Anyone who's done a google search for Buckethead unmasked will have eventually seen images like these.
Which appear to show Buckethead with the likes of Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert and Shawn Lane.
At first glance it's easy to see why people would assume it's Buckethead.
He's tall, has long hair and he's with former teacher Paul Gilbert. And with friend and mentor, Shawn Lane.
However, the person in these photos is called Stephane Alaux.
Also know as Fanalo. A guitar player from France.
He mentions about being a Buckethead doppelganger on his website.
He says "I'm currently getting 3 to 4 emails a month from some of American friends asking to confess that I am Buckethead.
I can answer "no". But some will then reply with photo evidence that I am. So, ok guys you win. I am Buckethead".
And of course he's being sarcastic. Just like on his home page where he says "I am Bumblefoot".
This is a guitar lesson that he gave for a website (see video).
Most Buckethead fan's will notice that the style and finger positioning (especially the pinkie finger) and pick position are different to Buckethead's.
Even more revealing is that Fanalo doesn't have...
While Fanalo's right hand does have some big veins, it's not the signature worm size vein that Buckethead fans know to look out for.
So even though it's fun imagining Buckethead jumping on a plane on weekends, flying to Paris on weekends and speaking French.
This is NOT Buckethead unmasked.
This Buckethead image is from the December 1989 magazine 'Guitar for the practicing musician'.
This image was apparently sent to the magazine by Buckethead himself and most Buckethead fan's accept that this image is Buckethead.
So, how do we know?
In the ad his name is listed as Brian Carroll. We know Buckethead's real name is Brian Carroll from the 2017 'Coming Alive' podcast interview.
Which we'll talk about later on.
MTV also listed Buckethead's name as Brian Carrolli n their 2002 article 'Beneath the Bucket, behind the mask'.
Saying "The Buckethead backstory begins with a kid named Brian Carroll growing up in a southern California suburb not far from Disneyland".
Ozzy Osbourne also mentions Buckethead in a 2005 interview with Revolver Magazine.
Saying "I tried out that Buckethead guy. I met with him and asked him to work with me but only if he got rid of the fucking bucket.
So I came back a bit later and he's wearing this green fucking Martians hat-thing. I said "Look, just be yourself!".
He told me his name was Brian. So I said that's what I'd call him. He said "No one calls me Brian except my mother".
So I said "pretend i'm your mum then!". I haven't even got out of the room and I'm already playing fucking mind games with the guy.
What happens if one day he's gone and there's a note saying "I've been beamed up".
Don't get me wrong, he's a great player. He plays like a motherfucker!.
Buckethead also has writing credits as Brian Carroll on the Guns N Roses Chinese Democracy album.songs 'Shacklers Revenge' 'Scraped' and 'Sorry'.
So with all that in mind, we know for sure that his real name is Brian Carroll.
The ad also lists Brians age as 20. And because the magazine is from 1989 we know know that he was born in 1969.
Furthermore, in this excerpt from the Buckethead official released VHS 'Binge Clips'.
Brain (Buckethead's drummer) mentions Buckethead's brithday.
It's his birthday today and it's friday the 13th.
So although we can't confirm 100 percent that Buckethead's birthday is May 13th.
We're about 90% confident that it is.
The ad also states his influences as 'Michael Jackson, Paul Gilbert, Louis Johnson, Joe Satriani, Shawn Lane and Jennifer Batten'.
All of which ties in to what we already know.
The ad then includes a personal statement from Brian saying: "I began playing guitar at age 12. However, I didn't become serious until the following summer when I moved to Claremont from Huntington Beach, California.
My playing improved with lessons from various teachers, most notably, Paul Gilbert, with whom I studied for over a year.
In recent months, I've been putting my efforts into making demo recordings of my playing and writing styles".
(Buckethead talks about Paul Gilbert):
Crazy thing is that I got to know him and he taught me. I still have every lesson. And he really gave me a belief in myself that I needed.
As for the photo itself, what's just as important as the foreground is the background.
The house, the roof, the window, the garage, the Basketball hoop.
We know this house is Buckethead's or a family members house because it feature numerous times in the Buckethead DVD 'Secret Recipe'.
So with all that in mind, we know for sure that this is Buckethead unmasked!
This image we know for sure was released by Buckethead. It's from untitled Pike 13 album.
The image and album were released on the same day.
May 13th, 2013. Yep, Buckethead's 44th Birthday.
So now we are 99.9% certain that Buckethead's birthday is May 13th.
Whilst most fan's accept that the image is Buckethead, how do we know?
We know because we know what his Dad looked like.
We know his name was Thomas Manley Carroll because of the 2015 fathers day album release called 'Heaven is your home'.
Which Buckethead says "is for my father, Thomas Manley Carroll".
Buckethead also thanks his dad in the Chinese Democracy album credits.
(I would like to thank my family and friends, Tom and Nancy Carroll).
Daily Bulletin magazine ran an article on Tom's death in May 2014.
Listing him as having 5 children. Daughters Lynn, Lisa and Laurie and boys John and Brian.
Tom and the rest of Buckethead's family can be seen on the Buckethead VHS 'Binge Clips'.
And although Buckethead's parents Tom and Nancy Carroll are no longer with us, with albums like 'Hold me Forever' and 'Heaven is your home'
And song's like 'For Mom' and 'Watching the boats with my Dad'
Their memory and influence on Buckethead's life, career and music will not be forgotten.
This footage apparently shows a young Brian Carroll in 1988 with a band called 'Class-X'.
Little is known about the footage. And finding information about the band and its members leads to dead ends and rumours.
All we have for now is the footage, which is pretty low quality and blurry.
That being said, the style of playing, pick position and wrist movement is very much like Buckethead.
Whether this is Buckethead unmasked or a clever hoax we don't know. And unless Buckethead himself confirms it, we probably never will.
And then there's the 'Coming Alive' podcast interview. When it was released in October 2017 most fan's were shocked that he gave a full length out of character interview.
Some fan's were even in denial about it and refuse to believe it's him. So how do we know it was Buckethead?
The interviewer Barry Michels along with Phil Stutz are New York Times best-selling authors and therapists.
They've appeared on numerous tv shows in America. The likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Drew Barrymore and personally thanked and endorsed them.
And the podcast that followed Buckethead's featured Benji Madden who was in the band 'Good Charlotte' and is married to Cameron Diaz.
So with that in mind, the idea that they would fabricate and release a fake Buckethead interview is pretty absurd.
Furthermore, in a January 2018 interview with Brain for the Appetite for Distortion podcast
The interviewer asked Brain about Buckethead's recent health scare. Which Brain then confirmed and commented on.
"How's Buckethead feeling health wise because I know he had a health scare?".
Yeah I think he's feeling better. He's trying to work it out. I think when he takes the medication he feels better but it also has side effects and I think it makes him a little depressed.
And since nobody but Buckethead and his friends were aware of health scare since the 'Coming Alive' interview, we know now that the podcast interview was 100% real.
Which also further confirms Bucketheads real name as Brian Carroll because that's what he's called on the podcast.
Brian Carroll who performs under the name Buckethead is one of the top 10 fastest guitar shredders in the world.
And if that's not enough, we know it was Buckethead, because we know what Buckethead sounds like.
But the fact is, regardless of whether you think the interview was real or whether you think the unmasked photos are real. Buckethead has and will always be about the music.
Although its definitely intriguing, its not about what his voice sounds like or what his face looks like.
For too often in the entertainment industry these days, people are becoming famous because of body parts or how much breasts and buttocks they can fit into a 3 minute video.
With Buckethead it's about the music. And with songs like 'Nottingham Lace' 'Jordan' 'Soothsayer' 'Hold me Forever' and hundreds of other.
The music is pretty fucking good!!!