50 greatest guitarists

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2.
Muddy Waters
Soundtrack, Goodfellas
Muddy Waters (born McKinley Morganfield) was one of the major forces in contemporary blues. He was instrumental in bringing the sound of the Mississippi Delta to Chicago in the 1940s, where his recordings for the Chess label exerted an enormous influence on both blues and rock musicians from the mid-'50s to the present day...
 
6.
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...
 
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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...
 
9.
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...
 
10.
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...
 
11.
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...
 
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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...
 
14.
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...
 
15.
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...
 
16.
Jimmy Page
Soundtrack, Godzilla
 
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18.
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...
 
19.
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...
 
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21.
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...
 
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25.
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"...
 
27.
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...
 
28.
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...
 
29.
Brian May
Soundtrack, Spider-Man 2
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...
 
30.
Tony Iommi
Soundtrack, Iron Man
 
31.
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)...
 
32.
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...
 
34.
Johnny Ramone
Johnny Ramone was born John William Cummings in Queens, New York. He went to be the guitar player for the Ramones, alongside Jeffrey Hyman and Douglas Colvin (later Joey Ramone and Dee Dee Ramone). They also hired Thomas Erdelyi (later Tommy Ramone) as drummer. Tommy disbanded in 1978 and asked Marc Steven Bell (later Marky Ramone) if he would like to become the drum player...
 
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36.
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...
 
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Randy Rhoads
Soundtrack, Neighbors
 
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40.
Steve Vai
Music Department, Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey
American guitarist, songwriter, composer and producer. He first learned guitar by studying under Joe Satriani and also studied at the Berklee College of Music. He started as a transcriptionist for Frank Zappa in 1978, joined his band in 1980 and stayed until 1983. He formed two separate bands...
 
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42.
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.
 
43.
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...
 
45.
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.
 
46.
Slash
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...
 
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48.
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...
 
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50.
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...