Rolling Stone Magazine – 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time – Part Two

This music blog post topic requires two-parts. I am on an ongoing quest to see and hear as many of the living 100 greatest guitarists perform live. I love the hunt. As I mentioned in Part One i have seen 40 of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time thus far (46 years of concerts).

The special collector’s edition of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time is the second packaging of the 2011 list. Rolling Stone Magazine issued this list with four collector covers in December 2011. Here are the other three…

Rolling Stone Magazine first compiled a list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time in 2003. The idea came from Senior Editor David Fricke

2003, I proposed to my editors a special issue devoted to the best and most influential guitarists in rock. They suggested a number – 100 – and the idea of ranking them. I came up with the names, based on my life-long love of the instrument and those who play it. One hundred proved to be too small for the job – my working list of the worthy ran closer to 500 – and the running order was frustrating work. In the end, I looked at it this way: Jimi Hendrix was Number One in every way; the other 99 were all Number Two.

The original inspiration was a celebration of the guitar and how it changed the world – and me. Everyone has their own version of this list. This was mine, in 2003.

– David Fricke, 2011

51. Johnny Marr

52. Clarence White (1 Time)

53. Otis Rush

54. Joe Walsh (1 Time)

55. John Lennon

56. Albert Collins

57. Rory Gallagher

58. Peter Green

59. Robbie Robertson

60. Ron Asheton

61. Dicky Betts (1 Time)

62. Robert Fripp (1 Time)

63. Johnny Winter (1 Time)

64. Duane Eddy

65. Slash

66. Leslie West (2 Times)

67. T-Bone Walker

68. John McLaughlin (2 Times)

69. Richard Thompson

70. Jack White

71. Robert Johnson

72. John Frusciante

73. Kurt Cobain

74. Dick Dale (3 Times)

75. Joni Mitchell

76. Robby Krieger (3 Times)

77. Willie Nelson (1 Time)

78. John Fahey

79. Mike Campbell (2 Times)

80. Buddy Holly

81. Lou Reed (1 Time)

82. Nels Cline (1 Time)

83. Eddie Hazel

84. Joe Perry (2 Times)

85. Andy Summers (1 Time)

86. J Mascis

87. James Hetfield (1 Time)

88. Carl Perkins

89. Bonnie Raitt (2 Times)

90. Tom Verlaine

91. Dave Davies

92. Dimebag Darrell

93. Paul Simon (1 Time)

94. Peter Buck (1 Time)

95. Roger McGuinn (2 Times)

96. Bruce Springsteen (4 Times)

97. Steve Jones

98. Alex Lifeson

99. Thurston Moore

100. Lindsey Buckingham

10 Replies to “Rolling Stone Magazine – 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time – Part Two”

  1. I know I’m a bit late on both these articles but robby krieger at no.76 and the edge ahead of rory gallagher!!! Sorry but rory gallagher was probably 1 of the greatest guitarists ireland produced. No competition between them both!!!


    1. I appreciate your sentiment about Rory Gallagher. I never got to see him perform live. I have however, seen Robby Krieger play live three times now. I love his style and what he wrote for The Doors. I think if you compare The Doors blues tracks where Kreiger plays lead like Roadhouse Blues you get a sense of his blues playing. Don’t get me wrong I respect and admire Rory Gallagher. I just can’t attest to a live performance which is my underlying aspect of this article.


  2. There are a lot of good guitarists listed but there are also some that could be questionable as top 100 material. One guitarist I think you left off of this list is George Lynch of Dokken/Lynch Mob. I have seen him live twice myself and every time he delivers on point.


  3. No offense to James Hetfield (I like Metallica’s older stuff), but with such a tight list, I’ve always felt there are other guitarists better fit for Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” lists.

    In my personal opinion, John Mayer could easily take his spot and ranked towards to higher end of the list. Some folks might question this choice of mine and many are quick to judge his personal life from what they see on TV, but usually that comes from people who frankly never give his music a good listen.

    Most particularly, scoffers need to check out his work with John Mayer Trio and also watch his entire “Where The Light Is: Live in L.A.” concert on DVD. There’s a reason like Clapton, Buddy Guy and B.B. King all like him.

    I’d recommend to them to listen to his cover of “Come When I Call” on the “Where The Light Is” concert, or that riff on “Good Love Is On the Way,” or that buttery-smooth guitar work on “I Don’t Trust Myself (With Loving You)–all in the same concert. His versatily and sense of musicianship makes him easily one for the ages. Had he been out in the 60s or 70s, he’d easily be a musical legend today.

    Though, he’s just one of my personal choices. I think several others could’ve been better placed in Hatfield’s place, too, like Robert Cray, Jerry Cantrell, Terry Hath, Tommy Emmanuel, Don Ross or Mike McCready. But I guess they weren’t just going on skill and musicianship, but also influence and widespread recognition, which is probably where Hatfield has the advantage over these others left out.

    Just my own opinion here, though.


  4. Nice to see Joni in there. No arguament about the top spot 🙂 …but why all the dissing of The Edge – poodleheads mixing up musicianship and technique as usual…


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