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Hendrix Becomes 50th Greatest Guitarist Of All Time

Updated on May 22, 2014

Who Is The Greatest?

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Jim McCarty - Mystery Train - America's Clapton and Page combinedJim McCarty - King of Boogie & Blues & Rock & Heavey MetalJim McCarty - 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, 2000s - best guitar for more than half a century.Jim McCarty - The only guitarist Hendrix would allow on recordJim McCarty - Cactus (America's version of Led Zeppelin)
Jim McCarty - Mystery Train - America's Clapton and Page combined
Jim McCarty - Mystery Train - America's Clapton and Page combined
Jim McCarty - King of Boogie & Blues & Rock & Heavey Metal
Jim McCarty - King of Boogie & Blues & Rock & Heavey Metal
Jim McCarty - 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, 2000s - best guitar for more than half a century.
Jim McCarty - 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, 2000s - best guitar for more than half a century.
Jim McCarty - The only guitarist Hendrix would allow on record
Jim McCarty - The only guitarist Hendrix would allow on record
Jim McCarty - Cactus (America's version of Led Zeppelin)
Jim McCarty - Cactus (America's version of Led Zeppelin)

Many Others Have Surpassed His Abilities

One of my daughters pointed out an old (2003) listed of 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time posted by Rolling Stone Magazine. I haven't read Rolling Stone since Dr. Hook was on its cover. In any event, I was about to throw up with their list. Readers comments seemed to show more knowledge of what is great and what is not.

Obviously, Rolling Stone's list was to generate traffic and controversy. Its list is also flawed because were they considering ALL guitarists of ALL forms of music or just rock and blues? It seems they toss in the old guys like Hubert Sumlin with 'new' guys like the wretched Curt Cobain just to stir controversy. The old blues guys, and I wouldn't include Buddy Guy in this category, deserve their own list because many of them were more quality players, albeit blues, than some of the nonsense players they put on there.

What I did was strip the old guys, or pure blues guys from that list. I also took Chuck Berry and Bo Diddly off as they deserve their own category. Stephen Stills? Joni Mitchell? What were they thinking? So I put my foot down and I created my own 50 Greatest Rock Guitarists Of All Time So Far list.

My only reason for choosing these guys (no girls here, how come?) was not that they were a great influence or they did this or that, or they sold this many records, whatever. My only reason is because I like their playing than most -- that's it. Nothing in depth.

Rolling Stone and the mass media always portrays Jimi Hendrix as the number one guitarist. Why? Because he was an innovator? Maybe. Because he's dead? Most likely. Because that's what everybody wants to hear? Yeah. Well, sorry. Hendrix I like, but he's not number one. He's number 50 and he better get used to it.

Why did I stop at 50? I couldn't list 100 of them because there ain't 100, there's only about 63. That's it. Well here's my list, read it and let your guitar gently weep.

50 Greatest Rock Guitarists Of All Time So Far

  1. Jim McCarty (Cactus, Rockets, Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels)
  2. Rory Gallagher (Taste and solo)
  3. Robin Trower (Procul Harem and solo)
  4. Ted Nugent (Amboy Dukes, Damn Yankess, and solo)
  5. Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin, The Firm)
  6. Mick Box (Uriah Heep)
  7. Mike Pinera (Iron Butterfly, Classic Rock Allstar Band, Cactus, Alice Cooper)
  8. Eric Clapton (Yardbirds, Cream, Derek & Dominoes, Solo)
  9. Len Tuckey (Suzi Quatro)
  10. Steve Howe (Yes)
  11. Pat Travers
  12. Ed VanHalen
  13. Glenn Buxton (Alice Cooper)
  14. Mark Farner (Grand Funk and solo)
  15. Duane Allman (Allman Bothers)
  16. Michael Schenker (UFO and solo)
  17. Elliot Easton (Cars and the New Cars)
  18. Walter Becker (Steely Dan)
  19. Chris DeGarmo (Queensryche)
  20. Robbie Van Leeuwen (Shocking Blue)
  21. Tommy Shaw (Styx, Shaw Blades, Damn Yankees, solo)
  22. Ritchi Blackmore (Rainbow, Deep Purple) REMOVED - see update below!
  23. Dickey Betts (Allman Brothers Band)
  24. Jeff Healey
  25. Drake Levin (Paul Revere and the Raiders)
  26. Dick Wagner (Ursa Major, Alice Cooper, Bossmen, solo)
  27. Paul Kossoff (Free, Backstreet Crawler)
  28. Freddie Weller (Paul Revere and the Raiders)
  29. G E Smith (Hall and Oates)
  30. Mick Taylor (Rolling Stones)
  31. Mick Ralphs (Bad Company)
  32. Jeff Beck (Yardbirds, Beck Bogert and Appice, Solo)
  33. Billy Gibbons ( Z Z Top)
  34. Joe Walsh (James Gang, Eagles, Solo)
  35. Leslie West (Mountain)
  36. Slash (Guns N Roses)
  37. Steve Vai
  38. Peter Frampton
  39. Brian May (Queen)
  40. Craig Chaquico (Jefferson Starship)
  41. Denny Diaz (Steely Dan)
  42. Robby Kreiger (Doors)
  43. Steve Lukather (Toto, solo and session)
  44. Steve Miller
  45. Kenny Wayne Shepherd
  46. George Harrison (Beatles, solo)
  47. Alvin Lee (Ten Tears After, solo)
  48. Carlos Santana
  49. David Gilmour (The Pink Floyd)
  50. Jimi Hendix (Jimi Hendrix Experience)

Ritchie Blackmore Re-visited

UPDATE FEB 26, 2011.

Wow! I have watched several videos of Richie Blackmore live either with Deep Purple or Rainbow. I have never been so disappointed in my life. On record, the guy sounds great, but live he sounds like a guy who has no rhythm or talent. I'm gonna have to move him off my list of 50 of the greatest guitarists and move everybody else up one notch. Now I have only 49 until I re-review my list. Sorry folks!

Alic Cooper Had 4 Great Guitarists

He Plays Outside The Box - Mick Box

© 2009 Rob Lattin


Submit a Comment

  • Rob Lattin profile image

    Rob Lattin 6 years ago from Born in Chicago, now I'm in Mostly Michigan

    Link Wray? I wish I knew. I guess he fell into the cracks of time that many great guitarists fall into. One day, if you mention Hendrix, people will say "Jimi Who?"

  • profile image

    Bob Black 6 years ago

    where is Link Wray?

  • profile image

    Rob Lattin 7 years ago

    Tis true that a list is just our own personal favorites. I don't see Nugent as a copycat of anyone except maybe Jim McCarty. I'll have to listen to Satriani some more. Stevie Ray Vaughan is good, just not one of my favorites. I think I'd put Johnny Winter before him.

  • profile image

    Paul_Steads 7 years ago

    I like your list especially since you have Edward Van Halen there. I would have added Stevie Ray Vaughan, Gary Moore, Marty Friedman, Dimebag Darrel and Joe Satriani.

  • profile image

    Jimbo 7 years ago

    Wait, I just noticed Stevie Ray Vaughn isn't on here. I like him, so I'd have him on my own list.

  • profile image

    Jimbo 7 years ago

    I like this list. I'd put Van Halen at the top, but of course any list is a matter of opinion. But I'm glad you have Joe Walsh and Slash up there, as well as Chris DeGarmo and Ted Nugent. I also find it funny that Satriani isn't there at all! I like him a lot (have his CDs), he's technically excellent and an all-around decent dude, but he doesn't necessarily have to be on an all-time greats list.

  • profile image

    Jdub 7 years ago

    I have to agree with the way your list is set up.Too many of these greatest listings are people that are hyped by record companies ect. for sales.Robin Trower,Eddie Van Halen,Jeff Beck and Duane Allmen to mention a few are almost always under rated.


  • profile image

    greg 7 years ago

    Wow Ted Nugent 4th place?? The guy was a copycat who had 1 decent album. I can name 100 greater guitarists then him.


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