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Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists


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Here we go again. I don't necessarily care about the placings as much as I care about some of the omissions. However, I'm glad some newer guitarists were recognized ( Re: Derek Trucks ).

For what it's worth, I'm loving #2. I'm sure all you Phishheads that care about these kind of lists won't like Trey's placing. Dicki Betts sure has dropped: his dead partner and a 3rd generation Allman Brother, Warren Haynes, ranks higher.

I take issue with Tom Verlaine being included while his partner and guitar foil in Television, Richard Lloyd, was passed over. Lloyd's a better lead player. Also, where's Joe Strummer and Mick Jones?!!!

1 Jimi Hendrix

2 Duane Allman of the Allman Brothers Band

3 B.B. King

4 Eric Clapton

5 Robert Johnson

6 Chuck Berry

7 Stevie Ray Vaughan

8 Ry Cooder

9 Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin

10 Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones

11 Kirk Hammett of Metallica

12 Kurt Cobain of Nirvana

13 Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead

14 Jeff Beck

15 Carlos Santana

16 Johnny Ramone of the Ramones

17 Jack White of the White Stripes

18 John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers

19 Richard Thompson

20 James Burton

21 George Harrison

22 Mike Bloomfield

23 Warren Haynes

24 The Edge of U2

25 Freddy King

26 Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave

27 Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits

28 Stephen Stills

29 Ron Asheton of the Stooges

30 Buddy Guy

31 Dick Dale

32 John Cipollina of Quicksilver Messenger Service

33 & 34 Lee Ranaldo, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth

35 John Fahey

36 Steve Cropper of Booker T. and the MG's

37 Bod Diddley

38 Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac

39 Brian May of Qeen

40 John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival

41 Clarence White of the Byrds

42 Robert Fripp of King Crimson

43 Eddie Hazel of Funkadelic

44 Scotty Moore

45 Frank Zappa

46 Les Paul

47 T-Bone Walker

48 Joe Perry of Aerosmith

49 John McLaughlin

50 Pete Townshend

51 Paul Kossoff of Free

52 Lou Reed

53 Mickey Baker

54 Jorma Kaukonen of Jefferson Airplane

55 Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple

56 Tom Verlaine of Television

57 Roy Buchanan

58 Dickey Betts

59 & 60 Jonny Greenwood, Ed O'Brien of Radiohead

61 Ike Turner

62 Zoot Horn Rollo of the Magic Band

63 Danny Gatton

64 Mick Ronson

65 Hubert Sumlin

66 Vernon Reid of Living Colour

67 Link Wray

68 Jerry Miller of Moby Grape

69 Steve Howe of Yes

70 Eddie Van Halen

71 Lightnin' Hopkins

72 Joni Mitchell

73 Trey Anastasio of Phish

74 Johnny Winter

75 Adam Jones of Tool

76 Ali Farka Toure

77 Henry Vestine of Canned Heat

78 Robbie Robertson of the Band

79 Cliff Gallup of the Blue Caps (1997)

80 Robert Quine of the Voidoids

81 Derek Trucks

82 David Gilmour of Pink Floyd

83 Neil Young

84 Eddie Cochran

85 Randy Rhoads

86 Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath

87 Joan Jett

88 Dave Davies of the Kinks

89 D. Boon of the Minutemen

90 Glen Buxton of Alice Cooper

91 Robby Krieger of the Doors

92 & 93 Fred "Sonic" Smith, Wayne Kramer of the MC5

94 Bert Jansch

95 Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine

96 Angus Young of AC/DC

97 Robert Randolph

98 Leigh Stephens of Blue Cheer

99 Greg Ginn of Black Flag

100 Kim Thayil of Soundgarden

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17 Jack White of the White Stripes

stopped reading after that.

not listed above Jack White.

John McLaughlin

Eddie Van Halen

David Gilmour

Neil Young

John Scofield

Pat Metheny

so, yes, according to the Stone, that crap that stood on the same stage as the stones is better than those i just listed!!! Freaking McLaughlin and Metheny! WTF!

But i do know that is the purpose of these silly lists, to create controversy. I'm not going to be a silly kid and say Trey needs to be up there, as with his latest playing, he really doesn't.

For Scofield not even to make the list.


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I love the Jack White inclusion. " Elephant " is my album of the year so far.

'Tube, you should be more furious about the omissions of trailblazers like: Muddy Waters, Django Reinhardt, Lenny Breau, Wes Montgomery, Charlie Christian, James Burton, Robert Johnson, Tommy Johnson etc... In fact, like Rush or not, Alex Lifeson should be included. His solos are perfect.

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Muddy Waters, Django Reinhardt, Lenny Breau, Wes Montgomery

Yep. All choices that should be there. Especially Django Reinhardt.

Muddy Waters definately deserves to be on that list.

SOme of the jazz guys i understand missing the list. Metheny, Grant Green, and Wes Montgomery are all amazing guitarists....not to mention new school jazz guys like Scofield.

Even newer guys like Fareed Haque should be on there, but i'm sure the writer was too busy listening to Ike Turner.

[big Grin]

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Originally posted by PalacePrincess:

ummmmm, helllllooooooo, steve stevens is where???

If you want some good Steve Stevens, definitely check out the "Black Light Syndrome" album, by Bozzio / Levin / Stevens (yes, Terry Bozzio and Tony Levin on the same album). Full open improv, with the basic tracks done in one or two takes over about four days straight, with some later guitar overdubbage by Stevens. (The same lineup has done other records, but I haven't heard them yet.)



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Any list that doesn't include these guys, Django Reinhardt, Lenny Breau, Wes Montgomery is no list at all. Though I guess they can't include people that thier pre-teen readership doesn't know. Rolling stone is one lame muisc mag, has been for a long time. Not that there are many music mags that are any better. Most just promote music and lifestyles dictated to them by their corperate owners. oh well, at least music still RULES!!!!

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Andy Summers is probably the stand-out ridiculous omission to me. [Frown] Although I still think "So Lonely" is the worst rock guitar solo ever (followed immediately, FYI, by the worst rock harmonica solo ever from Sting) you cannot deny that he totally redefined the role of a guitar player in a rock trio. I'd say he's as influential as Pete Townshend, maybe even Hendrix and Clapton.

Anyway, that's always the problem with lists like this. Although most of their rankings I agree with as far as they go.

Oh and Jaimoe thanks for mentioning Alex Lifeson, saved me some time there [Wink]


Mr. M.

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I agree, Dave Navarro should be on there too.

But if you want a definitive list, Guitar Player Magazine had a 100 Greatest Guitarist issue that really nailed every guitar style and genre of music. It came out around 5 years ago. No stone was left unturned. That one issue has been invaluable and has been highly influential to me to this day.

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man where to start

keith richards in the top ten,, but so many other great players are in the bottom half

kurt beat jerry? [Eek!]

jack white beat warren, gilmour, and trey, among others? [Eek!]

fuck rolling stone,, i guess this is why ill never buy one of their magazines

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Hendrix is a fair comprimise #1 ranking, I never worry about the actual rankings because it is meaningless ... I was glad to see Jorma Kaukonnen and Zoot Horn Rollo on the list, but what about Bob Mould and Bernard Sumner (hasn't done much with New Order, but his Joy Division work merits inclusion) ... I suppose Roland S. Howard was too much to hope for.

Mojo did a far better job a number of years ago, they covered a lot of styles ... I know folks would be steamed at omissions, but as the editors pointed out after the mail came in, according to the readers the guitarists that Mojo were complete idiots for leaving off their top 100 list numbered 250 [Wink] If you are a true audiophile, a mere 100 doesn't cut it ... my own Top 5 guitarists numbered over 70 at last count [smile]


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