Elvis Presley was once an electrician. And not the only famous person to have sparked an earlier career.

As an important quarter of the most famous band of all time, George Harrison was part of a cultural shift that changed the world in a way never imagined by young George the apprentice. In a 1966 interview he is quoted as saying, “I had a short go at being an electrician’s apprentice, but I kept blowing things up, so I got dumped.” 

His electrical training gave him notable skills in setting up sound equipment, and he eventually penned twenty-two songs. The most recognisable being Here Comes The Sun, Something, and My Guitar Gently Weeps.

Although never responsible for a Christmas blaze sparked by an electrical emergency it may not have taken long for an event like that had George not clearly recognised his forte was further afield, making the world a rather different place had this disinterested and incompetent sparky not put pen to paper and heart to melody.

Elon Musk, Nikola Tesla, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella may not be authors, but each had a career in electrical engineering and ultimately they have all rewritten history in their own ways.

To realise that the iconic scientist Albert Einstein once worked as an electrician for his father’s company, one of the first to bring electricity to the Munich.

However, the senior Einstein brothers lost the bid for the German city’s power supplier, being a small company without the capital to convert their equipment from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). The company closed, and Einstein Snr eventually founded another in Milan. 

It’s difficult to imagine Mr Bean in the field of electrics, given that the simplest task often stymies or confuses him. Rowan Atkinson studied electrical engineering at Newcastle University and gained a master’s degree from The Queens College.

This globally successful performer and author of books, radio, television and film set out first in life as an electrical engineer.

Shocking had he not made the switch.

John Deakin is another musician whose electric skills gave him an advantage that got him a place in the rock band Queen at age 19. He’d studied electronics at Chelsea College and earned himself a First Class Honours degree.

He’d had an interest in electronics from a very young age and had built a tape recorder that could stream radio music. He even created a homemade amp for the band, used throughout its 50-year career span. Called the Deacy Amp, it reproduces the sounds of orchestral instruments.

Deacon wrote many of the band’s hits, including Another One Bites the Dust.

To become world-renowned film director means you too must be able to write, and Alfred Hitchcock learned many skills as an electrician at Henley’s, starting as an apprentice electrician aged 16. He manufactured electronic appliances and soon moved up into sales team where he honed his skills in set design and publicity.

There are now books, websites and films about emergencies that have had the influence of a former sparky.

Electricians know watt’s watt and the work they perform is highly specialised with a specific and particular skill set and incredible expertise. Problem solving is largely part of the job, and Master Electricians train for almost as long as doctors.

So it’s little wonder that the active mind capable of such intricacies and nuances would find the structure of wordsmithing rather appealing.

  • Article by Suzanne Saunders