To be quite honest, I hadn't really heard of Buckethead until the beginning of this year when my friend, Shawn, posted a picture of him on facebook. Even then I wasn't privy to the knowledge of WHO Buckethead was. For weeks I tried to deductively reason an explanation of the picture and who/what it was from the comments left by others who obviously knew who he was. I, however, was unsuccessful and didn't dare ask lest I look foolish for not knowing. Don't get me wrong......I am foolish. Foolish for waiting 6 months to finally man up and ask about Buckethead.
Shawn was gracious and didn't make fun of me for my ignorance (although I really deserve anything he could dish out as repayment for the "Mark Hamil Incident"). He not only introduced me to the wonderfully versatile repertoire of Buckethead but also gave me some invaluable pointers about where to start as a fledgling listener. [THANK YOU, SHAWN!]
This is Buckethead:
I could spend time trying to explain the "persona" or unmask him, but for what reason? I've spent countless hours chasing links on the internet and I would encourage any and all to read the information floating around the cybersphere. Here's what I'll tell you about him before I put links to a few tracks. Buckethead was born Brian Patrick Carroll on May 13th, 1969. That's right.....he's a 13-baby! There's an interesting story about why he wears the bucket and mask(originally it was a KFC bucket), but in all honesty, I believe he wears it because it's about the music. Let me say that again: It's all about the music. I didn't read this anywhere and it's totally my own theory, but as a music lover, it just makes sense and seems obvious to me. He has recorded over 50 albums of original work in his 40 years on this terrestial sphere. Go ahead, do the math.....that's more than an album a year if he had burst from the womb shredding. From everything I've read, no one contends that was the case. In fact most accounts have him appearing on the "guitar scene" in 1988.
Although I didn't actually know about Buckethead, that's not to say I had never heard any of his work. For a few years, I've heard my nephews talk about "Jordan", one of the hidden tracks they unlocked on the original Guitar Hero. [I'll blog at a later date about the influence GH has had on the music tastes of the younger generation!]
There are plenty of wiki articles which will give you a rundown of the chronology of his prolific guitar career since 1988 if you're interested. Those who know me, know when I find a topic intriguing, I will become obsessed about learning everything I can about it. So, after listening to a few tracks, I dove headfirst into the first stages of my obsession and read. And then read and read and read........all the while listening to his music and looking at his artwork. [Oh, did I forget to mention that?] I feel certain everyone who listens to his music will find something they love.....something which will speak to them. For me, it's his sense of family. From his parents taking him to drop off his first demo when he was a teenager, to the impromptu backyard DVD which was a recording of him playing a concert for his siblings, to the beautifully written melodies on Colma, a CD recorded while his mother was battling cancer.
Instead of putting my favorites, I'm going to point you in the direction my sage friend, Shawn (revealer of Buckethead) pointed me.
Enjoy! And, if you like what you hear, dive in and enjoy all his work! Spread the work to your friends.........there's something for everyone!
All in the Waiting (from Electric Tears)
All in The Waiting - Buckethead
Soothsayer - Buckethead
Watching the Boats with my Dad
And.....his tribute to Michael Jackson: The Homing Beacon