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Rolling Stone mag. greatest guitarist list

9/7/2003 11:46 AM
Mike O
Rolling Stone mag. greatest guitarist list
I'm sure that this list is going to create some interesting reading.  
Mike O
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9/7/2003 9:10 PM

Not a BAD list, as long as they don't consider that it is in order from best on down. Gatton and EVH at 63 and 70....Cobain up there in the top 20? Naw...can't be in order. I'm sure they've left out a lot of killer jazzers, country, classical and assorted cultural players...but it IS Rolling Stone mag, after all.  
9/7/2003 9:29 PM

Upon further IS a bad list. Where's Chet? And does being associated with Satriani's G3 automatically exclude one? Hmmm...they think Joni Mitchell has better guitar chops, I guess than Satch, Vai, E. Johnson...or any of those. Interesting. Lucky for me, I don't take that rag seriously.  
9/8/2003 2:47 AM
It's pretty obvious that they just took the musical styles they could think of, listed the top guys in each style, and then arranged them based on how they thought they ranked in those styles, and let their opinions of those styles affect how they then did the overall ranking. This is also the main reason everyone disagrees with this so completely, we all have a different ranking of the musical styles and that colors how we see them. To a punk rocker, who is greater than Johnny Ramone? To a blues guy, how can Buddy Guy be so low? In the end the effect of the style influence can obviously be seen by the cult of classic rock leading to Jimmy being first overall, and the ranking of everybody who ever played guitar in the Allman Bros, or near them for that matter. The critical distate for metal however leads to an astonishingly low rank for Angus Young, the absence of Ted Nugent (a critically lampooned player who wrote awful lyrics, but some of the most memorably hard rock riffs ever), an oft-mentioned rank in the 70's for Van Halen, and the absence of all those instrumental and shred guys such as Vai, Malmsteen etc.  
All the players listed were or are influental and talented in their style. They did neglect quite a few talented players, but that always happen when you make a list. The assertion that they can then rank these people absolutely based on their abilities relative to a style, and by a heirarchy of styles is completely foolish, I agree. How we view the technical merits of the various styles is basically how we all are going to disagree with this.  
But Angus barely making the list, come on? ;-)  
9/8/2003 6:03 AM
Steve A.

    Another list, eh? I don't think that the relative ranking is as important as just making the list so don't feel bad for Angus. As for the people who didn't make the list, well, they can always get a job at McDonald's (just kidding!)  
    But rather dwell on the bad points of the list, I think it behooves all of us to make sure that we are familiar with everybody on it. Not that we have to like them or buy their albums, but we should acquaint ourselves with their playing to make sure we are not missing something of value.  
    While I'm familiar with all of the "dinosaurs" on the list (I was a big fan of John Fahey in 1966- anybody else here heard of him? ;) ) I guess I need to check out some of the youngsters on the list (besides Derek Trucks who is probably the youngest).  
Steve Ahola  
P.S. Lou Reed at Number 52? I didn't even know that he played guitar... Perhaps they were thinking of Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner on his "Rock and Roll Animal" record?
9/8/2003 1:38 PM
name dropping sells magazines.  
What percetage of the general population are aware of Richard Thompson or Freddy King or Marc Ribot?  
These lists are so stupid, like it's a measure of talent or commitment. Clapton, Hendrix , Page and Beck always end up near the top of every poll, due in no small part to classic rock stations playing their stuff constantly, and they're prototypical guitar heroes.
9/8/2003 1:48 PM
Mark Hammer
When it's a slow week in the news, Time and Newsweek and other equivalent magazines around the world will generate run "The mysteries of the brain" or "The tragedy of Alzheimers" as cover stories. The articles are sitting in a file somewhere, ready to run at a moment's notice. The stories generally lack depth, cogency, or any real sense of history, and are simply intended to tap into a guaranteed minimum-criterion readership. I looked at the "list" and think this is probably a similar kind of story. The same way middle-aged folk who never buy Time or Newsweek can be pretty much guaranteed to have a cover story on losing your mind attract their attention, Rolling Stone can pretty much guarantee that idiots lie myself will see "100 greatest guitarists" and think, "Oh, yeah, this I gotta see". You will note that there is really no lead-in overview before they hit the list.  
Don't you wish that regularly-published periodicals would, for one, just come out with an issue that says "Hey folks, not much to print this issue, so it's shorter and thinner, but we dropped the price for this issue, so we hope you don't mind too much. We'll be back full strength next ish."  
I have my Woodstock issue of Rolling Stone at home, and the content starts on page 2 and the only reason it ends a page before the last is for the subscription form. Nowadays, when I condescend to pick it up, I have to thumb through at least 20 pages of advertising to even find the table of contents. What used to be the Washington Post of youth culture is now GQ and Vogue rolled into one.

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