me Laugh" by The Monkees - writer
- 2017 - "I Still Wanna Know" by RAC - guest vocalist, co-writer
- 2017 - "Sober Up" by AJR - guest vocalist, co-writer
- 2017 - "Tell Your Dad" by New Politics - guest vocalist, co-writer
- 2017 - "Homewrecker" by Vic Mensa - co-writer
- 2018 - "Why Won't You Love Me" by 5 Seconds of Summer - co-writer
- 2018 - "Clock Work" by Asian Kung-Fu Generation - co-writer
- 2018 - "Dancing Girl" by Asian Kung-Fu Generation - co-writer
- 2018 - "What Would Santa Do" by The Monkees - writer
- 2019 - "Gucci Rock N Rolla" by Snakehips - co-writer, lead vocals
- 2019 - "Send Her to Heaven" by The All-American Rejects - co-writer
- 2020 - "Running Red Lights" by The Avalanches - co-writer, vocalist
- 2020 - "Pacific Coast Highway in the Movies" by AWOLNATION - co-writer, vocalist
- 2020 - "Down with the Ship" by Todd Rundgren
- 2021 - "Wheels Up" by San Holo - co-writer, lead vocalist
- 2021 - "We Stick Together" by Passion Pit - ?
- 2021 - "Sound the Alarm" by the Knocks - co-writer, lead vocals
- 2021 - "End of Me" by Billy Talent - co-writer, guest vocals
Non-musical guest appearances
- 2000 - Appeared in the music video for "Cocaine Blues" by The Warlocks
- 2001 - Appeared in the music video for "Murder (You Know It's Hard)" by The Crystal Method
List of bands
- Fury (1984)
- Avant Garde (1985)
- Zoom (Avant Garde renamed, 1989)
- 60 Wrong Sausages (1991)
- Weezer (1992-present)
- Homie (Sometimes erroneously dubbed The Rivers Cuomo Band, 1997-1998)
- Scott & Rivers (2013-present)
- A Mad and Furious Master (2004)
- What I've Been Up To Since I Left School (2004)
- Letter for Readmission to Harvard (2005)
- Timeline of Rivers Cuomo's appearance
- Rivers Cuomo's equipment
- Beverly's letter
- Rivers' Photo Gallery