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Navy Vet.

The greatest of all time....

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Never ceases to amaze me at the lists of the greatest guitarist of all time.  Seems Hendrix is the default choice for number 1.  Though I have never placed him in my top ten of favorite guitarist. I have no greatest list, only my favorite list because I don't believe there is a greatest of all time.  Most names  on my list the average person has never heard of. 

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Hendrix has become sainted it seems. There were plenty of other players out there in his day that knew more. I suppose his big sound was a also a part of it. I liked him, and had copies of Ladyland & BOG, but yes there were always other players that got more of my attention. 

A lot of the time I am unaware of even the better known players of today. I dont have a list either, but if I were to make one, Steve Kimmock and Jimmy Herring would figure in it somewhere. 

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I can only listen to Jimi every couple of years because his playing was SO powerful and truly otherworldly. I don't think anyone since him has or has had that same mojo. To my mind, Jimi exemplifies the concept of no impediment betwee the player and the instrument. To be clear, I am not a Jimi worshipper or sycophant but, I am able to recognize what I consider to be genius. As far as my favorites, both Jimmy Herring and Roy Buchanan are among them. Others would be Allan Holdsworth, Al DiMeola, Alex Lifeson, Joe Pass, Larry Carlton, John Lennon, George Harrison, Skip James, T-Bone Walker, and Robert Fripp. I only list ten because I could fill a page with guitarists that I love and admire. As far as today's faves Merciful, I have to nod toward Greg Koch and Eric Gales. I agree with you, Navy Vet....there is no greatest but, there are innumerable favorites! Peace, brothers!

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Roy,  Albert Collins,  Lonnie Mack,  Duane Allman, Keith Richard, Roy Clark,  Terry Kath,  Pete Townshend,  Carl Perkins, Jimmy Johnson, James Burton.

And a whole bunch more. 

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I don’t get this greatest guitarist of all time thing,all the usual suspects in the lists are all phenomenal at what they do,they all contribute their own unique way of showcasing their skills on a guitar,but everyone has their own favourites who aren’t on any lists,i still listen to these countdowns on radio stations and enjoy the music but sometimes i think there are others who i listen to who are just as good and don’t get the recognition they deserve.

I love rock and blues guitar but there are so many other genres of music out there that it’s almost impossible to pigeonhole anything that anyone with a guitar plays,i just love listening to people who have a talent and can express themselves with a guitar.

Edited by derek R
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So, derek R...let us in on who some of your favorites are! I think we all agree that there is no "greatest of all time". Personally, I'd be interested to know who you like so that I can suss 'em out if I've not heard them yet! I have got introduced to a lot of great new music on this forum! And, Navy Vet....thumbs up to Terry Kath and Albert Collins! You seem to have great taste! Also, Thank You for your service!

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17 minutes ago, G Mac said:

So, derek R...let us in on who some of your favorites are! I think we all agree that there is no "greatest of all time". Personally, I'd be interested to know who you like so that I can suss 'em out if I've not heard them yet! I have got introduced to a lot of great new music on this forum! And, Navy Vet....thumbs up to Terry Kath and Albert Collins! You seem to have great taste! Also, Thank You for your service!

Albert Collins blew my mind. The cat could get sounds from that magic thumb  that few could get. Chicago was never the same after Terry died. Terry Kath may be the most underrated guitarist of all time. Young folks today say Terry who.? The first time I heard 25 or 6 to 4 on the radio way back when I had to find out who was playing that guitar. I found out. 

Jimmy Johnson. This cat is one of the smoothest I ever heard. When I bought Etta James album  Tell Mama, one of my favorite albums of all time, and heard Jimmy Johnson I was a fan for life.  “Now Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers” and by god they do know how to pick a song or two. 

Edited by Navy Vet.
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Somebody once asked Jimi who he thought was the best guitarist in the world and he named Terry Kath. Hey, Navy Vet...do you remember that incredible feedback/improv extravaganza of his on the Chicago Transit Authority album? Man so good, and all on a Fender Twin as I recall with no effects...wow!

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Oh yeah! I had forgotten what it was called. When I first heard that album, I was like eight or nine and I didn't get it but, in my twenties, I had much the same reaction as you! That's still my favorite Chicago record to this day! I'm a Man, South California Purples, Beginnings, Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?...all of it! Thanks for bringing back the memories, man!

Edited by G Mac
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19 hours ago, Navy Vet. said:

My favorite of all time is Roy Buchanan 

one of my biggest n all time influences. there hasn't been a gig in 45 yrs where he wasn't on my mind and I've tried to channel some of that.  

Duane, Dickey,  Roy ...  Warren Haynes,  Derek Trucks ...

 

Edited by Karloff
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Les Paul never seems to be on the lists and he was a great player. If people looked at his work they'd see that Bing Crosby hired him and for such a clean sound he was fast. Plus he probably gave more to modern music than anyone.  If you have to ask, research him. He was no fool and constantly tried to improve equipment all his life, right up til the end.  A guitarists guitarist. Notice that his P90's are different here in this clip. 

 

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15 minutes ago, Hall said:

I always enjoyed Danny Gatton.

Danny Gatton was another extremely talented and very underrated guitarist. He electrified audiences with his style and skills.

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I do not subscribe to the "best of all time " principal.  There are just to many  phenomenal players of any instrument and every type of music, is it fair to compare any rock or blues player to Segovia? Julian Bream? Peep Romero? 

Then there is the issue of time,  Hendrix like Charlie Christian died very young,  too young. So we only had a glimpse of the potential they had to develop.  But I would argue there is another dynamic to popular music and rock, it is too easy to become type cast.  Clapton is a perfect example, he left The Yardbirds, Blindfaith,  Derek and the  the Dominoes,  and John Mayhall always at what could have been perceived as the peak of those bands fame. 

He prevented himself from being type cast into what producers wanted to project. Hendrix I would argue was a victim of his management,  they wanted to milk the cash cow while the udder was full. He was the image of the psychedelic 60s rock,  he showed us glimpses of the rock jazz fusion music he was tending towards. 

His fame came fast,  right on the heels of the Beatles Sergeant Peppers album,  he personified acid rock. And that's what his fans wanted to see on stage, but with The Band of Gypsies live recordings he showed he was more than capable of going beyond Purple Haze. 

I see a stifled  genius, . fruit picked before it ripened . 

Edited by jaxson50

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3 hours ago, 01GT eibach said:

My personal opinion for "greatest of all time" is Steve Howe

Let's expand that a bit (these are all just my opinions) ...

"greatest of all time" is Steve Howe  ... The guy can do anything, plays brilliantly, and has created a ridiculously awesome body of music.

"best rock guitarist all time" is Jeff Beck  (with Jimmy Page as a very tight second) -- this category is also pretty much the same as "my favorite guitarist of all time"

 "best hard rock guitarist of all time" is  Eddie Van Halen  (with Alex Lifeson and Buck Dharma  sharing second place)

"best metal guitarist of all time" is Randy Rhoads  (with Nuno Bettencourt in second) ... RR had only those two albums with Ozzy, but that was enough

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There were two guitarists that Jimi said admitted better than himself, Buddy Guy and Terry Kath. In fact, the first time Jimi saw Terry he is quoted as saying, "Wow! He's better than me."

Jimi was a great guitarist, gave us the 5 position strat switch, and has been canonized. For rock guitar I think Terry Kath and Jeff Beck are better.

The best? That's a matter of taste I suppose.

Insights and incites by Notes

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15 minutes ago, Notes_Norton said:

There were two guitarists that Jimi said admitted better than himself, Buddy Guy and Terry Kath. In fact, the first time Jimi saw Terry he is quoted as saying, "Wow! He's better than me."

Jimi was a great guitarist, gave us the 5 position strat switch, and has been canonized. For rock guitar I think Terry Kath and Jeff Beck are better.

The best? That's a matter of taste I suppose.

Insights and incites by Notes

Ain’t no best. It’s all subjective, all a matter of opinion. I will say Terry Kath was a once in a lifetime guitarist, as are many more. But it’s not just about talent. No doubt talent is important, but without perseverance and dedication, it will not take you to the promised land  on just talent alone. 

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In historical significance, so to speak, Les Paul  deserves to be Number 1. He was the First who addressed the guitar company Gibson with the purpose to begin mass production of electric guitars. That was 1945 or 46 year, it seems. But there was a misunderstanding at that moment. He was not believed that this “stick” he brought  would sound [blink] [confused] [lol].

I.e. he overtook the time. Only at the end of the 50th year, Fender released the first mass series of that "stick" their Telecaster and there was a success in the music world. So, Fender became as a number first. But as the first, of course, could be Les Paul's model else in 1946. Here is Imelda May & Jeff Beck  on  LP guitar- How High The Moon

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vt-lKsOz9H0

Edited by Valeriy

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16 hours ago, Valeriy said:

In historical significance, so to speak, Les Paul  deserves to be Number 1. He was the First who addressed the guitar company Gibson with the purpose to begin mass production of electric guitars. That was 1945 or 46 year, it seems. But there was a misunderstanding at that moment. He was not believed that this “stick” he brought  would sound [blink] [confused] [lol].

I.e. he overtook the time. Only at the end of the 50th year, Fender released the first mass series of that "stick" their Telecaster and there was a success in the music world. So, Fender became as a number first. But as the first, of course, could be Les Paul's model else in 1946. Here is Imelda May & Jeff Beck  on  LP guitar- How High The Moon

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vt-lKsOz9H0

 

The respect for Les is unquestioned.

But you seem to be conflating at least 3 events and ending up with false conclusions. 

 

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Hello, merciful-evans!

Like jaxson50 and others I do not subscribe to the "best of all time " principal.  My list includes both Steve Howe (Yes) and John Lennon and other good guitarists. But I saw the post from LarryUK about Les Paul and remembered, I read an article about him, it seems in Rolling Stones magazine, that story I said. When Les Paul visited Gibson in 1945 and he was with his guitar i.e. with LP model. I.e. this guitar could be appeared in the music world before Telecaster.

Thus, if we can’t choose one guitarist musically as “best of all time”, event history can be of help. And with this in mind,  Les Paul, probably,  may well be a candidate for this Number 1, I think.

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