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Marty Friedman

Legendary composer, songwriter, and virtuoso Marty Friedman, one of the most esteemed guitarists in the metal genre, is celebrating a birthday today.

(Photo: Susumu Miyawaki)

Over a long career, he has recorded 27 gold and platinum albums, 13 solo albums, and 7 Grammy nominations and he has fans all around the world.

Marty is also known as the legendary line-up guitarist of "Megadeth", of which he was a member for about 10 years, while taking part in the creation of the band's four greatest albums.

Friedman's unique playing style combines rock and metal styles with exotic scales, impossible string stretches, and mesmerizing vibrato control and as clean a sound as possible without unnecessary effects.

So for his birthday, we brought you some interesting facts about the guitar idol:

1. He was born on December 8, 1962, in Washington DC, USA to a Jewish family. His full name is "Martin Adam Friedman".

2. Friedman is included in the list of the 100 best guitarists in metal published by Guitar World magazine.

3. He started playing guitar at the age of 14, after attending a "KISS" show, and taught himself guitar without a teacher.

4. His major musical influences include "Kiss," "The Ramons," "Black Sabbath" and Elvis Presley.

5. Shortly after he started playing guitar, he formed the band "Deuce" with his friends. The band's rehearsals took place in a large barn that belonged to the band's lead singer's family.

6. After a while, the lead singer's mother built with her own hands a 2-level stage in the barn, and pretty quickly rehearsals became performances and jams that attracted a local audience almost every evening.

7. Marty testified several times that standing in front of an audience at this young age shaped his identity as a performer and improved his abilities as a guitarist.

8. In 1981 he formed the band "VIXEN" (not to be confused with the girl's band of the same name from the 80s).

9. At a later stage the band changed its name and became "HAWAI" and released 3 albums until Marty left.

10. In 1985 Marty formed the Speed ​​Metal band "Cacophony" together with guitarist Jason Becker. The band has released two albums. The band disbanded in 1989, after the two guitarists established their own solo careers and turned in separate directions. By the way, in 1996 Cacophony fell ill and was diagnosed with incurable muscular dystrophy (ALS) and has remained paralyzed ever since.

11. In 1988 Marty released his debut album "Dragon's Kiss". To this day the song "Thunder March" from it serves as a closing song for his performances. Watch the performance of the song together with the Israeli guitarist Yossi Sassi.

12. In the early 1990s, Friedman joined "Megadeth" to create the album "Rust In Peace". The album kicked off the band and stunned the world of metal with songs like "Hangar 18", "Tornado of souls" and of course "Holy wars" with the immortal acoustic piece he wrote. Marty co-created and performed in four more "Megadeth" albums - "Countdown to Extinction", "Youthanasia", "Cryptic Writings", and "Risk".

13. During his years at "Megadeth" Marty released 3 solo albums, which are still considered key albums in the genre.

14. In 1992 Marty released the album "Scene" which was produced by the well-known Japanese producer "Kitaro".

15. In 1999, after ten years as a band member, Marty left "Megadeth". The main reason was his desire to develop musically. Since leaving "Megadeth" - Marty has released 9 solo albums and 2 live albums.

16. In 2003 Marty left for Japan, where he has lived for the past 17 years. He is considered an idol in the Japanese entertainment industry and has appeared in countless TV and radio shows.

17. Marty speaks Japanese fluently, has written 2 books on music in Japan, and even received the "Ambassador of Culture" award from the Japanese government.

18. Marty has released 3 concept albums called "Tokyo jukebox" including and adaptations in his style to popular "J-POP" songs in Japan.

19. Marty performed 3 times in Tel Aviv. In 1995 with "Megadeth" and in 2006 and 2011 as a solo artist. In each of the performances, Marty performed the Israeli national anthem "Hatikva" and won great enthusiasm from the Israeli audience.

20. In 2007 Friedman released a live album called "Exhibit A: live in Europe". Some of the songs on the album were recorded while performing in Israel.

21. His album "Future Addict" from 2008, includes 2 versions of "Megadeth" songs - "The Killing Road" and "Tornado of Souls". The lead singer was none other than his drummer - Jeremy Colson (who also performs with Steve Vai).

22. During his performance in Israel in 2011, Marty hosted the esteemed Israeli guitarist and composer Yossi Sassi ("Orphaned Land", "the Oriental Rock Orchestra") and later that year he was a guest on the song on Sassi's first solo album.

23. In 2012, Marty and Yossi Sassi held a combined tour in 12 European countries, which was a great success.

24. In these performances Marty used most of Sassi's ensembles as his band, which contributed to each of the member's solo career including - guitarist Ben Ezer, and esteemed bassist Or Lubianiker, who also served as part of Marty's band on his other European and Japanese tour.

25. In 2014, Marty released the song "Horrors" from the album "Inferno", a song written by his friend Jason Becker, who has been completely paralyzed for over 20 years due to "ALS" disease. Jason composed the song using special software with which he communicates and translates the eye blink into words and notes. The software was developed by his father. Marty performed another song that Jason Becker wrote in 2017 from Jason Becker's solo album which was all written in the same software and performed by different guitarists.

26. In 2018, while working on a joint single and metal arrangement for the folk song "Water Water" (a well-known and popular folk song also in Japan), and as a homage to his Israeli friends being from a Jewish home, Marty sought to include his interpretation of Israeli national anthem "Hatikva". This is very exciting, especially during a period of cultural boycott in which international artists canceled their performances in Israel.

27. Marty was asked to launch the Tokyo Marathon runners at the traditional 2018-2019 ceremony and did so in his style.

28. Marty wrote and produced the theme song for Netflix's successful anime series B: the Beginning. The song received a new version on the album "TJ3" released in October 2020. The song features Israeli bassist Or Lubianiker.

29. The only mention of the mother band "Megadeth" in Marty's performances, is the solo of "Tornado of Souls" which he plays at each show.

30. It is interesting to note that Marty cited the debut album of the band "Garbage" as one of the ten albums that most influenced him.

31. Marty is known for making the Jackson "Kelly" guitar very popular.

32. Over the years Marty has released signature models from guitar companies such as "Carvin", "Ibanez", and "PRS", but today uses a new model that "Jackson" has specially released for him and an amplifier of "ENGL".

33. In 2022, Marty was featured in the Israeli prog metal band "Steroid Puppets" song and even appeared in a music video filmed in the Dead Sea. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, he was shot in front of a green screen and the film was sent to israel.

More popular clips:



Live in Japan

Live with Yossi Sassi

Megadeth 1 2 3

Japan shows 1 2

Wrote: Amir Rozanes - Southern Productions.

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