View From the Bottom Man

This whole business of Christmas gifts leaves me uncomfortable, but fuck me, right?  I will get them and damnit, I will give them.  It’s like voting.

One gift this year is a subscription to Rolling Stone magazine.  Great! I exclaim,  I can read Hunter Thompson every week!  Whoops.  That shut down the room.

I  am handed the issue with the “100 greatest guitarists of all time,” a challenge to my capacity as a cynic and a musician to comment.  Fortunately, I’m already blind drunk .  Besides, everybody has already heard my biases and stopped listening.  Including me.

Here’s the RS top 10:

1.  Jimi Hendrix

2.   Eric Clapton

3.   Jimmy Page

4.   Keith Richards

5.   Jeff Beck

6.   B.B. King

7.  Chuck Berry

8.  Eddie Van Halen

9.  Duane Allman

10. Pete Townshend

Wrong.

Also wrong: David Gilmour (14), Neil Young (17), Chet Atkins (21), Brian May (26), and the absolute wrongest: Mark Knopfler (44).

Page is the sloppiest, least original guitarist in the bunch.  Van Halen is at best a technician.  Duane Allman was very, very limited, great at what he did, but he didn’t do that much. Gilmour is a top-tenner, as is Knopfler.  Brian May was fucking brilliant.  Neil Young isn’t even a guitarist, especially compared to Chet Atkins.

Hendrix was the greatest guitarist of his era.  You really shouldn’t compare eras in guitarists any more than, say, major league pitchers.   Was Cy Young a better pitcher than Nolan Ryan?  Walter Johnson vs. Sandy Koufax?  Stop this silly shit.

Hey – it’s all fun and opinion, right?  And me, I’m just the bass player anyway.  That’s my 1967 Rickenbacker 4005.  I also play a 1967 Guild Starfire, with pre-Humbucking pick-ups, and a fretless Gibson Ripper.  That Rick model was discontinued in the 90s.  People kill for them today.  I would, too.

I’d be pleased beyond words to play with any of these guys.

And when they poll for the top 10 bassists, I better finish up there with them.  But I won’t.

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8 Responses to View From the Bottom Man

  1. ya' gotta' guessit says:

    One could simply give Hendrix all of the odd numbers, and Beck all of the even – out to about 20, or so. Then start listing those other guys.

    “You make music. You are not a musician.”
    (“Tous les Matins du Monde”)

  2. Piles says:

    The list was compiled by professional musicians, whose identities are revealed at the beginning of the article. I’m not saying that makes this list “correct,” because as you point out, it’s all opinion anyway, but it gives it credibility as opposed to some popularity poll from readers.

    We all have our personal favorites. I’m stung that Robin Trower isn’t mentioned.

  3. julesagray says:

    What no Stevie Ray Vaughn in the top 10??? No Buddy Guy there neither? maybe they got Buddy Guy and Buddy Hackett confused, therefore, ignoring Mr. Guy.

  4. Hugh Bris says:

    John McClaughlin is like #65. Get real. Even Jeff Beck admired his skills and creativity.

  5. Ted End says:

    If you like your guitar so much, why do you leave it that? Doesn’t it fall whenever you open the door?

  6. noneemoose@gmail.com says:

    For starters, Keith Richards, Chuck Berry, and Pete Townshend dont belong in the top 40, nevermind the top 10.

    Jules is right. A top 10 without SRV, is no list at all. And I’d throw Robert Cray into the mix, just to cause trouble.

    I love Knopfler. But I saw him trade with Clapton, and he looked like a trombone player. Just sayin.

    And Squatty, you’re dead wrong about Skydog.

    I nominate Steve Howe to the top 10. And I don’t even like him.

  7. Squathole says:

    The problem with guys like Allman and SRV is that they’re country folk whose hands are suited for milking cows, picking cotton, and shucking corn. As such, their strength is acoustic media. Plug ’em in and they disappoint. I played with teenagers more skilled than Duane Allman, and SRV had all the subtlety and grace of a marching band. Post-hazing.

    There. Have I insulted everybody?

    Long live Dave Davies.

  8. Pingback: Your Morning Sift - Florida Social Blog

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