Friday, February 5, 2010

My Favorite Guitarists

If I have to pick, my favorite musical instrument is the guitar. As cool as theremins and zithers are, no instruments are as vital to the music I listen to as guitars. And so here's a list of my favorites--some may have extraordinary technical ability, some may be extremely innovative, etc. But all (or at least the top half of the list) have influenced me and many others to play the guitar, with their axe-wielding awesomeness. So here it is. (It may be pretty obvious, but the names of the guitarists are in bold, and their bands follow in italics. For bands with more than one great guitarist, I just lumped the two together because I'm not always sure who's doing what. And usually both are pretty darn good.)

75. Mick Jones & Joe Strummer (The Clash)
74. Jeff Buckley
73. Jonny Greenwood & Ed O'Brien (Radiohead)
72. Duane Denison (The Jesus Lizard)
71. Sly Stone & Freddie Stone (Sly & The Family Stone)
70. Ty Braxton & Ian Williams (Battles)
69. Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield (Metallica)
68. Dr. Know (Bad Brains)
67. Pete Townshend (The Who)
66. Roger Miller (Mission Of Burma)
65. Jeff Parker (Tortoise)
64. B.B. King
63. Jerry Harrison & David Byrne (Talking Heads)
62. Gareth Williams (This Heat)
61. Devendra Banhart

60. Isaac Brock (Modest Mouse)
59. Greg Sage (Wipers)
58. Fred Frith (Skeleton Crew et. al.)
57. Guy Picciotto (Fugazi)
56. Arthur Lee & Brian MacLean (Love)
55. Tim Buckley
54. Zoot Horn Rollo & Antennae Jimmy Semens (The Magic Band)
53. Keith Richards (The Rolling Stones)
52. Link Wray
51. Curt Kirkwood (Meat Puppets)

50. Mississippi John Hurt
49. Mick Ronson (David Bowie et. al.)
48. Kid Congo Powers & Jeffrey Lee Pierce (The Gun Club)
47. Bruce Gilbert & Colin Newman (Wire)
46. Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen)
45. Christian Fennesz
44. Bob Mould (Husker Du)
43. Howlin' Wolf
42. Frank Zappa
41. Ike Turner

40. Dick Dale
39. Johnny Marr (The Smiths)
38. Rivers Cuomo & Brian Bell (Weezer)
37. Ry Cooder
36. Johnny Ramone (The Ramones)
35. Andy Gill (Gang Of Four)
34. Dave Longstreth (Dirty Projectors)
33. William Reid (The Jesus & Mary Chain)
32. Brian McMahan & David Pajo (Slint)
31. Joey Santiago (Pixies)

30. Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath)
29. James Williamson (The Stooges)
28. D. Boon (Minutemen)
27. John McLaughlin (Mahavishnu Orchestra et. al.)
26. Lou Reed & Sterling Morrison (The Velvet Underground)
25. Steve Albini (Big Black et. al.)
24. Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin)
23. Blind Willie Johnson
22. Michael Karoli (Can)
21. Bernard Sumner (Joy Division/New Order)

20. Glenn Mercer & Bill Million (The Feelies)
19. Bo Diddley
18. Rhys Chatham
17. Kurt Cobain (Nirvana)
16. Glenn Branca
15. Prince
14. Jack White (The White Stripes)
13. Ron Asheton (The Stooges)
12. Leadbelly
11. Chuck Berry

10. Robert Fripp (King Crimson et. al.)
9. George Harrison (The Beatles)
7. Eddie Hazel (Funkadelic)
4. Kevin Shields (My Bloody Valentine)
1. Jimi Hendrix

That's what I think. Makes you wanna light your Fender on fire, huh?

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