Like something lurching from a ’80s horror flick, Buckethead, the lanky, masked guitarist, lopes onstage at the Mystic Theatre Tuesday June 28th, with his attenuated (some say robotic) fingers dancing on the fretboard of his signature white Les Paul, whilst destroying everything you thought you knew about electric guitar music.

What brings Buckethead to Petaluma, the one-time “egg basket of the world?” One might conjecture that our town is something of a spiritual home for the musician, whose origin myth entails being raised in a chicken coop owned by evil farmers.

Since then, according to some bios, he has made it a mission to draw attention to the “chicken holocaust” perpetrated by global fast food companies and it’s likely the KFC bucket that tops his ensemble is likely part of this effort. Ditto the guitarist’s trademark white mask, said to have been inspired by “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers.”

Buckethead Pairs Chops with Props

It may also be that as an aspiring musician when a teen, he found the costume liberating and in the tradition of Kiss, David Bowie and innumerable other acts, he intuited that persona and performance can be one and the same. Besides, being “Brian Carroll” from Claremont, CA, just doesn’t have the same vibe.

The commitment has paid off. Buckethead is an internationally-recognized guitar virtuoso who, it’s safe to assume, spends all of his time offstage in the studio, having released an astounding 264 studio albums. He has also performed on more than 50 other albums by other artists in genres as diverse as metal, funk, jazz, ambient, and avant-garde music. He even did a turn with a Slash-less Guns ‘N’ Roses.

Buckethead’s accolades include being on Guitar World’s lists of the “25 all-time weirdest guitarists” (duh – nunchakus demonstrations and robot dance moves are part of his act) as well as one of the “50 fastest guitarists of all time.”

Buckethead performs at 8:30 p.m. (doors open at 7:30 p.m), Tuesday, June 28 at the Mystic Theatre, 21 Petaluma Blvd N., Petaluma. Tickets are $40. For more information, visit

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