Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Thousand Miles from Guitar Town

Nothing says December like a list (or two) whether it be a listing of dead celebrities or  timely events that took place over the course of the previous twelve months, lists are essential this time of year.

Originally this was part of a previous post (1000 Guitar Pickers in Guyville)  Being a completist, I couldn't stop at just one list. Plus, it gives me an excuse to use that picture of Jimi Hendrix dressed up as Santa Claus.

The first list is of my personal favorites.   The second list is made up of  famous and obscure guitarists that snobs may frown upon, but I love them dearly.

Here's my "Favorite" top twenty list:
1.    Jimi Hendrix  (I rarely go a day without listening to some Hendrix)                                       
2.    Paul Leary (Butthole Surfers, a beastly buzz saw of evil screeching feedback)
3.    Ron Asheton (Stooges, his influence cuts across generations like a honing knife)                    
4.    Robin Trower (the very definition of sinewy, no one sustains a note longer or better)                                      
5.    Keith Richards (the reason I started listening to rock, only reason I listen to the Stones)                                     
6.    James Burton (an unmatched body of work, a humble and understated professional)                 
7.    Marco Pirroni (Adam Ant, his work with Sinead O'Connor is beautifully sublime)  
8.    Jeff Beck  (Rock my Plimsoul, Beck's Bolero.. an erratic genius, still has the chops)                                              
9.    Stevie Ray Vaughn (Just like Duane Allman, he was a once in a lifetime talent)                            
10.  Robby Krieger (his jazzy leads opened Doors and set a new standard for rock guitarists)                      
11.  Glen Buxton (Alice Cooper, every glam rock guitarist that followed jacked his riffs) R.I.P.
12.  Dick Dale (King of the Surf guitar, used his guitar to imitate the sound of waves, brilliant!)
13.  John Cipollina (Quicksilver, fluid sensous leads, psychedelic rock's premier guitarist)
14.  Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac, brilliant songwriter & guitarist, plagued by mental problems)
15.  Jorma Kaukonen (Jefferson Airplane, blues, folk or rock, his influence is largely forgotten)
16.  Page Hamilton (Helmet, an avalanche of uncompromising badass guitar noise)
17.  Link Wray (so far ahead of his time that he may have been a time traveler) 
18.  Scotty Moore (Elvis Presley, the first truly "rock & roll" guitarist, launched a 1,000 imitators) 
19.  Chris Spedding (never in a big name band, undeniable studio talent, long  overlooked)
20.  Paul Burlison (Rock & Roll Trio,  he invented the fuzz tone and distortion, genius!)

 Guilty Pleasures 
1.    Ted Nugent (can make his guitar  trumpet like a raging bull elephant, right wing nut job)                                           
2.    The Edge- David Evans (developed his own style, association with Bono hurt his legacy) 
3.    Billy Gibbons (his amazing talent is overlooked due to ZZ Top's cartoonish appeal)
4.    Mark Farner (Grand Funk, basically a junk guitarist, king of heavy metal guitar)               
5.    Steve Stevens (Billy Idol, all the flash & trash aside, he was a solid guitarist)         
6.    Mick Jones (Clash, kinda half-assed it, played big sloppy rudimentary riffs)
7.    Steve Jones (Sex Pistols, his arena rock style was part of the joke, cheeky bastard!)
8.    Chris Hayes (Huey Lewis, his work on Heart & Soul earned him a spot on this list)  
9.    David Jenkins (Pablo Cruise, in the 70's nothing said California like Jenkins on guitar)
10.  Marty Walsh (Eddie Money, one album- No Control, one song- Shakin', perfect!)