15 reclusive guitar greats who went off the grid

Matt Smith, Rowan Robertson, Vito Bratta and Michael Kelly Smith
(Image credit: George Rose / Ann Summa / Paul Natkin / Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Over the decades, droves of unassuming six-stringers have ascended to heights once thought impossible.

Once steeped in limelight, these guitar heroes graced the grandest stages, playing to ravenous fans worldwide. But for some, the heat of the overhead lights and the pressures associated with fame and fortune can be too much to bear.

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Andrew Daly

Andrew Daly is an iced-coffee-addicted, oddball Telecaster-playing, alfredo pasta-loving journalist from Long Island, NY, who, in addition to being a contributing writer for Guitar World, scribes for Rock Candy, Bass Player, Total Guitar, and Classic Rock History. Andrew has interviewed favorites like Ace Frehley, Johnny Marr, Vito Bratta, Bruce Kulick, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Rich Robinson, and Paul Stanley, while his all-time favorite (rhythm player), Keith Richards, continues to elude him.