Buckethead's story is as intriguing as his compositions and playing style.
You see, Buckethead was raised in a chicken coop by chickens, who were also his only friends. His folks
did not allow him to leave the chicken coop. He was given an old guitar to keep busy. Nobody liked
Buckethead and passers-by sometimes laughed and insulted him. The chickens scratched him so he wore a
mask to cover his face.
One day, someone threw a KFC bucket full of chicken wings and drums in his coop. Buckethead tried
restlessly to put the dead chickens back together, and to make them live again. When he realized that his
friends cannot come back, he sneaked out of his coop and arrived at the local cemetery at night. He then
buried the dead chickens. When he finished, he placed the empty bucket on his head. The spirits of the
dead chickens were then channeling through the bucket through to his fingers and he started playing his
guitar frenetically. Weird sounds and noises could be heard, and Buckethead played on.
As a virtuoso guitarist, he has recorded several tens of albums, solo and with various bands. His songs
span a large varieties of genres, ranging from metal, avant-garde, ambient, to bluegrass, jazz, and funk.
He is, however, best known for his impressive playing speed and excellent technique. His live performances usually include robot
dancing, nunchaku arts. He has also been known to play with action figures (such as Giant Robot), rubber
chickens while on stage, and also to roundhouse-kick bust statues of Colonel Sanders.
He has worn a KFC
bucket with a sticker with the word "FUNERAL" written across. However, more recently he wears a plastic,
clean bucket. His signature guitar is a white custom oversized Gibson Les Paul without fret markers and
two red arcade button-style killswitches.
He gained some renown in the mainstream as part of the legendary Guns N' Roses. He was part of the band from 2000 until 2006. During live performances, he played his own versions of the well-known "Slash solos", almost always with significantly better technique.
Among fans, who fanatically name themselves "bucketbots", his works are extremely collectible. Some of his
CDs were only released in Japan and can fetch upwards of $300. For his North American releases, he
sometimes includes short-running limited editions, which are often personalized by Buckethead himself.
From my Buckethead collection, my most prized CD is the limited edition of Bucketheadland Blueprints,
which was the name demo tape with which he launched. The theme of the CD is the amusement park called
Bucketheadland (which Buckethead hopes to build someday). Only 500 were released, and Buckethead hand-drew
and numbered the CD digipaks. Mine is #211.