The History of Buckethead (His Most Pivotal Career Moments)
Good evening everybody, today we’re gonna take a brief look at the history of guitar hero, Buckethead, highlighting his most pivotal career moments.
Moments that had a significant impact and changed the course of the GOAT as we know him today.
So, let’s take a look. Woo!!
1 (Guitar Player Magazine)
In the late 1980's whilst pre-bucket Buckethead was honing his guitar skills, he sent a number of demo tapes to San Francisco based 'Guitar Player' magazine. He would eventually become good friends with 2 of it's editors, Joe Gore and Jas Obrecht.
Jas Obrecht recorded all of the footage that can be seen on the Young Buckethead DVD's whilst Buckethead was living with him in the early 1990's.
He also later released the 'From the Coop' and 'Acoustic Shards' albums, showcasing Buckethead's earliest known recordings.
And Joe Gore has been referenced by Buckethead numerous times for encouraging his Buckethead persona, which, if it weren't for Joe Gore, might not exist today.
I knew this writer at guitar player magazine and his name was Joe Gore. And he really is the one I feel I owe a lot to. He encouraged me to do it as Buckethead, saying “you should go and be Buckethead. Go for it!” Because I was always super scared to play. And I was like “Oh yeah! That would be cool. Because then I can do everything as this character that I'm totally scared to death to do otherwise ”
Jas Obrect and Joe Gore were both highly influential in the early days of Buckethead, and played a pivotal role in where his career went. Speaking of which...
(Bryan Brain Mantia Quote)
I met Buckethead through this guy named Joe Gore. And Joe said “this guy sent a tape. His name is Buckethead. It's a pretty funny video but this guy is shredding. You have to check him out!” And he was like “let's watch it”. And he puts the tape in and there was this dude, playing the guitar like I had never seen anyone play it. And I was like 'Oh my god!'. And Joe said “He's coming to San Francisco to meet me, you should meet him”. So we met, and it was interesting because out of everyone else there, we got along the best.
So, through Joe Gore Buckethead met Brain and the two are still best of friends today.
And through Brain, Buckethead would meet Bill Laswell, who in turn would introduce him to Bernie Worrell and Bootsy Collins, and form the band, Praxis.
Whilst Buckethead's days in the Deli Creeps band certainly fine tuned his look and style, joining Praxis with highly respected and award winning musicians, was a pivotal moment in Buckethead's life and career.
In 1992, Praxis released their debut album, 'Transmutation' and that same year, Buckethead released his debut solo album 'Bucketheadland' produced by Bootsy Collins.
3 (Primus Tour / Ozzfest )
Buckethead would release several solo, band and collaboration albums throughout the rest of the 90's, but his next pivotal career moment came when he supported the Les Claypool fronted band, Primus during their 1999 tour.
With his new Jackson Coopwood guitar and the introduction of hand puppet Herbie , the tour introduced Buckethead to a brand new fan base, and can be seen as his first fully fledged solo performances. With one of his most memorable appearances occurring at the 1999 Ozzfest.
With 1999 already being a breakout year for Buckethead, the release of one his now classic albums would further elevate him to new heights.
4 (Monsters & Robots)
In September 1999 Buckethead released the highly acclaimed album 'Monsters & Robots'.
The album spawned Buckethead's first solo music video, a comic book, an award nomination and to date, is still his biggest selling album.
'Monsters & Robots' is also the album that was rumored to put him on the radar of a certain Axl Rose.
5 (Guns N Roses/ Rock In Rio)
Just over 3 months after the release of 'Monsters & Robots' Guns N Roses front man Axl Rose invited Buckethead to his home for Christmas. And a few months later, he officially joined the band.
The new Guns N Roses made their onstage debut in January 2001, first playing at the 'house of blues' in Las Vegas before heading to Rock in Rio, Brazil.
In front of a global televised audience and a live attendance of 200,000 people, Rock in Rio catapulted Buckethead into the mainstream and is by far one of his most pivotal career moments.
6 (VMA Awards)
Despite a well received show in Rio, the band failed to capitalize on its success, eventually canceling a European tour, twice, and remaining inactive for the rest of 2001 and most of 2002.
They would finally return to touring in August 2002, making a highly memorable stop at the 2002 VMA awards.
Although the vocal performance by Axl Rose wasn't great, it was energetic, unexpected and great for Buckethead. And just like Rock in Rio, showcased his skills and persona to a whole new audience.
Once again, the band failed to capitalize on the performance, canceling their North American tour following a handful of riots.
Understandably, Buckethead would leave the band just over a year and half later citing their ”inability to complete an album or tour”.
His next pivotal career moment came with the rise of a certain thing called 'Youtube'.
7 (YouTube – Whitewash)
Less than a year after its inception, a Buckethead video was uploaded to Youtube that became an instant smash.
Uploaded on January 27th 2006, it wasn't the first Buckethead video uploaded to youtube, but it was and still is, one of the best.
Introducing him to a new, younger audience, Buckethead gives his best ever performance of the song 'Whitewash' (and yep, it's better than the one with the birds, sorry, it just is).
Several months later and possibly due to the success of the video, Buckethead was given an opportunity that would turn into another pivotal career moment.
8 (Guitar Hero – Jordan/ Soothsayer)
If you didn't discover Buckethead from any of the previous moments mentioned, then it's highly likely you discovered him from this, Guitar Hero 2.
In late 2006 Buckethead submitted the song 'Jordan' to be used on the highly popular video game, Guitar Hero.
Practically everyone who played the game became an instant fan of Buckethead, its arguably the toughest song to play on the game, and has spawned countless '100% expert” videos.
Following on from the success of Guitar Hero 2, In 2008 Buckethead submitted another all-time classic song for Guitar Hero 3, Soothsayer.
Although the song had already been out for 2 years, its release on the game sky rocketed its popularity, making it and 'Jordan' Bucketheads 2 most popular songs to date.
The success and attention that Buckethead gained from Guitar Hero is right up there with his stint in Guns N Roses, and could be argued that it gave him a more solid, loyal fan base than it did during his days in GNR.
In 2011, Buckethead made a pivotal decision in his career, with the release of the Pike albums.
Despite Buckethead self-releasing albums in the past, the Pike albums are the first that you can buy direct from Buckethead.
The Pike albums have allowed him to be free and independent from record companies, release material at a far greater speed, and regardless of what you think of those albums, they're 100% Buckethead, doing what he does best.
And I for one, fucking love em'.