FTIL 4 – Greatest Guitarists

I definitely have Type-A, MSE (math, science  and engineering) oriented brain.  As a business partner of mine wrote in his blog, I feel more comfortable with numbers and hard science than words or art.  But even my closest friends would be surprised to know that I do have interest in other than numbers – olive oil, wine, and guitars for example.  Yes guitars – no I do not play one (I do play piano but yet again, that’s for another post).  But I do own one that was played by Bruce Springsteen and signed by him and his E Street Band members.  So when the Rolling Stone magazine recently published an article on 100 greatest guitarists of all time, I read with a keen interest.  For the most part, I agree with their rankings, at least the top 4…

1)      Jimi Hendrix – good thing he broke his ankle during repelling training while enlisted in the Army, otherwise we may have never known the great one.

2)      Eric Clapton – many would agree that there are two Claptons, pre-Cream and post-Cream.  Both awesome with sense of simplicity and style.

3)      Jimmy Page – Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin, ‘nuff said.

4)      Keith Richards – the immortal.  When he riffs, it literally cuts you.  If you listen to Satisfaction long enough, you bleed…

…but I take an exception to the fact that Carlos Santana is #20.  Number 20?!?   Now, I may be biased by my SF bay area roots, but what were the editors thinking?  Never mind he attributed much of his exploratory style of combining blues, African rhythm and modern jazz to doing tons of acid in the 60’s, but Carlos (Mr. Santana) was a pioneer, collaborator and a linguist (he coined the term Latin psychedelia), not to mention being a mentor to other influential musicians like Prince (or the artist formally known as Prince, whatever…)

In my opinion, Carlos Santana definitely belongs in top 5 of the guitarists of all time.  What are your thoughts?  Let the debate begin….


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