MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. — Milo Aukerman, licensed biochemist and lead singer of seminal punk band the Descendents, announced earlier today that he will return to college to pursue a more marketable degree following a layoff from his longtime research position.
Aukerman originally left his band to pursue higher education decades ago, a decision forever captured on the Descendents’ 1982 debut album Milo Goes To College. The iconic release continues to influence both the hardcore and punk rock communities, and is viewed as a landmark album in both scenes. Unfortunately, that status hasn’t yielded enough royalties to soften the loss of a full-time research position with benefits.
“Yeah, I love the band and I love biochemistry, and for a long time, that was all I ever really wanted to do,” said Aukerman. “But neither is keeping the lights on anymore, so I’m heading back to school for an Associate in health studies. I always wanted to be a gym teacher, and being a public educator seems like a good bet, you know? Those jobs aren’t going anywhere.”
Aukerman claimed cutbacks in both the nation’s science programs and residual album and concert revenue have contributed to his declining quality of life over the last decade. He recently sold his longtime residence, and is now renting the guest bedroom of a married couple while he attends Glendale Community College nearby.
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“It’s been great having Milo around,” said Clare Clifton, one of the homeowners. “He may play his records a little loud sometimes, but he’s really a great kid. I think he’s going to be a terrific middle school teacher.”
Some of Aukerman’s classmates were surprised to learn of his stature in the music world.
“Wait … that old guy who says, ‘Mug, mug mug,’ before every sip of coffee in my American History class did the soundtrack to that movie The Descendants?” asked Brian Kennedy, a fellow GCC student. “That’s so cool! I never saw it, but George Clooney is my dude!”
The Descendents are expected to release a new album, Milo Goes to College Again, later this year, which will chronicle the Aukerman’s struggle to secure student loans for his books and classes.
Photo via The Descendents.