6 Nicest Guys in Rock

Being nice is much harder than being a jerk.

Ultimate Guitar
6 Nicest Guys in Rock

Devin Townsend

Devin Townsernd is always happy to speak with his fans and generally is a down-to-earth guy. According to one his fans, once after the concert, he climbed down into the crowd and shook hands with literally everyone from the audience, posing for pictures and even had small chats with random folk.
Here's one more quote from his fan: 

Devin is by far the nicest musician I've ever met. When I saw him headline (back in 2011 I think), he hung out after the show (in a back alley, in late October, probably still soaked with sweat) for at least a half hour just chatting, taking pictures, and signing tickets for anyone who stuck around. He was such a kind and honest guy and he gave off this vibe that he was just really, really happy to be standing around talking to fans, even though I'm sure he was exhausted. I got a signature, a picture and a hug and it was awesome.

So I think we all can agree that Devin Townsend is a nice guy.

Alice Cooper

Contrary to his song, it seems like offfstage Alice Cooper is actually Mr. Nice Guy.

He quit drinking early on when he realized it might destroy him, and has been married to the same woman for 30-plus years. He helped Megadeth to go through their drug addiction and Dave Mustaine considers Alice his godfather.

"I'm astute at watching how things work and I watched these bigger-than-life characters like Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin burn out," he said. "They create a character and the show on stage is a party, but then when they came off stage, they didn't want the party to end." Once Cooper (real name: Vincent Furnier) quit drinking, he made sure his onstage persona never again encroached on his real life.

"I see Alice as the personification of a character who only lives on stage," he said. "Alice and I coexist, but offstage we have nothing in common, that's why I talk about him in the third person."

Dick Dale

The legendary surf guitarist Dick Dale had a longstanding tradition. At the end of each show, rather than disappear and leave the building, he and band mates would remain on stage, sitting down in front, and just talk to any fans who wished to come up and say hello or ask questions. I saw him in concert back in the 90s, and he was still doing this. He sits there for quite a while, truly interested in having that personal connection with the fans. 

Weird Al Yankovic

Well, he's not a rocker in that sense of the word but hey, the guy did everything.

Weird Al sits on the steps of his bus after every show to meet fans, sign autographs, and take pictures. He’s known for responding to fan letters, being easy to work with, and being an all-around nice, even — dare I say — normal guy. Listen to some of his podcast appearances. The guy’s just a cool, sweet dude who happens to write insanely funny songs.

'Dimebag' Darrell Abbott

'Dimebag' Darrell was an awesome guy who helped many people. As Dave Grohl told in one of his interviews:

" There was an Ozzfest in England in 1998, and Korn canceled. So we got the call. It was Slayer, Pantera and Black Sabbath. We had to go on after Pantera. I was so terrified: ‘There’s gonna be a riot. I’m gonna get drawn and quartered. No one’s going to like our band.’But we played, and I looked to the side. The guys from Pantera are watching us and singing the lyrics to our songs. Afte, wards we made friends with Pantera. I was nervous and scared; I didn’t think I fit in. But they were so open to us. That backstage hospitality we try to have – it all came from Pantera. [Guitarist] Dimebag Darrell was the nicest fucking guy in the world. He could walk in and do a shot of Crown Royal with Justin Bieber, with Rick Nielsen, with James Brown – he was everybody’s best friend. And you could feel that energy when he was playing"

Dave Grohl

Well, was there any doubt?

Dave Grohl has long been thought of as the Nicest Guy In Rock. It’s one of music’s constant givens and one of the Foo Fighters frontman’s defining attributes. Everyone who has a story to tell about him will tell you that, no, it isn’t actually a myth – he really is that nice. He’s preached peace and love at Foos gigs, dropped $1,000 tips at restaurants and helped out fans and fellow musicians in many ways. Well, he's Dave Grohl.

121 comments sorted by best / new / date

    How about Paul Gilbert? He's always smiling
    I met Paul at a G4 camp a couple of years ago. He is every bit as cool and friendly as you'd think he is.
    Marco Minnemann
    I met Marco after an incredible Aristocrats show. Very nice guy who seemed genuinely happy when I told him he was an influence on my playing. Guthrie is unbelievably nice and personable also. Funny guys, but I would expect nothing less given the music they make.
    In 2011 I met all the guys from Mr. Big. Eric Martin and Billy Sheehan were super nice and friendly and talked to us for quite a while. Pat Torpey was also kind of friendly but seemed a bit shy. The only one who seemed to be in a really bad mood was Paul Gilbert. He looked at the fans as they were nothing but shit and didn´t speak a single word with us. I still think he´s a good guy and hope he just had a bad day...
    Könich Albert
    I have to say Myles Kennedy is one of the nicest musicians I've met so far. Met him after an Alter Bridge concert in Munich in 2013.  My younger brother has crohn's disease and was going through a very tough time then.  Shortly before the show he found out in an interview that Myles had his own expirience with the disease. That gave him a bit more hope and ment a lot to him.  So when I met Myles I told him about my brother and he really listened and we talked for a good bit. Then he wrote an encouraging note for him and we hugged. It was quite an emotional expirience.
    The AB guys are all great with the fans.  I talked with Scott Phillips before a show in Luxembourg for probably a good half hour, just BS'ing about everything from food to cars.  Though much of their touring crew has changed since I last saw them, guys like TA (drum tech) and Ernie Hudson (Mark's guitar tech) were tremendously accommodating.  
    Got to meet them twice after shows in Chicago and Detroit. Super nice, down to earth guys. We just talked about anything.
    [Dimebag Darrel] could walk in and do a shot of Crown Royal with Justin Bieber 
    *does the math* Holy shit, Justin Bieber has been drinking since he was no older than 8!
    I'm not trying to piss in the pancake batter but I'm pretty sure I've heard that Grohl is fairly prone to prima donna-like behaviour. 
    Why no love for Lars? he's nice af
    shhhh.. on this site Dave Grohl is the good guy and Lars is the bad one. Don't try to break the status-quo with legit info.
    He's the best. During meet and greets he shows serious interest in the fans and their stories.
     Very true. Lars has my respect. He only got the "asshole" reputation because of the stupid napster thing only for him to be 100% correct. The guy has guts and he's the most generous with his time for fans and seems like a genuine nice guy.   
    A few years ago I saw him at an ice cream shop in Chicago. I didn't approach him, but a couple of other people did. He was pretty gracious about taking pictures and stuff. As this is with his kids there and his ice cream melting. He seemed pretty cool about it.
    Hmm yeah he seems cool. Maybe because the whole turning down Jason's bass on the recording of AJFA. Other than that I can't think of anything the guys really done to make him a jerk.
    He and James Hatfield also (in my opinion) ruined Devin Townsend's Physicist album by not letting Jason Newsted continue to work with him.
    Not trying to kiss their asses, but the band didn't do very well around that time (evolved into what we see in Some kind of monster) and I think both Lars and James regrets alot of decisions they made around that time. 
    Anneke Van Geirsbergen is lovely too. Awesome human with one of the best voices on the planet.
    Like Devin, Anneke steps into the crowd after a show for signatures, a short chat and pictures.
    wheres eddie vedder? hes donated more money (him and pearl jam) than any of the guys here and he even paid like a 200 k fine at a concert just cus he wanted to keep playing for the people like an hour or more after the venue was signed for
    Joe Satriani!
    Joe is nice, but he seems really shy. I went to the G4 camp a couple of years ago. He was the least available of the 4. When you talked to him he was nice, but he seemed a bit uncomfortable.
    Nothing wrong with that, a lot of people are uncomfortable with people they don't know. That just makes Satch human.
    Some 20 years or so ago Devin opened for a band (Symphony X maybe)  at a smallish club.  I actually talked to the guy for a while, his set was great and he was great.  Bought the CD, hated it Met Nik Turner some 30 years ago when he toured as Nik Turner's Hawkwind.  Helluva guy, he let me beat him in pool for a couple games before coming up with a sound check excuse. Best meetup?  1979.  Was working night shift at the time, called in sick to see XTC.  Playing pinball before the show, started talking to the guy next to me.  At the time they had 2-3 albums, I had them all.  Told him I took the night off work to see the show.  Turns out the guy was Andy Partridge.  After playing pinball a bit he shook my hand and went away.  I didn't think anything of it until I saw the same dude onstage, fronting XTC.  He saw me in the audience and winked.
    A few years ago I saw Symphony X and some other bands in a tiny club in St. Paul. While one of the opening bands I was sitting at the bar chatting with a guy. At one point the guy stood up and said, "Well, I'd better get going." My response was, "Get going? But Symphony X hasn't played yet!" He replied, "I know." That guy was Russel Allen! He had to go get ready to go on. He was such a cool guy.
    I met almost all of papa roach back on the getting away with murder tour.  Dave didn't come off the bus because the venue delivered 5 boxes of pizza to it after the show.  Tobin finally came out but only talked to a few girls before going back on the bus with some groupie model looking girls.  Jerry was very nice.  What stood out was Coby talked to, signed autographs for, and took pics with every kid there... AND he talked to every parent there, whether they were there as a fan or chaperone.  Like 5-10 min conversations.  Class personified.  I'll never forget that.
    Why are there only six, I think Danny Carey is one of the nicest gentlemen in the business.  Case in point:
    Golfed with Alice last year, he's the absolute man.  So much fun to hang out with.
     Ironically (because he's on the jerk list), Gene Simmons was really nice to me and generous with his time. When I was 19, him and I hung out for like an hour after running into him in 2000 in Edmonton. He asked me more questions about me than I did to him. He autographed my Dress to Kill CD and we talked movies and music. And the people coming up to us he made sure to stop and sign things for them. I think his public persona and private persona are very different things.
    I've heard a lot of nice stories about the guys from Pearl Jam. 
    Can concur. A manager at my hotel is a huge, huge fan of them, and Eddie Vedder found out when they stayed here last year, and sent him a handwritten note with a picture he drew himself.
    I don't disagree with who's on here, but it's definitely missing a lot of people.
    Loon 2.5
    Kai Hahto is by and far the nicest musician I've ever met. Insanely positive, humble and down to Earth. I wish some of that would rub off on Jari...
    James Hetfield
    He's got a great public persona, but I think I would be apprehensive in approaching him if I were to ever see him. I would be too afraid of a negative reaction. That's the vibe I get off him, sort of (but not near as bad) like Neil Peart.
    He seems so cool n down to earth, but just ask for a hand shake rather than a selfie, it seems
    duff mckagan is the nicest i have met. I went to his book signing in Glasgow a few years ago and i was at the back of the queue, next thing a woman (she was part of his staff) comes up to me and about half a dozen others saying duff has to go and cant stay to sign anything. Me and the others say we aint happy, we have taken time off work to go there etc next thing duff walks up to us, cool as you like asking whats going, we tell him what we have been told duff's answer "as long as people are here i'll stay here." They ran out of books, but he signed posters, cut-outs, cd's etc and posed for pictures. He then told the staff to take our details and books where posted out to us within week all signed. 5 minutes later i seen him walking through the city centre a few people noticed him he was saying hello and stopped for pictures with them as well, much to his staff's annoyance.  Duff, a great guy. 
    He seems like it. I'd love to get coffee with him and talk about investing or martial arts or whatever. He seems really interesting. 
    I got to recently meet Volbeat back in may. The 4 of them were some of the nicest people i have met and actually seemed grateful to meet us. 
    Add in Dave Murray, Janick Gers (all of Maiden to be fair), Jason Newsted, Scott Ian, Tom Araya, Duff McKagan, all of Mastodon, all of Def Leppard, George Harrison, Myles Kennedy and Spider Webb.
    Mikael Akerfeldt and Brian May are both super friendly. Met them both couple of years ago.
    The Back And Forth documentary made Dave Grohl seem kind of pretentious. He seems like a bit of an egomaniac to me
    Nick Cave was surprisingly sweet in an experience I had with him. At his Perth gig this year I handed him a fan portrait I did of him during a song and he goes - in the middle of the song - "aww brother that's fantastic" and displays it on stage.
    Jeff Waters is also a really nice guy. Really funny guy who seems super chill and down to earth. Have met him once at a guitar clinic and when he gave out t-shirts for free, he asked the audience if anyone didnt get one. He picked out a guy and just randomly gave him a guitar. 
    One that's outside of the rock realm is Jacob Collier. Young jazz kid, thanked probably 15 people by name on stage and seemed so genuinely thankful just to be making music. And after most (if not all) concerts, he takes pictures and signs autographs, and then just hangs out talking about music theory and offering advice to anyone who asks. 
    I've heard Jeff Rosenstock is one of the nicest people around. I've never met him, but in the documentary about Bomb the Music Industry he just seems like an all-around good dude who's deeply passionate about music.
    Don't know if you'd consider them "rock" as in the names on this list, but the guys and lady in Flogging Molly are the nicest professional musicians I've ever met.  Dave and Dennis are class acts, and I really miss George in the band.  He gave us his snare head that he used that night at our last show we saw them at before we moved from Europe.  He was writing on it all night with a Sharpie, and at the end of the night, he climbed down off the stage and handed it to my wife and I with a personalized farewell message on it -- he actually remembered our names from previous shows.
    King Buzzo from Melvins is awesome. I met him after a show last year and asked him for a hug. He seemed to think it was wierd, but he allowed me to hug him.
    Some people think that's the opposite but Slash is actually a very nice guy, I will also upvote Paul Gilbert because that's 100% true.
    Ol Drake (Evile) is a great dude. He randomly showed up at a Warbringer gig I went to a few years back, sung the chorus for one song with them, and then joined the crowd for the rest of it, and was just hanging around chatting with people outside afterwards. Evile weren't even playing that night!
    Definitely true about Alice cooper. I used to work at a golf course where he played and he was extremely personable with everyone
    I was impressed the night i saw Black Sabbath in its original lineup.. Toni and Ozzy were really laid back that night; but Ozzy had missed the first attempt at a performance a month ago with drinking issues.. so idk..  believe it or not i saw yngwie at bogarts in cincinnati and he came up to me on stage only cause he knew i had been waiting all day in line for general seating, but nonetheless gave me a pick and let me bang around on his guitar-  stars don't always have bad dayz