Buckethead - The Origins of Buckethead & the VHS that started it all
Good evening everybody, just like any good superhero movie, the best part of the story is knowing the origins of where, when and how a superhero was born. So in today’s video we’ll take a look back at the birth of the ultimate guitar hero, Buckethead. And the VHS tape that would introduce him to the world.
Woo!!...Woooo!! (Let’s go!)
First we begin with the origins of the white mask. In a 1996 article for guitar player magazine Buckethead spoke about the mask, recalling a dark night in 1989, stating:-
“I had just seen Halloween IV” "and as soon as it was over I went into a store across the street and said 'Do you have any Michael Myers masks?' They had a white mask, which really wasn't like a Michael Myers mask, but I liked it a lot.
That same night Brian Carroll’s dad Tom Carroll brought home a bucket of deli chicken. And without even thinking about it, young Brian would create a future guitar hero.
It wasn’t something I thought about. I was eating, it was Deli Chicken and I thought, ‘I have that mask’. It was kind of like Michael Myers mask but not exactly the same. So I just put it on my head and I looked in the mirror and said “That’s Buckethead!”
So with the mask on his face and bucket on his head, Buckethead was officially born.
And along with his future bandmates Maximum Bob and Pinchface, Brain Carroll began making homemade horror movies as the newfound Buckethead.
“My friend went to school. He was going to college and he had video class and he filmed me as Buckethead”
Whilst Brian Carroll had initially planned on using the Buckethead character to make homemade horror movies. After sending the VHS footage to a close friend, Buckethead was sent on a life altering path.
(Brian Carroll interview)
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 because he encouraged me to do it as that. Like “you should just go be Buckethead. Go and play”. Because I was always super scared to play. And I didn’t really link that together. I just thought ‘this is weird, like a weird horror guy. I’d like to make a movie about it or something. And then when he was like “you should just go for it!” I was like “Oh yeah that would be cool, because I could do everything I liked doing as this character that I’m totally scared to death to do otherwise”.
So with the encouragement from guitar player magazine editor Joe Gore, Buckethead the horror character became Buckethead the guitar player. Later forming the band The Deli Creeps.
And whilst the encouragement from Joe Gore lead Buckethead to take to the stage, it was the VHS footage that would eventually lead Buckethead to stardom and a new lifelong friendship.
I met Buckethead through this guy named Joe Gore. And Joe was like “This guy sent a tape and his name is Buckethead. And it’s this pretty funny video but this guy is shredding Brain. You really gotta check this guy out”. And I was like “Well, what do you mean?” and he’s like “Here, let’s put it in”. And it was VHS. And he puts it in and there was this dude playing guitar like I had never seen anybody play it. And I was like “Oh my god”.
And Joe was like “He’s coming to San Francisco to see me. You gotta meet him”
Joe Gore would later introduce drummer Brain to Buckethead and the two formed an immediate friendship.
And with the VHS tape in hand, just like Joe Gore before him, Brain would pass it along.
I got the tape to Bill Laswell. And Bill saw it. And I said “Not only is this guy a crazy guitar player. He also loves Bootsy.
And For those who don’t know, Bill Laswell is a Grammy award winner producer and bass player who’s worked with hundreds of musicians. And Bootsy Collins is a hall of fame Bass player and funk pioneer.
He sent me a video tape and I didn’t know what to make of it at first. It was funny as heck, he had a bucket on his head. And the video was taken in his house and it was wild man. And the next thing I know Bill Laswell was talking about Buckethead, so I guess he had sent Laswell a videotape also.
So after seeing the tape, Bill Laswell called Bootsy Collins, who unbeknownst to him, had also received the same VHS.
And with both Bill Laswell and Bootsy Collins now in possession of the tape. Bill Laswell called Buckethead and Brain with an offer they couldn’t refuse.
So Bill was like “Hey, how’s it going?” and I was like “Cool, cool”. And he goes “So I want to do this project”. And I’m like “that’s funny because Buckethead is here. Do you want to talk to him?” And Buckethead is like “Oh jeez. Oh no”.
He talks to Bill and his eyes are all lit up and I’m like “what? What? What?”.
So I get back on the phone with Bill and he said “So I just talked to Buckethead. I want to do this band called Praxis”.
The band Praxis would feature Buckethead, Brain, Bill Laswell, Bootsy Collins and funk legend Bernie Worrell. In 1992 they released the album ‘Transmutation’ and in the same year Bootsy Collins produced Buckethead’s debut album ‘Bucketheadland’.
These two albums along with the association with Bootsy and Bill Laswell introduced the world to Buckethead…and it was all because of a now legendary homemade VHS tape.
So with that being said, Mrs Natternet, play the tape.
David Letterman! You gotta get this guy, he’s my little brother. I want him in your band. My name’s Bob, farmer Bob Hack. Pretty soon candy is gonna be named after us. We’re gonna be famous. Bucket.
You think you can do everything? We gotta TV back home, we see what you do. You’re nothing. You can just sing and play bass.