Now it’s time to feature some cool players outside the Anglophone universe, and of course one of the most notable is the Japanese guitar icon Hide.
According to Wikipedia and other blogs:
“Hideto Matsumoto (松本 秀人 Matsumoto Hideto?, December 13, 1964 – May 2, 1998), known exclusively by his stage name hide (written in all capital letters when he was with X Japan and in all lowercase letters when solo), was a popular Japanese visual kei rock musician. He was primarily known for his work as lead guitarist of the heavy metal band X Japan from 1987 to 1997. He was also a successful solo artist and co-founder of the United States based band Zilch.
Most commonly known for his key role as lead guitarist for one of Japan’s more prominent and successful heavy metal bands, X Japan, hide was able to grow musically and develop his own style, all the while gaining more and more fame and fans over the years. He occasionally wrote songs for the band as well, “Joker” and “Celebration” being among those, which you can definitely tell, have a very distinctive hide-feel to them. Another song he wrote for X Japan, titled “Scars“, is one of those songs that shows how well hide could handle a guitar with amazing technical prowess, all the while maintaining his ability to create an extremely catchy melody.
While not the band’s main composer, nor frontman, hide was probably the most recognized member in X Japan, not only for his incredible guitar playing, but for his excellent stage presence and the fun that he brought to the performance, as well as his eccentric and flamboyant attire and stage equipment, most notably being his bright pink hair and signature yellow heart guitar (continuing even after X Japan dropped the whole visual kei aspect of their band).