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Billy Duffy


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Billy Duffy’s guitar heroics have influenced several generations of musicians from opposite sides of the music world. On one hand, Duffy’s swirling, psychedelic riffs on early records by the Cult provided a blueprint for gothic rock guitarists; however, when the Cult began to embrace hard rock, heavy metal enthusiasts discovered a new axeman to idolize. But Duffy’s rock roots aren’t in goth or metal; it was punk.

* Born: May 12, 1961 in Manchester, England
* Years Active: 1982-present
* Member of: The Cult

* Genre: Rock & Alternative
* Influenced by: Johnny Thunders, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC

In 1977, Duffy was in the punk band the Nosebleeds with future Smiths leader Morrissey. The Nosebleeds were short-lived; they disbanded after a few gigs. Afterward, Duffy drifted through a series of groups such as Slaughter and the Dogs, Studio Sweethearts, and Lonesome No More before joining the Theatre of Hate in 1981, releasing an LP called He Who Dares Wins. In 1982, the Theatre of Hate split up; a year later, Duffy joined Death Cult with vocalist Ian Astbury, Ray Mondo (drummer), and James Stewart (bassist). Death Cult was shortened to the Cult in 1984. While Duffy’s work with the Cult on their first two albums, Dreamtime and Love, flirted with goth and ’60s psychedelia, he unleashed his affection for AC/DC and Led Zeppelin on the Cult’s Electric and Sonic Temple. After the Cult broke up in 1995, Duffy had a short stint with Vent 414 and collaborated with former Alarm vocalist Mike Peters on Colorsound, releasing one self-titled album. In 2000, Duffy and Astbury resurrected the Cult.

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  • ShakeyTones

    Billy Duffy is the man. Probably my fave guitarist.

    1 Feb 2013 Reply
  • Hipergerman

    He made a lot of great riffs and, also, great guitar solos. Underrated indeed.

    5 Dec 2010 Reply

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