Rolling Stone 100 Greatest Guitarists
I'm in a band and I've played guitar for 25 years. Some thoughts about the list.
1 Jimi Hendrix - Can't argue with this. With his output cut short, he could have been much greater.
2 Duane Allman of the Allman Brothers Band - Cetainly the greatest slide guitarist ever. Another career cut short.
3 B.B. King - I assume he's this high because of influence and what he accomplished in a long career. Technically, he's got the blues chops but doesn't really waver much from that.
4 Eric Clapton - I probably differ in opinion from many, but to me, Clapton peaked on Dekek and the Dominos and his solo records have been spotty at best. He was great for a time but never really blows me away.
5 Robert Johnson - Blues legend. Recordings aren't very listenable. Created so much but relatively unheard. I have trouble with this only because he really wasn't as good as many below him but without him, they wouldn't exist.
6 Chuck Berry - Should be no. 1 in my opinion. Created rock and roll guitar. People still try to copy his licks.
7 Stevie Ray Vaughan - Many people differ on Stevie. Some call him a Hendrix rip off. Either way, he was certainly a phenomonal guitar player.
8 Ry Cooder - Played so many different instruments and in so many different styles, it tends to water down his influence. Great player.
9 Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin - Always thought him a bit sloppy. Came up with great riffs and the Stairway solo is probably one of the greatest of all time.
10 Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones - Not sure about this. Great rhythm guitar player. Great song writer. Great guitar player? I'd put him around 25.
11 Kirk Hammett of Metallica - Some great stuff. Some crappy stuff. Would I put him this high? Probably not. Master of Puppets is a great guitar album though.
12 Kurt Cobain of Nirvana - No way. Yes he started grunge and alternate music. Was NOT a great guitar player. Wrote great songs. Should be around 50.
13 Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead - Never been a fan of the Dead so I feel that might unfairly lower my opinion of Jerry. I like some stuff but I've never listened to a Dead song and had the guitar work jump out at me.
14 Jeff Beck - Great player. Small amount of impressive recorded work. Besides Blow by Blow, not a lot of listenable stuff.
15 Carlos Santana - Very good. Impressive output. A bit repetitive in solo work. Great feel player.
16 Johnny Ramone of the Ramones - Started punk rock in America. Great player? Since any guitar player can learn a Ramones song in about 2 minutes, I would disagree. Influential but not great.
17 Jack White of the White Stripes - I have no idea why he is on the list at all let alone this high. The fact that Eddie Van Halen is at 70 and Jack White is 17 is a travesty. Rolling Stone has a huge bias towards this group.
18 John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers - Good player. Fun licks. A little high but Rolling Stone had to put some names on here that some of their readers would recognize.
19 Richard Thompson - Good player that not alot of people have heard of. Hard to find his CDs as many are out of print.
20 James Burton - Country guitar picker. I haven't heard anything from him so I won't comment.
21 George Harrison - Way too high. Nice slide guitar player. Not a great guitarist.
22 Mike Bloomfield - Great blues player.
23 Warren Haynes - Joined the Allman Brothers in 1989. Nice player. A little high on the list.
24 The Edge of U2 - Hard for me to comment on Edge. Created a style of playing. Did some really nice stuff. Not a great solo player though.
25 Freddy King - Another early blues player.
26 Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave - Always thought every Rage song sounded exactly the same. Too high on the list.
27 Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits - Should be higher. Great style. Great solos. Amazing stuff.
28 Stephen Stills - Very good player. Doesn't show off a lot but has the chops. Some acoustic work is very complex.
29 Ron Asheton of the Stooges - Sigh. I guess he's here for the same reason the Johnny Ramone is here.
30 Buddy Guy - Great blues player.
31 Dick Dale - The King of Surf Guitar. Great player. One of the fastest ever.
32 John Cipollina of Quicksilver Messenger Service - Never heard any of their music. Can't comment.
33 & 34 Lee Ranaldo, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth - Great at making feedback noises. Created a new guitar style.
35 John Fahey - Brilliant folk guitar player. Probably only about 10 guys on this list could even play his stuff.
36 Steve Cropper of Booker T. and the MG's - Played as a studio musician on countless records. Great solo player.
37 Bo Diddley - Blues innovator.
38 Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac - Haven't heard a lot of his stuff, but what I have was pretty good.
39 Brian May of Queen - Love his guitar work and sound. Amazing stuff. Should be way higher. Listen to the Sheer Heart Attack album (not the song) if you don't agree. Metalica even covered a song from it.
40 John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival - Swamp guitar at its finest.
41 Clarence White of the Byrds - Hard for me to pick out exactly what he played on the Byrds songs. Not sure about him.
42 Robert Fripp of King Crimson - Another group I never liked but he's obviously good.
43 Eddie Hazel of Funkadelic - Should be in the top 10. Equal to Hendrix.
44 Scotty Moore - Pioneer guitarist on many Elvis songs.
45 Frank Zappa - Should be in the top 10. Insane at 45. Half the guys above him couldn't play his stuff with a year of practice.
46 Les Paul - Most people only think of him as making the guitar. Was a great player also.
47 T-Bone Walker - Early blues player.
48 Joe Perry of Aerosmith - Some good stuff. Some stuff recorded while stoned and sounds horrible.
49 John McLaughlin - Influential jazz guitar player. Should be higher.
50 Pete Townshend - Created the windmill and some of the greatest guitar songs ever. Not a great soloist but should be higher.
51 Paul Kossoff of Free - Ok with this placement.
52 Lou Reed - I don't think even Lou Reed would put himself this high. Wrote some great songs though.
53 Mickey Baker - Early guitarist that played a lot of session work. Was on many big hits.
54 Jorma Kaukonen of Jefferson Airplane - Love Jorma. Brilliant player. Should be higher. Solo work and Hot Tuna stuff better than Airplane songs.
55 Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple - Great soloist.
56 Tom Verlaine of Television - I like his stuff alot, especially the Matthew Sweet Girlfriend album.
57 Roy Buchanan - Great blues player.
58 Dickey Betts - Held his own with Duane Allman, I think that counts for higher than 58.
59 & 60 Jonny Greenwood, Ed O'Brien of Radiohead - Here because the band is popular. I love Radiohead but not "greatest" guitar players.
61 Ike Turner - Not a fan.
62 Zoot Horn Rollo of the Magic Band - Played on Trout Mask replica. Not sure why here's on the list.
63 Danny Gatton - Virtuoso player, mostly rockabilly.
64 Mick Ronson - Played with Bowie and Ian Hunter. Not as well known as he should be.
65 Hubert Sumlin - Blues guitarist for Howlin' Wolf.
66 Vernon Reid of Living Colour - Really like his playing. Relatively short life span of the group affects his rating.
67 Link Wray - If you've seen a Quentin Tarantino movie, you've heard Link Wray.
68 Jerry Miller of Moby Grape - Moby Grape has some nice guitar work but I'd put 20 other guys on this list first.
69 Steve Howe of Yes - Should be way higher. Very complicated intricate guitar work.
70 Eddie Van Halen - Should be in the top 10. This is insane.
71 Lightnin' Hopkins - Early blues player.
72 Joni Mitchell - Very complicated player. Lots of strange tunings. Very melodic. Not a soloist though.
73 Trey Anastasio of Phish - I like Try a lot. Should be higher.
74 Johnny Winter - Should be in the top 20 or at least ahead of the other blues players. Great player.
75 Adam Jones of Tool - Like Tool's songs. Guitar never stood out to me. Guess i need to listen more closely.
76 Ali Farka Toure - West African player. Never heard of him. Can't comment.
77 Henry Vestine of Canned Heat - Uggh. Going to the Country is one of my all time least favorite songs. Maybe other stuff is good.
78 Robbie Robertson of the Band - Very underrated. Great "feel" guitarist. His guitar sounds searing on The Last Waltz. Should be higher.
79 Cliff Gallup of the Blue Caps - Played guitar for Gene Vincent (Bee Bop a Lula). Early impressive guitarist.
80 Robert Quine of the Voidoids - Also of Television. Like his work of Matthew Sweet's albums.
81 Derek Trucks - Nephew of Virgil. Competent player.
82 David Gilmour of Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb is one of the greatest solos ever. Should be way higher.
83 Neil Young - Not a great player but well known. I like his songs a lot but it doesn't make him one of the greatest 100 guitarists.
84 Eddie Cochran - Died early. Good pinoneer guitarist (Summertime Blues).
85 Randy Rhoads - Should be in the top 10. Amazing player. Died too young.
86 Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath - More of a riff player than known for solos. Probably why he's at 86.
87 Joan Jett - I have no idea why she's on this list. Where's Bonnie Raitt? She could play circles around Joan Jett. Looking good in leather pants gets you on the list I guess.
88 Dave Davies of the Kinks - I love the Kinks. Dave created some of the great early guitar styles.
89 D. Boon of the Minutemen - Haven't heard any of his stuff. Can't comment.
90 Glen Buxton of Alice Cooper - Very good player.
91 Robby Krieger of the Doors - Hate the Doors but respect Kreiger.
92 & 93 Fred "Sonic" Smith, Wayne Kramer of the MC5 - On here for one song - Kick Out The Jams.
94 Bert Jansch - Never heard his work.
95 Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine - Like Sonic Youth, the wall of distortion and sound. Not technically impressive.
96 Angus Young of AC/DC - He's better than you think.
97 Robert Randolph - Pedal Steel player. Have not heard him.
98 Leigh Stephens of Blue Cheer - ????
99 Greg Ginn of Black Flag - Good punk guitarist.
100 Kim Thayil of Soundgarden - Pretty good guitarist.