Guitarists often play second fiddle to a band’s singer, but in some cases they become just as famous, or more so than a bands front man. We’ve rounded up the most recognisable guitarists over the years, and you may be surprised who makes the list.
Possibly the most recognisable guitarist in the world, it’s hard to miss Slash with his trademark voluminous curly long hair and top hat. Slash has been wearing his top hat since before Guns n Roses signed with Geffen Records and it’s become as much a part of him as his guitar.
Over the course of 5 decades, Angus Young has always worn some form of schoolboy outfit when performing with ACDC. His siblings originally suggested the outfit and Young wore it as a joke. But after this long the joke hasn’t worn off, and Young’s outfits have become as iconic as online Blackjack and the band’s songs.
A legend in his lifetime and beyond, Hendrix flamboyant bohemian scarves and outfits made him easy to spot. His outfits often competed with his guitar playing skills for the most attention, and Hendrix was larger than life and just as colourful.
Joan is one of the most recognisable musical icons of an era, and her shaggy black hair and black clothes made her instantly recognisable. Lashings of eyeliner and her leather jacket were part of her getup and she looked great behind a guitar, as she was the quintessential punk queen.
It’s hard not to spot Wes Borland on stage. Not many musicians would commit to painting their entire bodies black before they went on stage but Wes does and he always stands out. While he may have opted for more face makeup than full body paint in recent years, the Limp Bizkit guitarist still knows how to get attention.
Not only is he a top class guitarist who can keep up with Marilyn Manson, John 5 has also ensured that he remains memorable by painting his face like a mummy or zombie. His ice white hair has also become a trademark, and he’s always easy to spot.
The name says it all really. We can’t think of any other guitarist who has become more recognisable than Buckethead (except maybe Slash that is…) One thing Buckethead has managed to do is be consistent and he always wears an upside-down KFC bucket with an orange funeral sticker on it, when playing solo, in a bad or simply when in the public eye. Now that’s commitment.
ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbon has had his signature beard since the 1970’s. His long beard covers half his face and half his body too, if we are being truthful. It has made him look older than he is for years, but this guitarist is keeping his facial hair long and holding on to his title for the longest beard in rock for the foreseeable future.