Racer X is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California. The band has five studio albums and four live albums to its credit. The name of the group is a reference to the character of the cartoon Speed Racer and the fast rhythms of their compositions, which is one of their main characteristics. Due to musical differences, the band separated in 1989, then reformed in 1999, before separating again in 2002.
Racer X was formed in 1985 in Los Angeles by guitarist Paul Gilbert and bassist John Alderete. The guitarist Paul Gilbert initially gained notoriety after quoting in the magazine Guitar Player by Mike Varney in February 1983 >>>>>. Gilbert was 16 years old and residing in Greensburg, before moving to Los Angeles, California where he studied at the Guitar Institute of Technology (GIT). After graduation, he recorded the album Trouble In The Streets with the local Black Sheep metal band, released on the Enigma Records label in November 1985. Here, Gilbert meets Juan Alderete>. Alderete and Gilbert turns to Scott Travis to join the drums. Gilbert then recruits Jeff Martin from Phoenix, Surgical Steel>. Martin begins to write the lyrics of their first demos that Gilbert sent him>. The band recorded as early as 1985, and the first Racer X album, Street Lethal , was released on January 1, 1986 at Mike Varney's label, Shrapnel Records>.
With the release of Street Lethal, Paul Gilbert becomes popularized as a member of the neo-classical genre, popularized by Randy Rhoads and Yngwie J. Malmsteen >>>. Since Racer X does not play as much neoclassical material as Rhoads or Malmsteen, Gilbert is often quoted among Yngwie and Randy in several magazines. Racer X is quickly becoming popular at the Sunset Strip. At this time, Gilbert signs a contract with Ibanez guitars >>>>>. The song Getaway is often aired on the California radio channel KNAC>. The band broke up in 1989. In 1992, Shrapnel Records released Extreme Volume II Live, which included Racer X concerts at the Country Club and exclusive songs like Poison Eyes and Give it to Me.
The group reformed briefly in 1999, before separating again in 2002 >>>.