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Top 20 Guitarists of All-Time


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(These are always fun)



August 7, 2002 -- LONDON - Rock icon Jimi Hendrix has been voted the

greatest guitarist of all time in a poll by a leading European guitar

magazine published yesterday.

The legendary American rocker, famed for searing performances on his

trademark Fender Stratocaster, blew away the competition in the survey

published in Total Guitar magazine's 100th issue.

Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page was runner-up, and Eric Clapton earned third.

Rounding out the top five were Slash from Guns N' Roses and Queen's

Brian May.

Top 20:

1. Jimi Hendrix

2. Jimmy Page

3. Eric Clapton

4. Slash

5. Brian May

6. Joe Satriani (soloist)

7. Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen)

8. Dave Gilmour (Pink Floyd)

9. Kirk Hammett (Metallica)

10. Steve Vai (soloist)

11. Carlos Santana (Santana)

12. James Hetfield (Metallica)

13. Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine)

14. Kurt Cobain (Nirvana)

15. Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits)

16. Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne)

17. Gary Moore (Thin Lizzy, others)

18. Jeff Beck (Yardbirds, Jeff Beck Group)

19. Stevie Ray Vaughan (Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble)

20. Angus Young (AC/DC)

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Kurt Cobain??? Tom Morello?? Slash??

It's hard to argue with the rest of the list, but it also makes you think that the age of guitar-gods is gone - they're all either old geezers or dead. (with a few exceptions)

ummmm.... where's Trey?

This list should have be called the most influential guitarists of all time.

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Jeff Beck is rated #18 four behind Kurt Cobain? What the f%@k? Could Kurt even play lead guitar? Well I can think of a bunch of people that should be on that list. In no specific order:

Charlie Hunter

Trey Anastasio

Walter Becker

Peter Tosh

Warren Haynes

Jerry Garcia

Duane Allman

Dickey Betts

Tony Iommi

Randy Bachman

Alex Lifeson

Robert Fripp

And that's just off the top of my head. They should have called it the 20 best POP gutarists of all time.

Anyone else want to add to this list?

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Originally posted by weezy:

This list should have be called the most
guitarists of all time.

quite right weezy...maybe even most infuential radio-friendly guitarists of all time...makes me quite sick to see Slash in the top twenty, let alone the top f$#king five (no hard feelings, k Sally?)!!!

i dunno, i'm no guitar critic but i might be tempted to sneak Neil in there...but then the list would be getting serious and would no longer be good for a laugh!

Kirk Hammett AND James Hetfield??? hammett is understandable, although not top ten material...why don't we throw in Dave "the Snake" Sabo and the rest of his 'boys'?


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you know...i think it's silly how you KNOW you're never going to be satisfied with mass media polls regarding quality musicianship but still look to them to tell people so we can sort of complain about it...now obviously, i have my qualms with it as well but i don't know...maybe we should be doing more about it by writing emails or getting polls together and sending it to these publications to let them know that heads buy magazines too. heads do have money for things advertied. we're maybe a bit mreo intelligent and dont' get suckered into flashy big hair ads...

maybe send them some music...blank CD...i'd chip in a couple of cents for postage...maybe some nero/gtb/d&t/jukejoint jams for the guys...i think lauzon should be on the list over kobain. heck, almost anyone in the jamband scene over kobain...except for giggles. that guy stinks.


i'll be back this weekend...collect a couple or so if you're really gonna do it.

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Well, this list is actually the Top 100 of all time. Andre only had the Top 20. Without seeing the other 80, here's a few guys that should be on the list - some even in the Top 20:


Chet Atkins

Merle Travis

James Burton


Danny Gatton

Junior Brown

Albert Lee

Doc Watson

Johnny Ramone

Mick Jones ( Clash )

Sonic Fred Smith

Tom Verlaine & Richard Lloyd

Charie Patton


Big Bill Broonzy

BB King

Freddy King

Buddy Guy


Albert King

Albert Collins


Alan Holdsworth

Robert Fripp & Adrian Belew

Randy Rhodes

Charlie Christian

Wes Montgomery

Joe Pass ( actually, there's hundreds of jazz guys that should be considered on the list )

Al DiMeola

Pat Metheny


Mick Taylor

Steve Howe





I disagree with Cobain in the Top 20, but he has to be on the list. He almost single-handedly squashed all the brutal hair-metal bands of the late 80s and early 90s. He brought back aggressive, no nonsense and somewhat violent and self-destructive guitar. Bless him for that. Curse him for Courtney. Oh yeah. He was good songwriter too; and I'm not even a big fan of Nirvana.

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Also, I would have had Jeff Beck at #2. Every time I've seen him jam with Clapton and Page, he kicks their asses. Beck also has influences in jazz, blues, avant-garde, rock-a-billy, hard-rock etc... I HATE TOM MORELLO. He's an effects-riddled wanker. Slash should be in the Top 10 because his solos are always inspired and tasteful and I hate G & R.

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After what I witnessed and experienced this weeked, a few of our own boys could make people turn their heads. Nice jamming kids. I am so glad I was a part of it a few times.

Dave-O, you can listen with the best of them. I LOVED playing with you...........And the Punk?

Forget about it.

I thought that dude was down East on vacation. Nice surprise.

Cheers to BradM, DrH (come on by anytime my man, its a blast singing with you man), Low Roller (you too, anytime), Bouche, Treyter and Jaimoe. I was very impressed at the focus we can all attain when we put our minds and ears to it.

How about Davey-Bo with his trumpet miked ontop of a digital delay pedal? Cooooool.......

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