Unbelievably COOL Buckethead Stories
Good evening everybody, today we’re gonna take a look at some unbelievably cool stories about guitar hero, Buckethead. So, let’s begin.
1 (Leatherface Doll)
First up, the story of an 18 inch limited edition, Texas Chainsaw Leatherface doll.
In a 2000 interview with Mike Keneally, Buckethead stated that the hard to find doll was at the top of his wish list for Christmas.
On Christmas day 1999 he was invited to the home of Guns N Roses singer Axl Rose, whom he had never met, but, who wanted Buckethead to join the band.
When Buckethead arrived Axl presented him with a wrapped up box. According to Buckethead “the Michael Myers version of the doll had been out for a while, knew it was the same box, figured it was Michael Myers and opened it up. And…there was Leatherface. In my head, I joined the band that second”.
Yep, Buckethead signed the biggest contract of his career because Axl Rose bought him a rare Leatherface doll. Excellent.
2 (Haunted Mansion)
And speaking of the Guns N Roses contract. Here’s story number 2.
“He signed his contract with Axl at Disneyland. I think Axl went to Disneyland and they signed on the Haunted Mansion. As he was on the ride he signed the contract.” – Bryan Mantia.
And although you could probably throw away this story as being made up for fun, knowing what we know about Buckethead, it’s probably true.
In fact, in a December 2008 forum post Axl Rose himself said “I’m pro Disney, go about once a year. Went with Buckethead a lot.”
So, Buckethead probably did sign his contract at the haunted mansion. Classic.
3 (The Medieval Dungeon)
Next, the story of how Buckethead met longtime friend, producer and collaborator, Travis Dickerson.
Buckethead spoke about meeting Travis in a March 2003 interview with Riffage magazine stating “In the mid 90’s there was a Wax Museum in San Francisco called the Medieval Dungeon. At one point I was in there with an audio recorder and someone asked me what I was doing. I said I was recording the sounds of the dungeon. He told me that he had a recording studio in Southern California, and we became friends. That was Travis Dickerson”.
Buckethead and Travis have remained friends to this day, working together on numerous projects and albums, including Cobra Strike, Population Override, Thanatopsis and most recently, Godzilla Sleeps Alone. And it was all because of a chance meeting at a medieval dungeon. So, Buckethead.
4 (The KFC Bucket Graveyard)
Next, In the same interview with Riffage magazine, Buckethead spoke about his KFC Bucket Graveyard
When Buckethead was asked whether he’s ever been approached by KFC, he said that he hadn’t and if there was ever any problem with copyright, he would simply cover up the KFC logo on the bucket. The interviewer then said “or you could just get a new bucket?” Buckethead replied “I’ve got a bunch of buckets from all these chicken places, but I just like the KFC stripes. I made a Buckethead graveyard one time and got about 40 buckets and kept them. Now Im glad I did because they don’t make them anymore”.
Yep, as bucket collectors out there will tell you, the vintage KFC buckets are now super rare. But, thankfully, Buckethead has a KFC bucket graveyard. Awesome.
5 (Spokes for the Wheel)
Next, a brutal music video that was just meant to be.
Buckethead’s 2004 music video ‘The Spokes for the Wheel of Torment’ is arguably his best, and the origins of the video are just as cool. Speaking in 2009, Director Syd Garon had this to say about the video:-
“Buckethead had someone send me some mp3’s of his new album without any comment or album art. I am struck by the song ‘spokes for the wheel of torment’ and instantly visualize Hieronymous Bosch paintings in my head. I scan a few paintings and make a 15 second test. A week or so later I drive to Bucketheads secret’s headquarters and play him the test. He freaks out and takes me to his recording area. Right there on the wall, is a huge hieronymous bosch poster. Buckethead had been imagining the painting coming to life when he wrote the song. It felt like it was meant to be”
Yep, call it a coincidence, but as you long time buckethead fans know, nobody paints a better picture with music than buckethead. And Spokes for the Wheel of Torment is the proof!
6 (Herbie & The Hatchet)
Next up, the classic story of how Buckethead dealt with the undercover cops and lawyers hired by Guns N Roses.
“They (Guns N Roses) couldn’t get a hold of him for a month, and we’re going on tour. They were asking me “is he coming?” I didn’t know if he was gonna show up. They actually had undercover cops checking him out. He called me and said “there’s a car outside and it’s been there for 3 days” I said “What?” and he said “I don’t know what’s going on”. And this was before we were going on a major Guns N Roses tour. So he was paranoid and scared. And he said “I’m gonna go out there with a mask” and he had a hatchet. He said he went out there with a mask and a hatchet and stood next to the car. And they looked at him and left. So I think he had been followed.
The greatest thing was that, he would talk with his hand puppet and wear out the managers. There’s millions of dollars on the line and they’re talking to a fucking puppet. The letters Buckethead would get from the lawyers were like “you’re never gonna work again! You’ll be working at a gas station before you ever pick up a guitar again!” And if they tried to call him, Looney Toons would play on his answering machine. – Bryan Mantia.
Next up, the kindness of a bucketbot.
So, as some of you may have recently seen, we posted a ‘fans talk about buckethead’ video series. In one of the videos, when asked what piece of Buckethead merch would you like to own, here’s what one of the bucketbots had to say:-
“I’d love to own one of his paintings. I really love his paintings” – Patricia.
Well, one of the good bots out there reached out to us and offered to give their Buckethead painting to Patricia.
We put them in touch and a few days later, Patricia had her very own Buckethead painting.
So to that Bucketbot, who wishes to remain anonymous. Thank you.
Next up, let Buckethead be Buckethead
In the early 90’s Buckethead signed a contract with record company giant, Sony. But shortly after, a dispute between the two began. Among other things Sony apparently wanted to turn Buckethead into some kind of hockey Frankenstein character, and then have him do a cover of the 1970’s Edgar Winter’s song ‘Frankenstein’. Which Buckethead refused to do.
“I went down with him to the sony office, they were trying to get him to do a new school Frankenstein with guitar. But Buckethead likes to do his own thing because he’s such a true artist” – Bryan Mantia.
Sony then chose to release his Giant Robot album in Japan only, essentially burying the album. In return Buckethead chose to release the ‘Dreamtorium’ album under the alias Death Cube K to avoid being sued by Sony.
Buckethead later agreed to fulfil his contract obligation to Sony by appearing on the ‘Last Action Hero’ soundtrack before parting ways with the company. Which, according to his former website made him “Happily liberated”.
The Moral of the story, let Buckethead be Buckethead. Don’t every try to change him.
“I think Ozzy Osbourne wanted Buckethead to take off the mask. And he was like “but this who I am. Don’t you get it?” – Bryan Mantia.
“Which is surprising because you would think Ozzy would’ve been into that kind of thing?” – Natternet.
“Yeah! That’s what confused me! I was like ‘What? I thought he would want this?”