The life and times of Alexi Laiho, the Wildchild who revolutionized demonic shred

Alexi Laiho
(Image credit: Chiaki Nozu/WireImage)

As Guitar World crosses into its fifth decade of existence, we’ve certainly had to grapple with our fair share of deaths over the years. 

We’ve said goodbye to countless six-string heroes, including Randy Rhoads, Chuck Berry, Johnny Winter, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Malcolm Young, Prince, Tom Petty and Chris Cornell, among many others. 

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Jeff Kitts

As a teenager, Jeff Kitts began his career in the mid ’80s as editor of an underground heavy metal fanzine in the bedroom of his parents’ house. From there he went on to write for countless rock and metal magazines around the world – including Circus, Hit Parader, Metal Maniacs, Rock Power and others – and in 1992 began working as an assistant editor at Guitar World. During his 27 years at Guitar World, Jeff served in multiple editorial capacities, including managing editor and executive editor before finally departing as editorial director in 2018. Jeff has authored several books and continues to write for Guitar World and other publications and teaches English full time in New Jersey. His first (and still favorite) guitar was a black Ibanez RG550.