Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Mount Rushmore: Rock Guitarists

For the 2nd installment of my periodic series in which I select who/what I think are the 4 ultimate in a given category, I'm focusing on rock guitarists. To me, the four guitarists listed below are hard to top when it comes to style and influence. After each artist are just some of their songs that I feel are essential listening.

1. Jimi Hendrix-Purple Haze, All Along the Watchtower, Crosstown Traffic, Manic Depression, and Fire

2. Chuck Berry- Sweet Little Sixteen, Johnny B. Goode, Oh Baby Doll, Back In the U.S.A., and Too Much Monkey Business

3. Eric Clapton- Sunshine of Your Love (as a member of Cream), Sea of Joy (as a member of Blind Faith), Bad Love, Layla and Bell Bottom Blues (the latter two as the leader of Derek and the Dominoes)

4. Eddie Van Halen- Runnin' With the Devil, Panama, Everybody Wants Some, Finish What Ya Started, and his work on Michael Jackson's Beat It

Which four musicians would you put on your "Mount Rushmore" of rock guitarists?


JohnH985 said...

Richard Thompson. Not that well known, but when you read interviews with a lot of musicians his name pops up as an influence.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Davy Knowles. He's only 22. Remember the name.....

Jamie said...

I'm good with Jimi, EC, and of course my idol, Eddie, but I'd swap good ol Chuck out for someone else. I think Prince is underrated as a guitarist, and he can play and sing at the same time (unlike my favorite blues god, B.B.) so I'll go with Prince.

Rich Meyer said...

I can agree with Chuck, Jimi and Eddie, but I think Clapton is probably the most overrated performer (even beating out Springsteen and the Grateful Dead). He's kind of like Nickelback - you hear one of his songs, and you've heard them all.

My Top Four, ideally, would be:

Alex Lifeson of Rush, whom I think is the single most talented guitar player alive today.

Roger Steen of the Tubes, a very underrated guitar player who can handle anything from the Beatles to "South Pacific".

Eddie Van Halen, for the obvious reasons.

Chuck Berry, again for obvious reasons.

If I could fit another on there, then I'd put Frank Zappa next to Chuck. The only reason he's not up there to begin with is that even he admitted that he's a virtuoso only with his own material.

emily said...

Dick Dale for sure.

If you've ever seen Jack White perform live it's incredible.

Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton I think are unquestionables.

Janet said...

Jimmy Page, of course :-)

Malcolm said...

JohnH985: Although I don't know much about Richard Thompson, I have heard that he is well respected by his loyal fan base and within the music community. So what other 3 guitarists would you put up on your Mt. Rushmore?

Barbara: Welcome back! Davy Knowles must be a bad dude if you are already putting him on your Mt. Rushmore. Who are the other 3 guitarists that you would put up there with him?

Jamie: Thanks for taking part. Prince is an outstanding choice! Because he can do so many things, it's easy for some to forget that he is a first-rate guitar player. For anyone who doubts his guitar talents, I would tell them to listen to "Let's Go Crazy" for starters.

Rich: Even when I don't agree, I love it when someone calls out someone/something for being overrated. You better be careful what you say about Springsteen though... Barbara (aka Layla) will come and getcha. :-)

I used to not be able to stand Rush until a few years ago. One song that I can listen to over and over is "Limelight" and a big reason for that is the guitar work of Alex Lifeson.

Emily: Dick Dale is a superb choice on your part! "Misirlou" is one of the all-time great instrumentals.

Janet: It's hard to argue anyone putting Jimmy Page on their Mt. Rushmore of rock guitarists. Who are the other 3 guitar players that you feel deserve to be up there with him?

jamie said...

what's next? drummers? singers??? this is fun.

Anonymous said...

My dad always said Prince could have been the next Hendrix if he wanted to....he didn't.

As for my Top 4:

Hendrix for sure at #1. complete no brainer there.

I'd also add Stevie Ray Vaughn (king of the blues), Kirk Hammett (don't think anyone can shred as hard as he does), and Slash.

Can I have more people on my Rushmore? If so, I'd add Tom Morello, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, Ron Asheton, and Tommy Ionne.

Basically, there are way too many good guitar players.

Malcolm said...

Jamie: I'm glad you enjoyed this post. Yes, I will be doing more music-related Mt. Rushmores in the future. For the next one, I'm leaning toward a movie-related topic though. I should have it up either this week or next.

Dane: I thought I had seen your comments, but I missed them. I agree with you and your dad. He could have been the next Hendrix, but didn't want to.

You made some good choices for your Mt. Rushmore. Adding four more means you will have a lot of chiseling and sculpting to do.

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