Personalities | Nuno Bettencourt | Extreme Guitar Star | Guitar Heroes

As a guitarist and songwriter, Nuno Bettencourt draws from many styles and influences. Born in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores in 1966, Bettencourt grew up in Boston, Massachusetts.

As a teenager, he began playing drums, bass and keyboards, but ultimately chose guitar as his primary instrument, drawing heavy influence from Eddie Van Halen as well as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Queen.

Bettencourt joined Extreme in 1985, and the band released its self-titled debut album in 1989. In 1991, the band released Pornograffitti, which included the acoustic hits ‘More Than Words’ and ‘Hole Hearted’. But it was the extraordinary technical prowess Bettencourt displayed on such tunes as ‘Get The Funk Out’ and ‘He-Man Woman Hater’ – from speed picking to string skipping to tapped arpeggios – that solidified him as one of the era’s top guitarists. It was also during this time that Washburn guitars unveiled the Nuno Bettencourt N4 signature-model guitar, a model that endures today.

After Extreme disbanded in 1996, Bettencourt released his solo debut, Schizophonic (1997), on which he played all the instruments. He next assembled a new group, Mourning Widows, which incorporated a variety of alternative-rock styles. The band released its self-titled debut CD in 1998, and followed up with Furnished Souls For Rent, which was released in Japan in 2000. In 2002, Bettencourt formed the recording entity Population 1, and released the self-titled and self-produced 2002 album, Population 1. Sessions From Room 4 followed in 2004, and in 2005, the band changed its name to the DramaGods and released Love. In 2007, Bettencourt teamed up with singer Perry Farrell in Satellite Party, releasing Ultra Payloaded that same year, but departed soon after its release. He then rejoined Extreme and continues to tour with them today.

In addition, Bettencourt can be heard and seen on the Universal/Japan CD and DVD release of Guitar Wars (2004). He has also written, recorded and toured with several artists, including Tantric, BBMak, Toni Braxton, Wyclef Jean and Rihanna, among numerous others.

Essential Recordings

Extreme: Pornograffitti

Solo: Schizophonic

Mourning Widows: Mourning Widows

Population 1: Population 1

Personalities | Dickey Betts | The ‘Goldie’ Touch | Guitar Heroes


An extensive music information resource, bringing together the talents and expertise of a wide range of editors and musicologists, including Stanley Sadie, Charles Wilson, Paul Du Noyer, Tony Byworth, Bob Allen, Howard Mandel, Cliff Douse, William Schafer, John Wilson...


Classical, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country and more. Flame Tree has been making encyclopaedias and guides about music for over 20 years. Now Flame Tree Pro brings together a huge canon of carefully curated information on genres, styles, artists and instruments. It's a perfect tool for study, and entertaining too, a great companion to our music books.

Rock, A Life Story

Rock, A Life Story

The ultimate story of a life of rock music, from the 1950s to the present day.

David Bowie

David Bowie

Fantastic new, unofficial biography covers his life, music, art and movies, with a sweep of incredible photographs.