Guitar Idol 2008 was conceived as an online
worldwide talent search to find the next
generation of Guitar Heroes… and boy
did it deliver! Already the biggest guitar
competition in history, between March 21st
2008 and the Live Grand Final on June 14th
2008 almost half a million people visited,
voted or entered the competition. On June
14th thousands of guitar fans witnessed
12 future guitar stars do battle with a
crack live band on the main stage at The
London International Music Show to be crowned
‘Guitar Idol 2008’.
In late 2007 Alloutguitar.com, Licklibrary.com
and the UK’s Guitar Buyer magazine
sat down and decided the time was right
to launch a new international guitarist
talent search – one that for the first
time utilised the Internet, by having contestants
upload their video or audio entries at www.guitar-idol.co.uk
to then be voted and discussed by guitar
fans worldwide. With the massive resurgence
of guitar playing, from metal to blues to
the new acoustic masters, we all thought
this could be big… but not this big!
Visitors to the website crossed all cultural
and national divides – not only from
the US and Europe but places as diverse
as Nepal, Iraq and Siberia!
With nearly 1000 contestants truly spanning
the globe, the standard was overwhelmingly
high. Eventually with a combination of public
votes and a panel of industry professionals,
12 outstanding Finalists were chosen.
Finalists Gustavo di Padua, Gustavo Guerra
and Fernando Miyata flew in from the ‘new
home of shred’ Brazil, Peter Petchalov
from Russia, Chris Feener from Canada, Muris
Varajic from Bosnia and Daniele Gottardo
from Italy. The UK was represented by Jas
Morris, Tom Qualye, Ben Randall, the one-handed
phenomenon Marc Playle and Lyle Watt, the
15 year wunderkind from North Scotland!
All of the finalists arrived in London for
Friday 13th July 2008, to rehearse their
songs at North London’s ‘Institute
of Contemporary Music Performance’
with an amazing live band consisting of
Darren Ashford (Drums) Gianluca Corona (Rhythm
Guitar) and Dave Marks (Bass and M.D). 5
languages, 12 players, and less than 10
hours… Anyone reading this who’s
ever played live and rehearsed a set knows
how hard this would have been - throw in
the language barriers as well and the prospect
of playing in front of thousands of guitar
fans the next day… I’m sure
you all appreciate how monumental a task
this was! But they did it!
And so, on Saturday 14th June 2008, on the
main stage at The London Guitar Show –
with no sound check, the 12 finalists performed
to a huge audience and a panel of industry
judges. After nearly 2 hours of explosive
guitar talent, the judges eventually picked
the deserved winner - Gustavo Guerra from
Brazil - Guitar Idol 2008!
This CD is a celebration of the first in
what will be an ongoing annual competition
that could well dictate the future of virtuoso
guitar playing! On this album are not only
the 12 lucky finalists, but three other
players who were invited to attend the finals
but couldn’t make the journey, as
well as a further three who were so close
to making the final dozen that we couldn’t
ignore their efforts…
Listening to this CD, I think you’ll
agree that after years in the doldrums the
art of virtuoso guitar playing is well and
truly back! Also ponder this:
The last time guitar playing on this level
was in the limelight, it was almost exclusively
the province of guitar players from the
US and Western Europe. Fast forward 20 years
and we see the emergence of hotbeds of talent
from South America, Eastern Europe and Asia
joining the party… it seems that outstanding
guitar playing is now a truly worldwide
commodity. So let’s all do our bit
to break down the walls of the cultural
divide and welcome in a new golden age of
1. GUSTAVO GUERRA (Guitar Idol 2008 Winner)
Track: Na Veia
29 / Curitiba, Brazil.
Gustavo has been a professional musician
for 15 years. His worldwide recognition
came through YouTube with more than
7,000,000 hits to date. He endorses several brands
(Santo Angelo, Crafter, Nig Striwg, Landscape,
Carvin, Basso Strap and Native Instruments)
and through sheer talent, skill and stage
presence, became Guitar Idol 2008!
2. LYLE WATT (Guitar Idol 2008 Runner-up)
Track: Swirly Strat Jam (Live from Guitar
Idol 2008, London Excel)
15 / Thurso, Scotland.
Through a display of unbridled natural
talent, Lyle was runner-up at Guitar Idol
2008. Lyle says, “I have only 3 interests
in life - guitar, more guitar and even more
guitar! I've been playing guitar since I
was 3, but I've really only been playing
seriously for the past 5 or 6 years, and
I absolutely love it!”
3. DANIELE GOTTARDO (Guitar Idol 2008
Track: Guitar Sbrego (taken from the forthcoming
album ‘Frenzy of Ecstasy’)
24/ Rovigo, Italy.
Daniele Gottardo took up guitar at the
age of 14. His dedication to the instrument
has won him many musical accolades and prestigious
gigs with top pop singer, Alexia. His astonishing
two-handed technique, dripping with heart
felt emotion, has made him a sort after
clinician and magazine writer. High quality
instructional DVDs feature his trade mark
incendiary licks and now Daniel is set to
release his awesome debut CD, Frenzy Of
4. BEN RANDALL
Track: Before The Rain (Rockschool’s
‘Most Promising Young Guitarist’
at Guitar Idol 2008)
17 / Neston, England.
Ben was judged ‘Most Promising
Young Guitarist’ at Guitar Idol 2008
and won £1000 from the national rock and
pop exam board Rockschool. Ben had astonished
the judges “with his level of technical
virtuosity at such a young age, coupled
with a level of phrasing beyond his years.
For someone who has only been playing 3
years, it is nothing short of miraculous”.
5. JAS MORRIS
Track: Revelation (from the album 'Thru'
by the Morris Brothers Band)
22 / Newton Abbot, England.
Jas has been called such things as ‘Future
Guitar God’- Wishbone Ash and ‘A
Rock Legend of the Future’ Planet
Rock. Jas Morris began playing guitar at
13. Now 22, he has achieved such accolades
as the ‘UK’s Guitarist Of The
Year’ in 2003 and now a finalist of
the epic International ‘Guitar Idol
6. GUSTAVO DI PADUA
Track: Second Floor (taken from the album
ORIGIN: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Gustavo Di Padua releases his first solo
album, entitled “The Stairs”
in 2008. Already praised by the critics,
this exceptional concept album represents
each important step of his life. Gustavo
also produced and played all the instruments
on this album. The guitarist and musical
producer started his career when he was
14 years old. Today, Gustavo has an ample
musical experience and continues playing
with important bands and Brazilian artists.
7. MURIS VARAJIC
Track: Junk Medley
ORIGIN: Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
A highly experienced musician, Muris
often plays and tours in his native Bosnia,
and Europe. In high demand as a session
musician, he has won a number of international
guitar competitions and recently released
his Debut Album "Let It Out".
Muris is currently working on his second
album and teaches online at GuitarMasterclass.net.
Track: You're The Best I Know...
ORIGIN: Pyatigorsk, Russia.
“I started playing guitar at 14.
The first bands that inspired me to play
music were Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Black
Sabbath, PinkFloyd, Whitesnake, Rainbow
and Dio... the world is beautiful!!!”
9. TOM QUAYLE
Track: Identity Crisis
ORIGIN: Leeds, England.
Tom Quayle is quite possibly the next
big thing in fusion guitar! Schooled in
Jazz, with a love of all things shred, he
produces a unique combination of great phrasing,
sophisticated harmony, taste and technique.
“It's all about the groove and the
10. CHRIS FEENER
Track: The Eccentric Hillbilly (taken from
the forthcoming album ‘Chris Feener’)
ORIGIN: Newfoundland, Canada.
“My drive for the guitar started
at an early age, air-guitaring to Kiss CDs
in the privacy of my own bedroom. A few
years and countless hours of practice later,
I find myself sharing my music with the
world. Far above sharing music online, performance
is what fuels my aspiring abilities.”
11. MARC PLAYLE
Track: Storm (taken from the album ‘Europa’
ORIGIN: Gateshead, England.
Marc is currently lead guitarist in the
rock band ‘Minnikin’. Since
being a finalist in Guitar Idol 2008, Marc
has made appearances on Local and National
UK TV and also had International TV recognition
from Japan, Korea, Argentina and Brazil!
12. FERNANDO MIYATA
Track: Age (taken from the album ‘Heavy
Metal Instrumental’ by Boneland)
Origin: Poá Centro, Brazil.
Fernando has an arsenal of mind-blowing
techniques and a genuinely new approach
to tapping, all of which has been substantiated
by his place in the Guitar Idol 2008 finals
and having also won Guitar World's ‘Best
Youtube Guitar Video’ in 2007.
ORIGIN: Gommegnies , France.
“My name is Mathieu, I'm 17 and
I've been playing guitar since I was 8.
I started with electric guitar and moved
into classical guitar two years later. I've
just finished studying at the Conservatory
and have been composing/writing music for
two years. For me, music isn't a question
of style, but feeling. I guitars, bass drums,
synthesiser/keyboards, percussion etc and
all my compositions are recorded in my room
by myself. Music is my passion and my dream
is to live it. I Hope you enjoy listening.”
14. MASAHIRO AOKI
Track: Spirits (taken from the album ‘G5
ORIGIN: Osaka, Japan.
“Hello, I'm a Japanese composer.
I really love guitar and I love to write
songs with it. This song ‘Spirits’
contains some complicated melodies, rhythms
and harmonies, but simply cool I think.
Please understand, I’m not really
a guitarist but a composer. I hope you enjoy
15. SILVIO GAZQUEZ
Track: Far Away
ORIGIN: La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
“I´ve been playing the guitar since
I was 14 years old. I studied music theory
in a local conservatory and the university
of La Plata (Buenos Aires). In 2004, I achieved
a 3rd place in the George Bellas´s contest
and the following year I was mentioned for
great work in Kiko Loureiro´s contest. I
have several demos that I´ve recorded over
the years, but I´m still looking for a record
deal. Recently I shot an instructional DVD
that will be available soon…”
16. DENIS VLACHIOTIS
Track: Imperishable Ferocity (taken from
the album ‘Imperishable Ferocity’)
ORIGIN: Sydney, Australia
“I have an extremely large amount
of love, patience, discipline and commitment
for not just the wonderful instrument that
the guitar is but playing, writing, and
recording music in general. I would say
my life has always and will always revolve
around music in terms of constantly creating
music from the heart and constantly growing
as a musician.”
17. ANDRE NORONHA
Track: Never Give Up
ORIGIN: Macaé, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
André started to play the guitar at the
age of 12. Playing the guitar then became
his goal and he has since played in many
Rock, Metal and Gospel bands. He has studied
with many great guitarists in his city and
after winning the “Kiko Loureiro’s
No-Gravity Contest” in 2005 he moved
to São Paulo to study at IG&T Brazil.
He was selected for a Gibson contest in
2007 and then for the finals of Guitar Idol
2008 in London. André is influenced by Joe
Satriani, Kiko Loureiro, Steve Vai, Eric
Johnson, John Petrucci and many others.
He is currently looking for an opportunity
to record his solo instrumental album.
18. DIMITAR NALBANTOV
Track: Terrestrial Paradise (taken from
the forthcoming album ‘Mother Earth’)
ORIGIN: Asenovgrad, Bulgaria
“Hello guys! I'm Dimitar and I
love to play guitar! My solo debut album
“Universe” was released in November
2006 and now it is time for the next one
"Mother Earth" due in autumn 2008.
Let the music be with you… Dimi.”
Guitar Idol 2008 was brought to you by All
Out Guitar, Lick Library and MB Media.
Executive Producers - Owen
Edwards, Rory Sullivan, Andy Conroy, James
Edwards, Kim Waller, Stuart Bull and
Live Final Hosts: Stuart Bull and Owen Edwards
Backstage Coordination: Nick Andrew
Guitar Idol would like to thank the following
for helping to make this happen:
Mortimer from Paul Reed Smith, Andy Rust
from Peavey, Andy Craven and Lasse from
Lion Music, Pete Lunney from Strings and
Things, Joanna Awad from Roland/Boss,
Simon Pitt and Drew Cullingham from Rockschool
and last - but most definitely not
least, Pete Whittard and the team from The
Institute of Contemporary Music Performance
- we couldn’t have done it without
The London International Music Show for
providing the amazing stage and venue for
The Guitar Idol Finals 2008!
Prizes were donated by: PRS, Peavey,
Ernie Ball, Roland,
Rockschool and Lion Music.
Darren Ashford (Drums), Gianluca Corona
(Rhythm Guitar) and Dave Marks (Bass and
M.D www.davemarks.com) from The Institute
Of Contemporary Music Performance –
what you guys did in one day of rehearsals
Peavey for providing the backline and Mapex
for the drums.
Sound - Charlie you did it mate –
look forward to working with you in the
Phil Hilborne, Beth Johnson from Ernie Ball,
Edward Box and Rory Sullivan from Alloutguitar.com,
Andy James from licklibrary.com and Alloutguitar.com,
Martin Goulding from Institute of Contemporary
Music Performance (ICMP) and Drew Cullingham
The Online Judging Panel
Jay Parmar, Simon Lees, Owen Edwards, Kim
Waller and Stuart Bull, James Edwards, Andy
James, Edward Box, David Greaves, Nick Andrew,
Gianluca Corona, Rory Sullivan and Pete
Special Thanks to Yngwie
Malmsteen, Joe Satriani, Laurie Monk, Ben
Maxine Adamson, Charlotte Sullivan, Phil
Arneill (for manning the stand and missing
the main event), David Greeves, Mike Blackburn,
David Phillips at A&R Marketing and
Fiona Graves at Midnight PR – not
Also thanks to our media support from The
Sun, The Mirror, Richard and Judy at Channel
National TV and regional TV and Radio in
Leeds, Scotland, East Anglia and Newcastle.
A big final
thanks to the 500,000 + visitors to the
Guitar Idol website and the loyal legion
of forum junkies who helped to make this
PS. And another
big final thanks to anyone we forgot to
Watch The Live Final at
Read all about the Competition
and exclusive Interviews with the Contestants
This album was co-ordinated by Rory Sullivan
Live Photos courtesy of Lick Library
Mastered by Lion Music
Distributed by Lion Music