Music

Famous Guitarists from Northern California

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Updated June 8, 2017 1.2k views 46 items

List of famous guitarists born who were born in Northern California, listed alphabetically with photos when available. Many of these guitar players from Northern California are legends in the music world, each with their own innovative styles of play. If you play guitar, whether acoustic or electric, then these famous Northern California guitar players should be people you look up to. These are some of the best guitarists that have ever picked up the instrument, and whether they play rock, blues, metal or folk, these men and women are considered legends.

List includes Courtney Love, John Fogerty, more.

This list answers the questions, "What guitar players are from Northern California?" and "Who are famous Northern California guitarists?"
1
Jerry Garcia is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Guitarists from Northern California
Dec. at 53 (1942-1995)

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: San Francisco Peninsula, Northern California, California, Contiguous United States, San Francisco Bay Area, + more

Guitars Played: Gibson SG, Gibson Les Paul, Fender Stratocaster

Jerome John "Jerry" Garcia (August 1, 1942 – August 9, 1995) was an American singer-songwriter and guitarist, best known for his work as the lead guitarist and as a vocalist with the ...more

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2
Kirk Hammett is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Guitarists from Northern California
Age: 57

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: California, United States of America

Kirk Lee Hammett (born November 18, 1962) is an American musician who has been lead guitarist and a contributing songwriter for the heavy metal band Metallica since 1983. Before joining ...more

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#69 of 541 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time #21 of 638 The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time #153 of 154 The Druggiest Rock Stars of All Time

3
Courtney Love is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Guitarists from Northern California
Age: 55

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: California, United States of America

Courtney Michelle Love (born Courtney Michelle Harrison; July 9, 1964) is an American singer, songwriter and actress. A figure in the punk and grunge scenes of the 1990s, Love's career has ...more

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A Timeline Of Courtney Love And Marilyn Manson's Bizarre, Dramatic Friendship #237 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #388 of 677 The Best Female Vocalists Ever

4
John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Guitarists from Northern California
Age: 74

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Berkeley, California, United States of America

John Cameron Fogerty (born May 28, 1945) is an American musician, singer, and songwriter. Together with Doug Clifford, Stu Cook, and his brother Tom Fogerty, he founded the band Creedence ...more

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The Best John Fogerty Albums of All Time #76 of 225 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #121 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years

5
Jerry Horton is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Guitarists from Northern California
Age: 44

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Dixon, California

Jerry Allan Horton is the lead guitarist and backing vocalist of Californian alternative rock band Papa Roach
6
Lindsey Buckingham is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Guitarists from Northern California
Age: 70

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Palo Alto, California, United States of America

Lindsey Adams Buckingham (born October 3, 1949) is an American musician, singer, songwriter and producer, best known as lead guitarist and one of the vocalists of the music group Fleetwood Mac ...more

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#8 of 225 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #66 of 541 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time #77 of 603 The Best Rock Vocalists

7
Billie Joe Armstrong is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Guitarists from Northern California
Age: 47

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States of America

Billie Joe Armstrong (born February 17, 1972) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and actor. Armstrong serves as the lead vocalist, primary songwriter, and lead ...more

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#143 of 225 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #205 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #253 of 603 The Best Rock Vocalists

8
Nancy Wilson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Guitarists from Northern California
Age: 65

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: California, United States of America

Nancy Lamoureaux Wilson (born March 16, 1954) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, producer, and film composer. She rose to fame alongside her older sister, singer Ann Wilson, as a ...more

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#127 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #81 of 677 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #64 of 541 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

9
Bob Weir is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Guitarists from Northern California
Bob Weir Age: 72

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: San Francisco Peninsula, Northern California, California, Contiguous United States, San Francisco Bay Area, + more

Robert Hall Weir ( WEER; born October 16, 1947) is an American musician and songwriter best known as a founding member of the rock band Grateful Dead. After the Grateful Dead disbanded in 1995, ...more

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#106 of 225 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #274 of 541 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time #779 of 1,020 The Worst Bands & Musicians of All Time

10
Michael Trucco is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Guitarists from Northern California
Age: 49

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: San Mateo, California, USA

Edward Michael Trucco (born June 22, 1970) is an American actor known for his role as Samuel T. Anders on the reimagined Battlestar Galactica and his recurring role as Nick Podarutti in How I ...more
11
John Cipollina is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Guitarists from Northern California
Dec. at 46 (1943-1989)

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Berkeley, California

John Cipollina (August 24, 1943 – May 29, 1989) was a guitarist best known for his role as a founder and the lead guitarist of the prominent San Francisco rock band Quicksilver Messenger ...more
12
Grant Geissman is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Guitarists from Northern California
Age: 66

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Berkeley, California

Grant Geissman (born April 13, 1953) is an American jazz guitarist and Emmy-nominated composer. He has recorded extensively for several labels since 1976 and played guitar on the theme for Monk ...more
13
Peter Buck is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Guitarists from Northern California
Age: 63

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Berkeley, California, United States of America

Peter Lawrence Buck (born December 6, 1956) is an American musician and songwriter who is best known as co-founder and lead guitarist of the alternative rock band R.E.M. Throughout his career ...more

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#326 of 541 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time #196 of 638 The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time #1,317 of 1,344 The Greatest Minds of All Time

14
Tim Armstrong is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Guitarists from Northern California
Age: 54

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Berkeley, California, United States of America

Timothy Ross Armstrong (born November 25, 1965) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, producer, and actor. He is best known as the singer/guitarist for the punk rock band Rancid and hip ...more

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#603 of 638 The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time #162 of 389 The Best Punk Bands Of All Time #182 of 298 The Best Frontmen in Rock

15
Tom Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Guitarists from Northern California
Tom Fogerty Dec. at 49 (1941-1990)

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Berkeley, California

Thomas Richard Fogerty (November 9, 1941 – September 6, 1990) was an American musician, best known as the rhythm guitarist for Creedence Clearwater Revival. He was posthumously inducted into the ...more

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16
Alex Skolnick is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Guitarists from Northern California
Age: 51

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Berkeley, California, United States of America

Alexander Nathan Skolnick (born September 29, 1968) is an American musician who is best known as the lead guitarist in the thrash metal band Testament from 1983 to 1993, and again from 2005. He ...more

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#242 of 541 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time #232 of 638 The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time #235 of 303 The Greatest Jewish Singers and Songwriters

17
Joe Louis Walker is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Guitarists from Northern California
Age: 70

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: San Francisco Peninsula, Northern California, California, Contiguous United States, San Francisco Bay Area, + more

Joe Louis Walker, also known as JLW (born December 25, 1949) is an American musician, best known as an electric blues guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer. His knowledge of blues history ...more
18
Jesse Michaels is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Guitarists from Northern California
Age: 50

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Berkeley, California

Jesse Michaels is a songwriter, vocalist, guitarist, artist, and author from Berkeley, California. He is the son of the author Leonard Michaels and was married to producer Audrey Marrs. His ...more
19
Dave Guard is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Guitarists from Northern California
Dec. at 57 (1934-1991)

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: San Francisco Peninsula, Northern California, California, Contiguous United States, San Francisco Bay Area, + more

Donald David Guard (October 19, 1934 – March 22, 1991) was an American folk singer, songwriter, arranger and recording artist. Along with Nick Reynolds and Bob Shane, he was one of the founding ...more
20
David Silveria is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Guitarists from Northern California
Age: 47

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: San Leandro, Alameda County, Northern California, California, Contiguous United States, + more

David Randall Silveria (born September 21, 1972) is an American drummer, best known as the drummer for the band Korn from 1993 until leaving the band in 2006. He then became the drummer for ...more
21
Marc Bonilla is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Guitarists from Northern California
Age: 64

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: California

Marc Bonilla is an American guitarist and composer. He has worked with Keith Emerson (including on 1995's Changing States and in 2006-2016 was featured in the Keith Emerson Band), Ronnie ...more
22
David Immerglück is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Guitarists from Northern California
Age: 58

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: California

David A. Immerglück (born May 3, 1961) is an American multi-instrumentalist who is best known as a guitarist in the alternative rock bands Counting Crows, Camper Van Beethoven and the Monks ...more
23
Aaron Abeyta is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Guitarists from Northern California
Age: 54

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Sacramento, California, United States of America

Aaron Abeyta (born August 8, 1965), better known as El Hefe or simply Hefe, from el Jefe (Spanish for "the boss") is the lead guitarist and trumpet player for the California punk band ...more
24
Ronnie Montrose is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Guitarists from Northern California
Dec. at 65 (1947-2012)

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: California, United States of America

Ronald Douglas Montrose (November 29, 1947 – March 3, 2012) was an American rock guitarist, who led the bands Montrose (1973-77 & 1987) and Gamma (1979-83 & 2000) and also performed and ...more

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#100 of 541 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time #168 of 638 The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time #2,013 of 2,437 The Most Influential People of All Time

25
Jason Becker is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Guitarists from Northern California
Age: 50

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Richmond, Northern California, California, Contiguous United States, San Francisco Bay Area, + more

Jason Eli Becker (born July 22, 1969) is an American musician, songwriter and composer. At the age of 16, he became part of the Shrapnel Records-produced duo Cacophony with his friend Marty ...more

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#198 of 541 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time #231 of 638 The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time #38 of 210 The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams