Kiss A Ginger Day – Top 5 Famous Redhead Guitarists

by Chris

January 12, 2021


Last Updated on August 29, 2022 by Chris

Today, January 12, is Kiss a Ginger Day! So to celebrate, I’m gonna list my top 5 ginger-haired guitar players!

When I first started to think of famous redhead guitarists, I must admit, it was a bit of a struggle. I could think of quite a lot of famous ginger-haired people, a few ginger musicians, but had to rack my brain for guitarists! I got there in the end though, and even got a lefty one in there too!

I guess it was a struggle because only around two percent of the population is naturally red-haired, meaning that it’s quite a rare thing, so there are even fewer redheads than there are left handed people. Imagine how rare a left handed redhead is! Imagine how rare a left handed redhead guitar player is!

There’s one on this top 5 list!

In these times of coronavirus, however, I wouldn’t recommend kissing them, unless you know that both you and they don’t have it. So instead of kissing a redhead, I’m going to pay tribute with my top 5 guitar-playing redheads!

Top 5 Famous Redhead Guitarists

#5 Josh Homme

Josh Homme is a founding member of rock bands Kyuss, and Queens of the Stone Age. He has a Maton BB1200 signature guitar and plays various other brands such as Fender, Burns, Gibson, Ovation, Guild, and Motor Ave, among others.

He also co-founded and plays drums for the band Eagles of Death Metal, but only plays with them every now and then.

Supergroup Them Crooked Vultures was another project he was involved with, along with Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin).

Homme once said:

“When you have red hair, you learn to either stay or run. And I don’t run, man.”

#4 Newton Faulkner

Newton Faulkner is an English singer/songwriter known for his percussive style on acoustic guitar, for his song Dream Catch Me, and for his big long ginger dreadlocks (which, at the time of writing, he’s now cut shorter)!

He shot to fame back in 2007 when his first album, Hand Built By Robots, knocked Amy Winehouse off the number one spot on the UK charts.

He also starred in the award-winning Green Day musical American Idiot.

Newton Faulkner plays Benjamin guitars.

At one point, he also had a huge amount of red hair! Nowadays though, he’s cut it quite short, initially for his role in American Idiot, but he’s definitely a redhead to check out.

When interviewed by The Daily Record in 2016, Faulkner said:

“I think because I look quite strange, basically if there’s a job I am right for, no one else is going to get that job because I have cornered a weird little ginger, dreaded market.”

#3 Bonnie Raitt

Bonnie Raitt is a blues guitarist known for her slide guitar playing and was the first female musician to have a signature model Fender guitar.

She also plays Gibson, Lichty, and Guild guitars, among others.

She’s won a massive 10 Grammy Awards, and was 50th in Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time” and 89th on their list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.

She’s also known for her magnificent red hair with a distinctive white streak in the middle!

In 2016, Raitt told Classic Rock

“Maybe it’s a self-fulfilling thing that when you have red hair, you know you’re a little bit different. I don’t know many redheads that are shy and retiring. But I just happen to be an extrovert anyway.”

#2 Mikey Demus

Left handed Mikey Demus is known for being the lead and rhythm guitarist for rock/metal band Skindred.

He usually plays his signature left handed Manson MD-2, but can be seen in this video playing a left handed Duesenberg Paloma, demonstrating his own Redbeard Effects drive pedal, Red Mist MKIV.

He also appears in the LeftyGuitarist list of Famous Left Handed Guitar Players.

Mikey doesn’t have a lot of hair up top, but he does have a massive ginger beard and he loves to take care of it with his own brand of beard oil, Redbeardium, made in collaboration with Braw Beard Oils.

On the Braw Cast in 2020 when asked about his big ginger beard, Demus said:

“When I was in my mid-20s, I had a mohawk and I caught a photo of myself from behind, and I had this massive balding patch going at the back that no one had told me about!

“Right then and there, I realized I was losing my hair, so that week I just shaved my head, never looked back and I thought “right, that’s gone. I can’t be doing with that! It’s no good!”

“So I sort of had the skinhead look for a while, and then I just started growing this beard, and it grew and it grew and it grew and it grew, and it just kept growing! And I just went with it really. I never thought I was capable of growing this great big beard!”

#1 Dave Mustaine

Dave Mustaine was famously kicked out of Metallica for being wasted all the time, and then later went on to form his own thrash metal band Megadeth. Mustaine is the frontman and lead/rhythm guitarist with Megadeth; one of “The Big Four” of thrash metal, along with Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax.

He’s played several different guitar brands over the years, including BC Rich, Ibanez, Jackson, ESP, Dean, and as of 2021 has a deal with Gibson.

Throughout his career, Mustaine was unmistakable with his luscious long locks of lustrous ginger hair!

When talking to WVOX in 2013, Mustaine said:

“Growing up and being a redhead kid – you get picked on a lot in school and I didn’t have a lot of friends and guitar was the one friend that I had,” he said. “And I loved to play.”

The same year, when talking to Thrash Hits for their Hair Metal feature, Dave Mustaine was asked about his hair care regime:

“Are you serious? You’re serious. I don’t shampoo it every day – I shampoo it every other day just so that the soap doesn’t strip my hair out. Other than that I use extensive conditioner. The stuff’s called Pureology. I don’t recommend anyone get it because it’s really super expensive.”

In 2016, Mustaine also tweeted:

Honorable Mentions

So that’s my top 5 ginger guitarists! There are a few other ginger/redhead guitarists and musicians out there that you may also like (or want to kiss):

  • Willie Nelson – American country singer who had a full head of red hair at one time, though in most of the photos and videos I’ve seen of him, his red locks are turning closer to gray. However, he still retains some of that ginger goodness!
  • Ed Sheeran – English singer/songwriter, and possibly the most famous musician in this article, known just as much for his ginger hair as he is for his chart-topping hits.
  • Melissa Auf der Maur – Known for being the bassist for Hole, and briefly the touring bassist for Smashing Pumpkins.
  • Shirley Manson – Scottish singer/songwriter and lead vocalist with rock band Garbage. Not really known for playing the guitar, but she does sometimes wield an axe during live performances.
  • Patti Scialfa – Singer/songwriter and guitarist, a member of the E Street Band; also married to Bruce Springsteen.
  • Brett Dennen – American folk-pop singer/songwriter who, in 2007, was named as one of Rolling Stone Magazine’s “10 Artists To Watch.”
  • The Judds – American country music duo, featuring mother and daughter team Naomi and Wynonna Judd.
  • Ginger Baker – “Rock’s first superstar drummer” and co-founder of legendary British blues-rock band Cream. He was an inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a Cream member, an inductee of the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2008, and of the Classic Drummer Hall of Fame in 2016.
  • Axl Rose – Lead vocalist with hard rock band Guns N’ Roses. Also known as one of hard rock’s all-time greatest frontmen, as well as famous ginger!

I hope you liked my top 5 famous redhead guitarists. One of the rarest breeds of guitar player around! Let me know of any others in the comments below.

Header image credit: Photo by Gabby K from Pexels

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