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100 Greatest Guitarists

They built their own guitars, stabbed speaker cones with pencils, shattered instruments and eardrums — all in search of new ways to make the guitar cry, scream, whisper, shout and moan


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They built their own guitars, stabbed speaker cones with pencils, shattered instruments and eardrums — all in search of new ways to make the guitar cry, scream, whisper, shout and moan. And when that wasn’t enough, they turned up the volume.

Compiled by David Fricke and the editors. Written by Ben Edmonds, Jenny Eliscu, David Fricke, Rob Kemp, Greg Kot, Joe Levy, Tom Moon, Parke Puterbaugh, Mac Randall, Rob Sheffield.

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  • Azza

    Any list that has Jeff Beck way down at No. 14 is a crappy one

  • Hmmmmm

    no. 86) Tommy Iommi? You didn’t even get his name right.

  • Kip Keino

    As a gigging blues/R&B/rock guitarist since mid-teens in 1965, I’m sorry to say two of my guitar heroes were not even mentioned. Chet Atkins was a true master and giant influence. Similarly, Albert King took guitar solos to spiritual bluesy realms which most of the guitarists on the list couldn’t hold a candle to. Ask your top twenty guitarists who are among their top influences, and you’ll hear those two names. It’s a flaccid list, guys.

  • Roger Dat

    You dipshits wouldn’t know a great guitarist if your life depended on it. Your magazine and it’s writers are living off the bacteria which long died when it’s dogshit host dried up and turned white. Putting Vernon Ried, Tom Morello, the retard from RHCP, and the LOSER of the Millennium Cobain ahead of Edward Van Halen? Obviously it was a ploy to generate controversy because nobody can be that stupid. The Edge? Really? Ever heard of Alex Lifeson, Zakk Wylde, Dimebag Darrel, or Slash? Most, if not ALL of these guys would call EVH a huge influence on their playing.

    The fact that Joe’s Satriani, Yngvie Malmsteen and Steve Vai aren’t in there says you don’t know a thing about the evolution of guitar playing. This is especially true given the fact that you put Hendrix as number one which would indicate the scale was tipped towards electric rock and roll guitar players. Satriani put instrumental guitar albums on the map leading the way for countless successful solo guitar players.

    Leaving all of the main stream KNOWN guitar players aside, the guy who eats everybody’s lunch is Guthrie Govan. His name not making this list invalidates the entire attempt for any sort of validation, ‘greatest of all time’.

Southern Skies Motel by Farfetch'd


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