Greatest Guitarists

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Jimi Hendrix
Soundtrack, Almost Famous
Jimi Hendrix was born on November 27, 1942 in Seattle, Washington, to African-American parents Lucille (Jeter) and James Allen Hendrix. His mother named him John Allen Hendrix and raised him alone while his father, Al Hendrix, was off fighting in World War II. When his mother became sick from alcoholism...
“ The Jimi Hendrix Experience ” - Paul Hamell
Duane Allman
Duane Allman was born in Nashville, Tennessee in November 1946. On Christmas Day in 1960, Duane was given a motorcycle as a gift while his younger brother, Gregg Allman, got a guitar. A few months later, Duane wrecked his motorcycle in an accident, but traded in the spare parts for a guitar of his own...
“ The Allman Brothers Band ” - Paul Hamell
Jimmy Page
Soundtrack, Godzilla
“ Led Zeppelin; The Yardbirds ” - Paul Hamell
“ Van Halen ” - Paul Hamell
Keith Richards
Keith Richards is an internationally recognized iconic figure in contemporary culture and popular music as a singer, guitar player, songwriter, film actor, and public figure. He was voted 10th greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine, and was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989...
“ The Rolling Stones ” - Paul Hamell
Eric Clapton
Soundtrack, Back to the Future
Eric Clapton was born in Ripley, Surrey, England, on March 30, 1945. His real father was a Canadian pilot but he didn't find that out until he was 53. When he was 2 his mother felt she was unable to look after him, so Eric then went to live with his grandparents. When he was 14 he took up the guitar...
“ The Yardbirds; Cream; Blind Faith; Derek and the Dominoes; solo ” - Paul Hamell
Jeff Beck
Jeff Beck was born in Surrey in 1944. He grew up in a suburban street in Carshalton. When he was about 10, he wanted to play the guitar. His mum, however, wanted him to play the piano because she didn't approve of the guitar. When he was in his late teens, he joined "The Tridents" on lead guitar. In 1965...
“ The Yardbirds; solo ” - Paul Hamell
Neil Young
Soundtrack, Philadelphia
Neil Young is one of the most respected and prolific rock/folk guitarists of the late 20th century. Raised in Canada, he first became well-known as a guitarist and occasional vocalist for the band Buffalo Springfield. After the band's breakup, Young became a solo performer. However, he also has spent more than 30 years performing with the super-group Crosby Stills Nash & Young...
“ Buffalo Springfield; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; solo ” - Paul Hamell
Frank Zappa
Composer, Baby Snakes
Of all the qualities that typified Frank Zappa, perhaps the most striking is that he was a paradox. A workaholic perfectionist rock star who eschewed the hippie culture of the 1960s, deploring its conformism, spurious ideals and drug use, Zappa was not only a brilliant rock guitarist but an orchestral composer...
“ The Stooges ” - Paul Hamell
Kirk Hammett
Hammett was born in San Francisco, California on November 18, 1962, to Teofila (Oyao) and Dennis L. Hammett, a merchant seaman. He learned guitar at age 15 and joined Metallica to replace Dave Mustaine in 1982. He has won several Grammys with Metallica and participated in their class action law suit against Napster...
“ Metallica ” - Paul Hamell
Soundtrack, Batman
Prince Rogers Nelson was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Mattie Shaw, a jazz singer and social worker, and John L. Nelson, a lyricist and pianist. His father's stage name was "Prince Rogers". His parents were both from African-American families from Louisiana. They separated during his youth...
Carlos Santana
Soundtrack, Desperado
Carlos Santana is a guitarist, composer, singer and band-leader who helped to shape the concept of "world music" by his experiments with blending many styles of music from a multitude of ethnic sources. He was born Carlos Augusto Alves Santana on July 20, 1947, in Autlán de Navarro, Jalisco, Mexico...
“ Santana ” - Paul Hamell
Mark Knopfler
Soundtrack, Twister
Mark Knopfler recorded his first single at age 16, but it was never released, He started the band Dire Straits in 1977, they were signed to Vertigo Records in 1978 and recorded the album "Dire Straits", which featured their first major hit single, "Sultans of Swing". Their follow-up albums include "Communique" (1979)...
“ Dire Straits ” - Paul Hamell
Brian May
Soundtrack, Moulin Rouge!
Brian May is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential, innovative, technically gifted and recognisable guitarists in the history of rock. He is also a prolific songwriter, responsible for writing or co-writing many international hits with Queen. He was educated at Hampton Grammar School in London...
“ Queen ” - Paul Hamell
Pete Townshend
Born in Chiswick, London just ten days after the German surrender in 1945, Townshend grows up in a typical middle-class home. His parents, Cliff and Betty Townshend, are both musicians, and as a child he accompanies them on dance band tours. Townshend starts playing guitar at 12. He goes to art school and...
“ The Who; solo ” - Paul Hamell
Self, Brüno
Saul Hudson, mainly known as Slash, was born on July 23, 1965, and was raised in Stoke-on-Trent. Both his parents worked in the entertainment business, his mother being a clothing designer (she did some of David Bowie's costumes) and his father being an art director for a record company. When Slash was 11 he moved with his mother to Los Angeles...
“ Guns N' Roses; Velvet Revolver ” - Paul Hamell
Ry Cooder
Music Department, Dead Man Walking
Born in Santa Monica, Ca., Ry Cooder, at the age of four had an accident which left him blind in one eye. He became a bit secluded and began playing the guitar. His biggest influences include Blind Willie Johnson, Arthur "Blind" Blake, Joseph Spence and Curtis Mayfield. Cooder has played on several albums from the Rolling Stones...
Jack White
Soundtrack, Quantum of Solace
Jack White was born John Anthony Gillis on 9th July 1975 into a musical, catholic family of 10 children in Detroit. He learned to play the guitar, drums and piano. He played in many bands growing up including The Go, Two Star Tabernacle. At 17 he was offered an apprenticeship at Muldoon Studio-an upholstery shop...
“ Megadeth ” - Paul Hamell
Ted Nugent
Soundtrack, Superbad
Bo Diddley
Ever heard "I Want Candy" or "Not Fade Away" or "Willie & The Hand Jive", Shirley & Company's "Shame, Shame, Shame" or U2's "Desire" or George Michael's "Faith"? If you have, then you've heard the "Bo Diddley beat", the most famous beat in the world! One of the founding fathers of rock 'n' roll...
Tony Iommi
Soundtrack, Iron Man
“ Black Sabbath ” - Paul Hamell
“ Deep Purple; Rainbow ” - Paul Hamell
George Harrison
A master musician, a film producer and actor, best known as the lead guitarist and occasionally lead vocalist of The Beatles, George Harrison was born February 25, 1943, in Liverpool, Merseyside, England. He was also the youngest of four children, born to Harold Harrison and Louise Harrison. Like his future band mates...
“ The Beatles; Traveling Wilburys; solo ” - Paul Hamell
Jerry Garcia
Soundtrack, Foxcatcher
One of the most prolific and iconic guitarists of the second half of the 20th Century, Jerome John Garcia was born in San Francisco, California, USA on August 1st 1942. Garcia, whose mother was a registered nurse and whose father, Jose, was a small time jazz musician, had a troubled childhood. At the age of 4...
“ Grateful Dead ” - Paul Hamell
“ Ramones ” - Paul Hamell
Angus Young
Soundtrack, The Avengers
Angus Young was born on March 31, 1955 in Glasgow, Scotland. At school, Angus was an unenthusiastic student. His only real academic interest was art wich allowed him some freedom of expression. He gave up school at 15 and went to work for a soft porn magazine called Ribald as a printer. But his ambitions laid elsewhere anyway...
“ AC/DC ” - Paul Hamell
John Frusciante
Soundtrack, The Fighter
John Anthony Frusciante was born on March 5, 1970, in New York. He became interested in rock music at an early age. After his parents divorced, John and his mother moved to California when he was seven. When he was nine, his stepfather offered him his first acoustic guitar. John taught himself how to play guitar...
“ Red Hot Chili Peppers ” - Paul Hamell
Tom Morello
Soundtrack, The Matrix
Tom Morello was born on May 30, 1964 in New York city. He has become an influential guitarist due to his work with Rage Against The Machine in the 1990s. Tom got his Social Studies degree from Harvard and went to L.A to start a band. He briefly played guitarist for a band named Lock Up with fellow Rage member Zack De La Rocha.
“ Rage Against the Machine; Audioslave ” - Paul Hamell
Terry Kath
One of the most influential yet underrated guitarists of all time, Terry Alan Kath was born on January 31, 1946 in Chicago, Ill. Musical practically from birth, Kath taught himself bass, drums, and guitar, and made the rounds in local bands, impressing everyone he met. Childhood friends included Walter Parazaider...
“ Chicago ” - Paul Hamell
Kurt Cobain
Soundtrack, Moulin Rouge!
Kurt Cobain was born on February 20 1967, in Aberdeen, Washington. Kurt and his family lived in Hoquiam for the first few months of his life then later moved back to Aberdeen, where he had a happy childhood until his parents divorced. The divorce left Kurt's outlook on the world forever scarred. He became withdrawn and anti-social...
“ Nirvana ” - Paul Hamell
James Burton
Born in Minden, Louisiana, on August 21, 1939, James Burton began playing guitar at the age of thirteen, and turned professional the following year. His first recorded track was the Dale Hawkins hit, "Susie Q", in 1957. His dynamic rockabilly style of playing brought him to the attention of television star-turned-singer Ricky Nelson...
Richard Thompson
Soundtrack, Looper
Talented singer, songwriter, and guitarist co-founded the British folk-rock group Fairport Convention in 1967. He left the group in 1971 to perform and record solo and then with his wife, Linda Thompson, with whom he made the legendary albums I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight (1974) and Shoot out the Lights (1982)...
“ Paul Butterfield Blues Band ” - Paul Hamell
“ The Allman Brothers Band ” - Paul Hamell
Dick Dale
Soundtrack, Pulp Fiction
Hailed as the "King of Surf Guitar, " Dick Dale virtually galvanized the surf rock sound in the 1950s. An avid surfer and accomplished musician, Dale and his band, 'Dick Dale and the Del-Tones', appeared in several of the ever-popular "Beach Party" teen flicks starring Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon during the 1960s...
Stephen Stills
Soundtrack, Forrest Gump
Stephen Stills was born on January 3, 1945, in Dallas, Texas. He dropped out of college to play music professionally. He formed Buffalo Springfield ("For What It's Worth") with Neil Young and later became part of Crosby Stills & Nash. After they broke up, Stills joined Manassas, then helped to form Crosby Stills Nash & Young...
The Edge
Soundtrack, Gangs of New York
The Edge was born David Howell Evans, in Barking, Essex in 1961. When he was 2 the family moved to Dublin. During his childhood he learnt how to play the guitar and the piano. In 1978 the Edge became the guitarist and keyboardist of U2. The Edge is still in the group, who have conquered the world for nearly 30 years.
“ U2 ” - Paul Hamell
“ Quicksilver Messenger Service ” - Paul Hamell
“ Sonic Youth ” - Paul Hamell
Thurston Moore
In 1980, Thurston Moore formed the band Sonic Youth as a lead guitarist and singer with Kim Gordon (bass guitars/vocals) and Lee Ranaldo (lead guitars/vocals). In 1981, they released their debut album "Sonic Youth", which attracted lots of attention for using feedback in music. They later released the highly acclaimed albums "Sister"...
“ Sonic Youth ” - Paul Hamell
Steve Cropper
Soundtrack, The Big Lebowski
If not the most influential guitarist in the Memphis soul music scene, Steve Cropper is definitely near the top. He was a member of 'Booker T & the M.G.s', wrote songs for and performed with Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin and Sam & Dave (he's the Steve referred to when they say "Play it, Steve!" in "Soul Man")...
“ Booker T. & the M.G.s ” - Paul Hamell
“ Creedence Clearwater Revival ” - Paul Hamell
Joe Perry
Soundtrack, Charlie's Angels
As co-founding member, principal co-songwriter, electrifying lead guitarist and co-producer of Aerosmith--America's Greatest Rock & Roll Band--Joe has achieved permanent iconic stature in the pantheon of rock. He has helped to drive his band, over the course of three decades, to sales of more than 150 million albums...
“ Aerosmith ” - Paul Hamell
“ King Crimson ” - Paul Hamell
Eddie Hazel
Soundtrack, Lords of Dogtown
Eddie Hazel was born April 10, 1950 in Brooklyn, New York. He died December 23, 1992 in Plainfield, New Jersey. When he was eight years old, his older brother, Sonny, gave him a guitar for Christmas. Self-taught, by age twelve, he was winning guitar contests in Plainfield. Most of the guitarists played R&B music...
“ Funkadelic ” - Paul Hamell
Trey Anastasio
Soundtrack, 127 Hours
Ernest Joseph "Trey" Anastasio III (born 30 September 1964) grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, playing drums. He worked with his mother, an editor for Sesame Street Magazine, developing stories and songs of fantasy and fun and meaning. (His father was an executive with the Princeton-based Educational Testing Service...
“ Phish ” - Paul Hamell
“ The Byrds ” - Paul Hamell
“ Free ” - Paul Hamell
“ Dream Theater ” - Paul Hamell
“ Fleetwood Mac ” - Paul Hamell
“ Elvis Presley ” - Paul Hamell
Dickey Betts
Soundtrack, Big Fish
Dickey Betts, born in West Palm Beach, Florida in 1943, was the oldest member of the Allman Brothers Band when they formed in 1969. He shared lead guitar duties with band founder and leader Duane Allman, also playing alongside bassist Berry Oakley, drummers Jaimoe and Butch Trucks, and Allman's younger brother...
“ The Allman Brothers Band ” - Paul Hamell
“ Yes ” - Paul Hamell
Mick Ronson
Michael "Mick" Ronson was an English guitarist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, arranger, and producer. He achieved critical and commercial success while working with David Bowie as the lead guitarist and band leader for Bowie's backing band, the Spiders From Mars. Ronson was also a session musician who recorded and performed with singers Morrissey, Van Morrison and Bob Dylan...
“ David Bowie ” - Paul Hamell
T-Bone Walker
Soundtrack, The Firm
John McLaughlin
Soundtrack, Stepmom
“ Jefferson Airplane; Hot Tuna ” - Paul Hamell
Lou Reed
Soundtrack, Trainspotting
He formed the group The Velvet Underground with Welsh multi-instrumentalist John Cale, second guitarist Sterling Morrison, and drummer Maureen Tucker in New York in 1965. The group soon became a part of Andy Warhol's Factory scene, which housed a great number of the most freaked and experimental artists at the time...
“ The Velvet Underground ” - Paul Hamell
Mickey Baker
Soundtrack, Casino
Singer / songwriter / producer Mickey Baker was born McHouston Baker in Louisville, KY, in 1925. At about 15 years of age he traveled to New York City to break into the music business, and played in both blues and jazz clubs and bands. To make ends meet he gave guitar lessons, and in 1953 a young girl named Sylvia Robinson (born Sylvia Vanderpool) became his student...
“ Television ” - Paul Hamell
“ Radiohead ” - Paul Hamell
“ Radiohead ” - Paul Hamell
“ Ike & Tina Turner ” - Paul Hamell
“ Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band ” - Paul Hamell
Vernon Reid
Music Department, Mr 3000
“ Living Colour ” - Paul Hamell
Randy Rhoads
Soundtrack, Neighbors
“ Ozzy Osbourne ” - Paul Hamell
“ Tool ” - Paul Hamell
David Gilmour
Soundtrack, The Departed
David Jon Gilmour was born on 6th March, 1946, in Grantchester Meadows, Cambridge. As the lead guitarist of Pink Floyd, he is by many considered one of the most influential guitarists on the rock stage. Right up to "The Dark Side of The Moon", Dave wrote his own songs, but from then up to "The Final Cut"...
“ Pink Floyd ” - Paul Hamell
Glen Buxton
Soundtrack, Scream
“ Alice Cooper ” - Paul Hamell
“ Ozzy Osbourne; Black Label Society ” - Paul Hamell
Link Wray
Soundtrack, Pulp Fiction
Rock'n'roll musician Link Wray reigns supreme as one of the best, most important, influential, and innovative guitarists to emerge from the 1950's. Wray was the creator of the power-chord and was one of the first musicians to experiment with both distortion and the burning fuzz-tone guitar sound in his instrumental recordings; his harsh and raw...
Dave Davies
Dave Davies is the brother of Ray Davies, the lead singer and songwriter of the Kinks, of which he was the leader singer up to 1964, when Ray joined. Dave was the lead guitarist and backup singer for the Kinks. He created the distorted riff for "You Really Got Me" by taking a sharp object (either a razor or a knitting needle) and slashing the speaker cone of his Elpico amp...
“ The Kinks ” - Paul Hamell
“ Howlin' Wolf ” - Paul Hamell
Eddie Cochran
Soundtrack, Caddyshack
Eddie Cochran was born as Edward Raymond Cochran on October 3, 1938 in Albert Lea, Minnesota. When Eddie was 14, his parents moved to Bell Gardens, California where he began playing the guitar. In 1954, Eddie joined a local band with songwriter Hank Cochran where Eddie performed as the second vocalist...
Davey Johnstone
Music Department, Sherlock Holmes
“ Elton John ” - Paul Hamell
Vivian Campbell
Soundtrack, Bad Teacher
Has been with the band since 1992 when the original guitarist, Steve Clark, died in early 1991. Has two daughters, Lily Rose and Una Marigold, with wife Jewels Has played guitar for the Rock 'n' Roll band 'White Snake' and other Rock 'n' Roll groups.
“ Def Leppard; Dio ” - Paul Hamell
“ Eagles ” - Paul Hamell
Derek Trucks
Soundtrack, The Rite
“ The Band ” - Paul Hamell
“ Canned Heat ” - Paul Hamell
D. Boon
Soundtrack, Jackass: The Movie
D. Boon created the legendary punk rock band, Minutemen, with George Hurley and Mike Watt in 1980. The trio went on to release 11 albums in less than six years and toured maniacally until Boon's tragic death in late December of 1985 caused the group's abrupt demise.
“ Minutemen ” - Paul Hamell
Fred Smith
Self, Cast Away
Frederick W. Smith is chairman, president and chief executive officer of FedEx Corporation. Smith is responsible for providing strategic direction for all of the FedEx Corporation operating companies, including FedEx Express and FedEx Ground. Smith founded Federal Express Corporation (FedEx Express) in 1971...
“ MC5 ” - Paul Hamell