David Kennedy (musician)

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David James Kennedy
David Kennedy on tour with Angels & Airwaves
David Kennedy on tour with Angels & Airwaves
Background information
Birth nameDavid James Kennedy
Born (1976-07-08) July 8, 1976 (age 45)
OriginPoway, California, U.S.
Occupation(s)Musician, guitarist, motorcyclist, barista
InstrumentsGuitar, keyboards
Years active1997–2014, 2018–present
Associated acts

David James Kennedy (born July 8, 1976) is an American guitarist and songwriter. He is the lead guitarist, keyboardist and a founding member of Angels & Airwaves, appearing on every album except The Dream Walker (2014). He was previously involved with the hardcore punk band Box Car Racer, with both bands being led by vocalist/guitarist Tom DeLonge.

Music career[edit]

Kennedy was a member of Box Car Racer, a rock band formed by Blink-182 members Tom DeLonge and Travis Barker. Box Car Racer, then a side project to Blink-182, put out its only album in 2002. Kennedy was also a member of the hardcore groups Over My Dead Body from San Diego and Hazen Street from New York. With Angels & Airwaves he had released five albums. David and band member Tom DeLonge were close friends and grew up together in Poway, California.

In 2014, Kennedy took a break from music to focus on his career with James Coffee Co, a San Diego-based coffee house of which he is a part owner that specializes in producing handcrafted artisan roasted coffee beans. On April 18, 2018, DeLonge announced on Instagram that Kennedy and bassist Matt Wachter had rejoined Angels & Airwaves and are set to appear on the next album.[1]


While playing with Angels & Airwaves, Kennedy was often seen playing his Gibson Memphis Custom Shop ES-335 Diamond Limited Run Electric Guitars, in all three colors in which they are available. He used Gibson Dirty Fingers Humbucking Pickups, the same bridge pickup Tom uses in all of his signature ES-333 models, in order to emulate Delonge's signature distorted, over driven tone when playing hand muted octave chords, often with delay effects. David played through Mesa Boogie triple rectifier heads and matching cabinets. Most of David's rig emulates that of DeLonge's, including the use of amps, preamp, cabs and effects, with the only exception being David's use of Ernie Ball Regular Slinky (10-46) strings as opposed to DeLonge's use of Ernie Ball Skinny Top, Heavy Bottom (10-52) strings.

From 2010 to 2014, Kennedy used one Fender '65 Twin Reverb for clean, and one Vox AC30 for overdrive, matching Tom's setup once again. He had also used the Tom Delonge Signature Gibson ES-333 in some 2012 live performances and is seen with it in the Surrender music video.[original research?]

Motorcycle racing[edit]

David Kennedy is known to have a love of motorcycles. In July 2009 he entered and won his first race at the Willow Springs Motorcycle Club. Afterwards Kennedy stated,

“I was nervous at the start, feeling just like I do before I go on stage to play for a huge crowd. There's a lot to compare between playing on stage and racing. Once the race started I just wanted to perform as best as I possibly could. I always want to be the best at what I dedicate myself to doing. A lot of people have helped me get to this point with my riding and I couldn't let them down. So it felt as though my riding was a lot like doing a performance.”

[2] He added that he wants to race as many tracks as he can.

On October 19, David placed second in his second race at Willow Springs, and managed to break his placement streak on November 14 by once again taking first.[3][4]

David Kennedy, 2012
David Kennedy, 2008


With Angels & Airwaves
With Box Car Racer
With Hazen Street
  • No Runners (2012)


  1. ^ "What if I told you along with Ilan, David AND Matt will be joining me on this next Angels & Airwaves album?". Instagram. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  2. ^ "Guitarist David Kennedy Wins First Ever Race – Kawasaki Sportbike News". Motorcycle USA. July 20, 2009. Retrieved March 14, 2010.
  3. ^ "Angels & Airwaves Rocker Earns Second – Other Sportbike Racing". Motorcycle USA. October 20, 2009. Retrieved March 14, 2010.
  4. ^ "Race results for Nov 14th, 2009 – MySpace-blog | van David Kennedy". Blogs.myspace.com. Archived from the original on February 7, 2009. Retrieved March 14, 2010.

External links[edit]