For those who can’t look past the bucket on his head, Brian “Buckethead” Carroll will remain a novelty. But over the past 20 years, the guitarist has redefined rock virtuosity with a body of work that spans from avant-garde to hair metal. Granted, it can be a highly annoying body of work—with past collaborators like John Zorn, Bill Laswell, Mike Patton, and Les Claypool, Buckethead’s high-octane, high-concept noodling still sounds like, well, noodling—but the guitarist’s sheer talent and idiosyncratic style have vaulted him to the top of the ax-for-hire pantheon. He’s also a prolific recording artist with three dozen releases under his belt, including two in 2011, with a third in the works. Buckethead’s biggest claim to infamy was playing in Guns N’ Roses from 1998 to 2004, though he was famously turned down by Ozzy Osbourne because he wouldn’t “get rid of the fucking bucket.