Guitar Girl'd: Nicole Starr of The Valentine Failures — Licks That Kill

Here at Guitar World, when we kick off our Buyer's Guide Model Search each year, we know we're gonna get thousands of photos of hot chicks posing with guitars.

Sure, we get it: Sex and rock 'n' roll go together like Charlie Sheen and tiger blood. But here at "Guitar Girl'd," we want sex with our rock 'n' roll. We wanna see sexy girls who freakin' rock.

Enter Nicole Starr.

When we came across the 21-year-old Texan, we knew we'd hit Buyer's Guide gold: a super-hot chick with killer rock 'n' roll style who could rock. Like, really rock. We watched some videos of her showing off her chops with the Valentine Failures, her trashy, grungy rock 'n' roll band that sounds like the second coming of D Generation, and we were mesmerized.

“I was already playing in bars when I was 15, 16,” Starr said recently from her home in Dallas. “I was trying out for bands before I joined the Valentine Failures, and I would show up and they'd be like, ‘Well, learn these cover tunes,’ and I already knew them.”

Starr grew up on some of the metal greats: Dio, Ozzy and George Lynch - but it was Judas Priest's "Electric Eye" DVD that inspired her to pick up the guitar at age 13. “I got it and I was like, oh my god, what is this? I was hooked from then on.”

“I'm so influenced by Jake E. Lee, George Lynch, Craig Goldy and Randy Rhoads – all really fluid, rapid players. I've never had a guitar lesson in my life, except for maybe a few chords, but I just kind of took it and ran with it.”

Starr's main axes are three Epiphone Les Pauls, the Gothic getting the most play. She’s also working with Kona Guitars on a Valentine Failures signature model to be released later this year or early 2012.

“I'm into working on my own guitars, as far as trying to soup them up,” she says.

Starr took over guitar duties for the Valentine Failures two years ago, and they've been busy touring the Southwest, with stints at SXSW and gigs with trash metal champions Faster Pussycat and L.A. Guns. Next month they're headed to the studio to record Starr's debut with the band, and they plan to tour the record later this year.

Check out Starr with the Valentine Failures on the Dallas show "All Jacked Up":

The Valentine Failures perform "My Own Way":

Visit the Valentine Failures on Facebook and don’t forget to check out Starr in the 2012 Summer Buyer’s Guide, on stands now!

Anna Blumenthal is the advertising coordinator for Guitar World, Guitar Aficionado and Revolver. She’s been playing guitar and singing in rock 'n' roll bands for the past 12 years and currently fronts the New York City-based all-girl garage band Party Lights. More at

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