Phil X

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Phil X
Phil X performing in 2013
Phil X performing in 2013
Background information
Birth nameTheofilos Xenidis[1]
Also known asPhil X
Born (1966-03-10) March 10, 1966 (age 58)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Musician
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • Guitar
  • vocals
Years active1982–present
Member ofBon Jovi
Formerly ofTriumph

Theofilos Xenidis (born March 10, 1966),[2] better known as Phil X, is a Canadian musician, singer and songwriter. Since 2013, he has played lead guitar with Bon Jovi and officially replaced former lead guitarist Richie Sambora in 2016.[3]


Early bands and session work (1982–2010)[edit]

In 1982, Xenidis formed the hard rock-heavy metal band Sidinex (naming it after himself, the moniker being his last name spelled backwards) with singer Todd Farhood, bassist Kevin Gingrinch and drummer Scott Masterson. The band released only one EP in 1985, Forever Young, before changing name to Flip City in 1987 and disbanding soon after.[4] An opportunity in Xenidis' career came when he was asked in 1990 to tour with Randy Coven, whom he met through Aldo Nova; in 1991, he toured the US with Aldo Nova.[5][dead link] From 1992 to 1993 he played with Triumph, recording Edge of Excess and touring with them.[6]

In 1994, Xenidis collaborated with Terry Brown, Doug Varty, Rob Kennedy and others to form a short lived band, The Bushdoctors, in Mississauga, Ontario. They recorded one album, a self-titled debut, now out of print.[7] Also in 1994 he played a guitar solo for Our Lady Peace's song “Denied” from the album Naveed. Phil X was guitarist for US power pop band Powder alongside vocalist and then-wife Ninette Terhart. The band released three albums between 2002 and 2008.[8][9]

Bon Jovi (2011–present)[edit]

Phil X performing in 2013

In 2011, Phil X substituted for Bon Jovi's lead guitarist Richie Sambora,[10] who missed 13 dates after entering rehab,[11] and later filled in for Sambora on the US and Europe leg of the 2013 tour after Sambora left the band suddenly due to personal reasons. It was a mutual friend between Phil X and Jon Bon Jovi, Arman Ghasemi, who recommended to Jon Bon Jovi to use Phil X as a substitute.[12]

In mid-2013 he filled in for Sambora during a number of dates of the Because We Can tour, including their only Italian date in Milan,[13] the entire British leg of the tour including the Isle of Wight Festival,[14] Hyde Park BST dates,[15] the South African leg,[16] the South American leg, and the Australian leg.[17] In 2016, Phil X became an official member in the band along with bass guitarist Hugh McDonald and also features as guitarist for the band on their single "This House Is Not for Sale" on the album of the same name as well as their latest studio effort Bon Jovi: 2020.[18] In 2019, Phil X was inducted into the Mississauga Music Walk of Fame, which recognizes notable people with musical talent that have their roots in the Ontario city.[19]

In 2016, he appeared in the documentary Hired Gun, a film about session musicians.[20][21]

Personal life[edit]

Phil X was born to Greek-Canadian parents and grew up in Mississauga, Ontario,[22] raised in the Erindale subdivision.[23] Phil was previously married to Ninette Terhart. In 2013, Phil married Lindy Green and has two children with her.[24]



Phil X has used many guitars during his session and live work. He prefers bridge pickups and often removes the neck pickup from his personal guitars for added vibration, clarity and harmonics. For humorous effect, he will usually place an action figure and fan grille in the pickup cavity.[25] He also favors P-90 pickups due to their tonal flexibility; their tone can be cleaned up on an overdriven amp by simply lowering the volume on the guitar.

His most notable guitar is his ESP LTD Viper,[26] which he refers to as the "sticker guitar". This guitar originally had a Seymour Duncan JB pickup[27] and later a Gibson P-94, but it has since been replaced with an Arcane PX-100.[28]

In 2012, Phil X received a signature guitar from Yamaha,[29] in 2015 followed the release of a signature XG model made by Framus.[30] Phil invented the "Flip Stick",[31] a specially modified replacement for the usual whammy bar on Floyd-Rose-equipped guitars. He endorses Cleartone Treated Guitar Strings and Everly Star Picks as well.[32] His demonstrations of rare and vintage guitars have had over 30 million views on the frettedamericana YouTube channel.[33]

In 2019, Phil X became a Gibson artist.[34][35]


Phil X also uses Friedman amplification. He has his own signature amplifier, the Friedman X.[36]


Phil X has four custom pickups which he designed in conjunction with pickup manufacturer Arcane, Inc. They are available for sale on his official website:

  • PX-90: A P-90 pickup wound to Phil X's specs. It is his preferred pickup and is used in a majority of his guitars.[37]
  • PX-100: The same pickup as the PX-90, but made in a humbucker case as a drop-in replacement for humbucker equipped guitars.[38]
  • PX-8: A humbucker wound to vintage specs, but uses Alnico 8 magnets for extra output.[39]
  • PX-SUPER 8: Also uses Alnico 8 magnets, but is wound hotter for high-gain use.[40]


Phil X is a prolific session guitarist, having played on albums by Chris Cornell, Tommy Lee, Methods of Mayhem, Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson, Orianthi, Rob Zombie, Chris Daughtry, Alice Cooper, Thousand Foot Krutch and many others. He wrote the song "Tired" and also played guitar on Tommy Lee's Tommyland: The Ride album. He has appeared with Tommy Lee and Bon Jovi on Ellen[41] and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Phil X was featured in the "making of" bonus features for the movie Josie and the Pussycats. He acted as a music coach for the film and taught the young actresses to appear as if they were actually playing their instruments.[42] The following is a list of Phil X's discography as a band member, apart from his session work.

with Triumph

with Powder

  • Sonic Machine (2002)
  • Powder (2005)
  • Nothing (2008)

with Phil X & The Drills

  • Kick Your Ass in 17 Minutes. (2009)
  • We Bring the Rock N Roll (2011)
  • We Play Instruments N Sh!t (2012)
  • Stupid Good Lookings Vol.1 (2019)

with Bon Jovi

Session work[edit]

The following is a complete official list of the rest of Phil X's work.[43]


  1. ^ Phil X [@TheRealPhilX] (October 16, 2012). "Theofilos is my first name but i made it my middle name on my license" (Tweet). Retrieved 14 June 2021 – via Twitter.
  2. ^ Bryan Reesman. Bon Jovi: The Story. Page 185. Sterling Press, NY. 2016.
  3. ^ "Bon Jovi Guitarist Phil X To Be Inducted Into Mississauga's Music Walk of Fame". 7 September 2019. Retrieved 2020-12-14.
  4. ^ "Sidinex - Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives".
  5. ^ Beggs, Mike (2 April 1992). "Guitarist finds fame staring him in face at a Kansas store". Toronto Star. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
  6. ^ David, David (26 April 2011). "Review of Triumph, Greatest Hits Remixed". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  7. ^ "The Bushdoctors - The Bushdoctors CD. Heavy Harmonies Discography".
  8. ^ "Powder | Discography | Discogs". Discogs.
  9. ^ "Powder Biography, Songs, & Albums". AllMusic.
  10. ^ Kennedy, John R. "Canadian musician Phil X replaces Richie Sambora in Bon Jovi".
  11. ^ "Bon Jovi replaces Richie Sambora with Phil X". 2 May 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  12. ^ "Bon Jovi Tour: Greek-Canadian Phil X to Replace Sambora -". 19 September 2013.
  13. ^ "Bon Jovi incanta San Siro nell'unica tappa italiana (senza il chitarrista Sambora)". 30 June 2013.
  14. ^ "Isle of Wight Festival: Jon Bon Jovi vs Richie Sambora". 5 June 2013.
  15. ^ "Phil X of Bon Jovi performs on stage at British Summer Time Festival..." Getty Images. July 6, 2013.
  16. ^ Coffey, Kevin (4 April 2013). "Bon Jovi show to go on without Sambora". Omaha World-Herald. Archived from the original on 15 June 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  17. ^ "Bon Jovi Wows Melbourne". The Age. 8 December 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  18. ^ Jovi, Bon. "Bon Jovi". Bon Jovi Official Website.
  19. ^ "Mississauga Music Walk of Fame". Mississauga Music Walk of Fame. Retrieved 2020-12-14.
  20. ^ Stef Lach (January 26, 2015). "Phil X on the ups and downs of a Hired Gun". louder.
  21. ^ Biese, Alex. "Bon Jovi guitarist Phil X talks 'Hired Gun' film". Asbury Park Press.
  22. ^ "Mississauga's Phil X gives shout out to Bon Jovi bandmates on Hall of Fame induction". 18 December 2017.
  23. ^ "Bon Jovi guitarist Phil X and the Lincolns bassist Prakash John join Mississauga Music Walk of Fame". 12 September 2019.
  24. ^ "Phil Xenidis Biography". IMDb. IMDb.
  25. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Phil-X :: Tips and Tricks - Episode 1 :: Why one pickup?". YouTube.
  26. ^ Americana, Fretted (19 April 2012). "At Long Last: Phil X's Custom LTD Viper on Fretted Americana". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-13. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  27. ^ [bare URL image file]
  28. ^ [bare URL image file]
  29. ^ Press Release, Yamaha (21 December 2012). "Yamaha Launches Phil X Signature Guitar – the SG1801PX9". Yamaha. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  30. ^ "Framus Unveils the Phil XG Signature Guitar". Guitar Player. April 2, 2015. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  31. ^ Demo, Flipstick (11 February 2008). "Phil X Flipping Out 1989". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-13. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  32. ^ "Phil X's Gear". Archived from the original on 2015-02-03. Retrieved 2014-09-15.
  33. ^ Brass, David (9 November 2012). "30 Million Views on Our YouTube Channel". Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  34. ^ "BON JOVI Guitarist PHIL X Joins GIBSON". 23 January 2020.
  35. ^ "Phil X of Bon Jovi signs to Gibson". | All Things Guitar.
  36. ^ url=
  37. ^ "-- :: Phil X Store: Phil X Guitar Pickups :: --".
  38. ^ "-- :: Phil X Store: Phil X Guitar Pickups :: --".
  39. ^ "-- :: Phil X Store: Phil X Guitar Pickups :: --".
  40. ^ "-- :: Phil X Store: Phil X Guitar Pickups :: --".
  41. ^ Rosen, Craig (23 April 2013). "Jon Bon Jovi Comes Clean About Richie Sambora on 'Ellen'". Yahoo Music. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  42. ^ Internet Movie Database (2001). "IMDb: Full cast and crew for Josie and the Pussycats". IMDb. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  43. ^ "--: The REAL Phil X :--". Archived from the original on 2017-07-24. Retrieved 2016-05-31.

External links[edit]