While prolific guitar sideman Pete Thorn may refer to himself as a “guitar
nerd” – his resume proves he’s anything but. His effortless, dynamic playing
have landed him onstage alongside such legendary artists as Don Henley,
Chris Cornell and Melissa Etheridge among others — and his debut solo CD
Guitar Nerd garnered critical praise and landed on CD Baby’s top seling
In his late teens, the ambitious Edmonton native packed up his guitars and
moved South of the (Canadian) border to attend Los Angeles’ famed Musician’s
Institute. After graduation, he joined the LA-based band Surreal McCoys who
signed with Sony Music Japan. While Surreal McCoys didn’t last, it was
Thorn’s experience working with the band’s lead singer Frank Simes (who also
worked with Don Henley, Mick Jagger, Warren Zevon and Stevie Nicks among
others) that allowed the talented newcomer to make valuable inroads in the
Los Angeles music industry that would pay off long-term.
In 1997, Thorn joined Sparkler (Giant Records) and also worked Ami, Kevin
Gilbert, and Laura Harding. From 1999-2001, he toured extensively throughout
the US, Canada and Europe with several different artists including: Adam
Cohen (Columbia Records); Blinker the Star (Dreamworks Records) and Evan and
Jaron (Columbia Records) before joining Pop/Rock outfit Snapdragon
(Straightline/Atlantic) and releasing The Family Jewels.
2001 found Thorn touring with singer/songwriter John Ondrasik’s Five For
Fighting (Aware Records) and the following year, he joined Canadian
Alternative Rock band Forty Foot Echo whose self-titled debut album featured
the singles “Brand New Day” which was featured in the Disney film Freaky
Friday and “Save Me” which was a Top 10 Rock Radio hit in Canada.
Adding even more credits to his resume, Thorn toured and recorded with
Grammy™-winning, Columbia Records’ artist Robi Draco Rosa and in 2006 he
toured with multi-platinum-selling singer/songwriter Jewel. In addition, he
and wrote and recorded tracks with Punk Rock diva Courtney Love – of which,
several songs ended up on the 2010 Hole album, Nobody’s Daughter
Next, the ultra-busy axman joined ex-Soundgarden/Audioslave vocalist Chris
Cornell’s solo band and toured extensively in the US, Canada, Europe,
Australia, and South America, in support of Carry On and Scream albums.
After which, in 2009, he joined Eagles’ founder, Don Henley’s band.
Presently, Thorn tours with Henley and singer/songwriter/activist Melissa
Taking a break from sideman duties, in 2011, Thorn opted to step to the
forefront and released his first solo album Guitar Nerd — an instrumental
guitar album with 10 tracks that showcase every sonic arrow in Thorn’s
impressive quiver of guitar styles, sounds and techniques.
On the lead track, “Revenge of the Nerd,” Thorn infuses the Blues/Rock song
with a sonic smorgasbord of precise playing, hammering, Wah-wah pedal,
distortion, fast-tapping and melodic lines full of shreddy goodness. While
on “Into the Ether,” Thorn showcases a clean, straightforward Stratocaster
sound that emphasizes his dynamic finger-picking, beautiful arpeggios, David
Gilmour-esque glissandos and an atmospheric sound that can only be described
as effortless. Thorn’s musical range further extends on tracks like “Monster
Movie” which features Punk-tinged, gritty Rock guitar solos and riffs that
bring out the air guitar player in all of us.
Channeling his inner gear nerd, Thorn has taken to demonstrating guitar gear
and accessories on his wildly popular Youtube channel which has so far
garnered more than 3 million hits – proving there’s a lot of “guitar nerds”
out there. But if a lifelong, unabashed passion for playing guitar in all
its styles and permutations with some of the best artists in the world
qualifies as “nerd” status…? Then Pete Thorn is, indeed, a fabulous guitar