(Bellamy, left – Lukather, right)
Two men, different eras, different playing styles, one thing in common: they are guitar playing geniuses.
Matthew Bellamy (39) of the British rock band Muse and Steve Lukather (59) of the iconic 80’s band Toto both can be known for their amazing talent when it comes to licks on a guitar. Personally, out of all of the options out there like Slash and Jimi Hendrix, they are my all time favorites to listen to. Not only are they both incredible players, but they are very humble about the talent that they possess, which says a lot considering the fame that they each have acquired.
Muse has been around since 1999, formed when Bellamy and his pals were just teenagers in school. Their success was easily gained for them as they began to bloom just as the grunge and rock scene in England was kicking up. Their first album, though it was filled with rage toward their hometown of Teignmouth and teenage angst, it will always be iconic, but Matt’s best riffs come from their second album Origin of Symmetry. The solo of New Born will always and forever be every Muse fans’ favorite solo because it is so long and powerful. The album version is near perfection, but you can never really know how amazing the solo is until you hear it live, which unfortunately, I have yet to do so.
Bellamy brings energy when he plays that adds so much to the sound. His eccentric “dancing” and hype is so contagious that his audience cannot help but get involved, moving along with him. As far as his finger movements, they have been compared to spiders because they move so rapidly and resemble the legs of spindly spiders moving up and down the frets. Granted, Muse’s early music (in my opinion) is better than the newer songs they have released, but the quality of the guitar solos and riffs has not diminished one bit.
Steve Lukather is an all around incredible individual. He can sing, play, has undeniable faith in a higher being, which I find admirable, and he is unbelievably humble about all of his success over the years. This is a man who has played on more records than I can name, including three tracks on Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and he continues to play guitar in Ringo Starr’s All-Star Band as well as touring with Toto. Still, you can call him a legend, a master, whatever you will and you will still hear him say, “None of that, please.” Not only that, but he is down to earth, and a family man as he has four kids, one of which is embarking on his own musical career (more on him later) whom he obviously adores and lives for.
I have had the pleasure of tweeting back and forth with Steve, believe it or not, every now and then, but my favorite tweet back from him was after the Toto concert I attended in Biloxi this past June. I tweeted him some pictures and mentioned that I almost couldn’t believe that he was real, considering he is one of my all-time heroes, and he replied with “Haha, I am very real.” Something as simple as taking the time to show appreciation and at least acknowlegde his fans says a lot about him as well.
As far as his playing, he can play hard rock and roll or lay down tracks that are so heavy with soul that you can’t help but sway along to the sound. He is incredible to watch while he is playing because he gets so into it, almost like he is taken into another world. It is just him and his guitar. You can tell when he is in the zone because of his mouth. I have watched several Toto shows on YouTube as well as the one I attended, and when Luke gets into his playing, he sticks his tongue out and licks his lips with concentration. It’s the little things like that I love to see; the things that define an artist’s character…
Two men, two different playing styles, both icons… Bellamy brings the heavy, out of this world sound while Luke brings the soul. I have included links to videos of both guitarists playing and I want to know what you think! Leave me a comment, email me, or message me on Insta! I want to know who your favorite guitarists are!
Peace, Love, and Rock and Roll!
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