Guy Picciotto

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Guy Picciotto
Guy Picciotto.jpg
Background information
Born (1965-09-17) September 17, 1965 (age 53)[1]
Washington D.C.,[1] U.S.
Occupation(s)Songwriter, musician, producer
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • clarinet
  • piano
Years active1984–present
Associated acts

Guy Picciotto[2] (born September 17, 1965) is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, musician, and producer from Washington, DC.[3]

He is most widely known for his role as guitarist and vocalist in Fugazi and Rites of Spring.[4]


Rites of Spring and early projects[edit]

Picciotto's musical career began in 1984, with the group Rites of Spring. A part of the D.C. post-hardcore scene, Rites of Spring increased the frenetic violence and visceral passion of hardcore while simultaneously experimenting with its compositional rules. Picciotto, as the band's lyricist, as well as singer & guitarist also shifted hardcore into intensely personal realms and, in doing so, is generally credited with creating emo.[5]

Picciotto's early musical resume also includes the bands One Last Wish (1986), Happy Go Licky (1987–1988), Brief Weeds (EPs released circa 1991–1992), and The Black Light Panthers (ongoing sporadic project since 1982), the last two bands both being projects with Brendan Canty. He also created a record label called Peterbilt Records, which released limited-quantity vinyl record albums for the bands Rain, Happy Go Licky, and Deadline, then years later was involved in releasing the album 1986 by One Last Wish, along with Dischord Records.


Though not in the original line up of Fugazi, Picciotto joined very early in the group's career, singing with them by their second show and appearing on all the band's studio recordings.

From the Margin Walker EP on, he also took up 2nd guitar duties, playing characteristically trebly Rickenbacker guitars. After seven albums (13 Songs, Repeater, Steady Diet of Nothing, In on the Kill Taker, Red Medicine, End Hits, The Argument), and several tours, Fugazi went on "indefinite hiatus" in 2003.

Side projects and production work[edit]

Picciotto has collaborated and performed with Mats Gustafsson, Vic Chesnutt, and members of the Ex among others. He has also produced numerous albums including the Gossip's breakthrough record Standing in the Way of Control as well as Blonde Redhead's Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons (2000), Misery Is a Butterfly (2004), The Blood Brothers final album, Young Machetes, and Downtown Boys' Cost of Living (2017).

Picciotto has produced three albums by the duo Xylouris White: Goats (2014), Black Peak (2016), and Mother (2018).

Picciotto played on the Vic Chesnutt albums North Star Deserter (2007) and At the Cut (2009), and accompanied him on a 2009 Fall/Winter North American Tour.[6] He co-produced the films Chain and Museum Hours with Jem Cohen (who made the Fugazi film Instrument).


Piccioto holding a guitar
Piccioto holding his guitar immediately before performing with Vic Chesnutt in 2009


  • Rickenbacker 330 – Picciotto's main guitars are a sunburst Rickenbacker 330 and 2 identical black Rickenbacker 330's all equipped with RIC HB1 humbuckers. He has also occasionally been seen playing a natural-finish 330. The characteristically trebly Rickenbackers allowed Picciotto to make use of sonic space not taken by MacKaye's chunkier, rhythmic guitar playing in Fugazi.[7]
  • Rickenbacker 370 – Picciotto's main guitar when he fronted Rites of Spring, One Last Wish and in the first few years with Fugazi was a Mapleglo Rickenbacker 370. It eventually ended up in a state too fragile for live use, but he still used it in the studio right up to The Argument.[8]
  • Gibson Les Paul Jr. – During Picciotto's time with Rites of Spring and during the early days of Fugazi (photos show until at least as late as 1993)[9] he could also be seen playing a white, Gibson Les Paul Doublecut Jr with a single P90 pickup. In an NPR interview done in 2011, Picciotto is quoted as having had a Gibson SG Jr. stolen in NYC. The NPR article may be incorrect about it being an SG and it was likely the same Les Paul JR guitar.[10][11]


  • Park 100 Watt heads
  • Marshall JCM 800 2203 heads
  • Red or Black Marshall JCM 800 4x12 cabinets fitted with 75-watt celestion speakers
  • Fender Twin reverb (studio)[12]

Personal life[edit]

Picciotto holds a BA degree in English from Georgetown University and is a graduate of the Washington, D.C. private school, the Georgetown Day School.[13]

Picciotto married musician Kathi Wilcox from the band Bikini Kill and the Frumpies; as of October 2016 the two were living in Brooklyn with their ten-year-old daughter.[14][15]


Rites of Spring[edit]

One Last Wish[edit]

  • 1986 (1999)

Happy Go Licky[edit]

  • 12" (1988)
  • Will Play (1997)

Black Light Panthers[edit]

  • Peterbilt 12" 82-97 (1997)

Brief Weeds[edit]



  1. ^ a b "Fugazi Biography." Last accessed January 27, 2012.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Picciotto's first name is French, while his last name is Sicilian
  4. ^ Prato, Greg. "Biography: Guy Picciotto". AMG. Retrieved May 15, 2010.
  5. ^ DeRogatis, Jim (1999). "Emo (The Genre That Dare Not Speak Its Name)". Guitar World. Future US, Inc. Retrieved November 16, 2008.
  6. ^ Fresh Air. "In Memoriam: Sweet, Sad Rocker Vic Chesnutt," January 7, 2010.
  7. ^ "FUGAZI: A guitar gear summary". Effects Bay. September 2010. Retrieved February 10, 2011.
  8. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ Grow, Kory (14 November 2014). "Stream Fugazi's Raw 'First Demo' Cassette From 1988". Rolling Stone. Penske Business Media, LLC. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  10. ^ West, Patrick (8 July 2011). "Fugazi live, DC, 1990 or so". Flickr. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  11. ^ Tyler-Ameen, Daoud (1 December 2011). "Full Disclosure: Fugazi's Best Live Moments, Remembered". NPR. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  12. ^ Smith, Marceline (2010). "Fugazi: Guy Picciotto". Hee Haw Magazine. Retrieved 1 August 2018 – via Diskant.
  13. ^ Andersen, Mark; Jenkins, Mark (1 December 2009). Dance of Days: Two Decades of Punk in the Nation's Capital. Akashic Books. p. 33. ISBN 9781933354996.
  14. ^ Savage, Emily (January 22, 2013). "Rebel girls". San Francisco Bay Guardian. 48hills. Archived from the original on 15 February 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  15. ^ Bobbitt, Melissa (January 22, 2013). "Interview - Kathi Wilcox of Bikini Kill". About Entertainment. Archived from the original on 20 September 2014. Retrieved September 19, 2014.

External links[edit]