High Strung: The 25 All-Time Weirdest Guitarists
Once upon a time, the mere act of strapping on an electric guitar and cranking up an amplifier marked one as an outsider, a rebellious badass who refused to live by the laws of a "decent" society.
But today's cookie-cutter rockers and forgettable pop janglers make studying for the priesthood seem like an edgier pursuit than playing guitar in a band.
Guitar World thought it might be instructive to salute some genuine rock weirdos—25 individuals whose unique personalities and/or playing styles have been dictated not by popular trends, market research firms or knit-capped A&R guys, but by an all-consuming need to express themselves to the fullest.
Some have crashed and burned, especially when LSD was involved, and you probably wouldn't want to invite most them to dinner. But they're all colorful characters whose flying freak flags have contributed much to rock's rich tapestry.
Numerous books have been written about the late Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd's original leader and rock's first serious acid casualty. His madcap antics range from the amusing (fixing Pat Boone with a murderous stare during an interview on Boone's TV show; styling his hair with Brylcreem and crushed Mandrax tablets) to the psychotic (locking a girlfriend in a bedroom for days with nothing to eat but crackers).
An incredibly inventive guitarist who combined an unorthodox slide technique with various echo units to create a truly "interstellar" sound, Syd unfortunately became synonymous with "losing one's shit entirely."