My Musical Adventures

Guitar Hero Championship @ GAMH, 10/12/07

I like to play Guitar Hero. So when I saw the Guitar Hero Championship listed on the Great American Music Hall’s calendar, I thought it would be a pretty fun little event. Not only was it not what I expected, but it was way way way way WAY better.


Guitar Player’s Guitar Hero Championship is a competition between 10 finalist guitar players, who perform a few minutes of their own material in front of professional guitar player judges. It was quite a stellar list of judges:

Joe Satriani: Guitar virtuoso, who has taught Kirk Hammett how to play the guitar.
Steve Lukather: From Toto, and was the session guitarist for Michael Jackson’s Beat It.
Elliot Easton: From The Cars
Greg Howe: Session musician who has worked with Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson
Mike Varney: Producer, who has worked with quintessential ’80’s band W.A.S.P.
Nuno Bettencourt: Guitarist for Extreme (yes, More Than Words), former guitarist for Satellite Party, and has also worked with Criss Angel

The event was emceed by Brendon Small, co-creator of HRC favorite Metalocalypse. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should check it out.

Last year’s winner Trey Alexander came out and showed us why he won, playing with his teeth and behind his head. Here’s his winning performance from last year:

Now for the 10 finalists:

Curtis Fornadley:

Les Robot

Juan Coronado

Casey Harshbarger

Chris Peters:

Jamie Robinson:

Ladd Smith:

Taka Minamino:


Danny B. Harvey:

Tony Smotherman:

There was a wide range of styles: classical, jazz, Latin, rock, rockabilly, and country. All of the performances were great. The judges commented after each performance, focusing on a combo of stage presence, composition, and skill.

In the intermission after the first five performances, Nuno Bettencourt came down and played a song, and then played a little improv with Greg Howe.

nuno greg

After a long deliberation, the winners were chosen:

Second Runner Up: Danny B. Harvey


First Runner Up: Les Robot

les robot

2007 Guitar Hero: Ladd Smith

ladd smith


While there was a demo of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, the Guitar Hero Championship is a night about real guitar players.

Next year when this event rolls around, you should plan to be there.

Brendon Small’s website
Joe Satriani’s website
Steve Lukather’s website
Greg Howe’s website
Nuno Bettencourt’s MySpace


    We are anxious to watch the whole show “live on webcast” as was noted in your article about the 2007 Guitar Hero Competition in San Franscisco. Will the full show be available to watch each contestant?
    Looking forward to seeing it!

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