Guitarist Raymond Toro-Ortiz -- known to My Chemical Romance fans as Ray Toro -- was born on July 15, 1977, in Kearny, NJ, and attended the same high school in Belleville as his future bandmates Gerard and Mikey Way. Sharing a bedroom with his two brothers, Toro was inspired to pick up the guitar after watching one of his older brothers play along to classic rock artists like Led Zeppelin. Because his neighborhood was not a safe place (dead bodies and drug addicts were constants of the area), his mother preferred him not going outside alone, so Toro instead passed his high school years inside practicing guitar and listening to metal and classic rock. Toro had a passion for film as well and later attended college to become an editor. After the September 11th attacks, however, he was approached by his old high school acquaintance Gerard Way about starting a band with him and drummer Matt Pelissier. Though he initially refused -- he had recently started drumming with a different band -- Toro was eventually convinced, and the three became the nucleus of My Chemical Romance. After adding second guitarist Frank Iero into the fray, Toro became the group's lead guitarist. He eventually became known not only as the one responsible for most of the band's guitar solos, but also as the one with the nice afro-like hair.
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