George Lynch Opens Up on How Grunge Affected His Career, Says It Was ’Embarrassing’ to Be a Guitar Player

During his recent interview for, guitar virtuoso George Lynch reflected on having a career as a musician today. Known for his work with Dokken and Lynch Mob, he made a breakthrough in the 1980s and the 1990s. This era, however, was mostly focused on grunge, with was the complete opposite of what he was doing. Lunch said (transcript via Ultimate Guitar):

“You know, I’m figuring I’m one of the very few [lucky people] that have been able to have a career in doing what I love – and hopefully what I’m pretty good at — for my life.”

George Lynch Wicked Sensation Solo Outtakes

“And, there’s been some rough periods, especially in the ’90s, when it was kind of embarrassing to say you’re a guitar player. ‘Well, what do you do for a living?’ [in quiet, mumbling voice] ‘I play the, erm, you know…’ ‘Excuse me, what was that again?'”

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“And you intentionally downplayed your solos and stuff. I just did one-note solos like ‘Cinnamon Girl.’  I’m exaggerating, but yeah. So I’ve learned to just weather the storms, and the peaks and valleys.”

“It was a great experience, and continues to be. I look at it like an adventure. Instead of punching the clock, every day I wake up, I don’t know what’s gonna happen. There’s challenges and all that, but I’m all right with that.”


George is far from being the only musician who was, one way or another, impacted by the newly emerging grunge movement in the early 1990s. The genre is known for being almost the complete opposite to what metal and rock music were in the 1980s. This goes for both musical elements and lyrical themes, switching from predominantly party-oriented spandex fest into a more socially conscious music with darker and somewhat riff-focused music.

Photos: Toglenn (George Lynch 2009), P.B. Rage (Nirvana around 1992)


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.