In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine published a hotly debated list of what it felt were the 100 greatest guitarists of all-time. I simply shrugged the list off because a)I don't play the guitar and know absolutely nothing about the instrument, not to mention the fact that everyone has particular tastes in music; and b)it is, after all, Rolling Stone magazine - one of the worst music magazines in existence. The list created alot of buzz in the cyberworld:
"This is a silly popularity contest. The author who pointed out that Rolling Stone threw in Robert Johnson as some obligatory nod to "blues roots" was dead on; RS is not a music magazine a la Downbeat, it is a cultural magazine, and as a magazine that needs to pander to its boomer roots and sell copies, which it achieves when the 50-something driving the convertible with his skullet in a ponytail reads this list, nods his head and whispers 'Yeah, man, right on - Robert Johnson was THE MAN'".
"wtf this list is so gay, Eddie Van Halen at 70 whoever made this list is a retard, he should be 2 right behind Clapton!!!!"
"Kurt Cobain gets 12th but david gilmour gets 82 the writers at rolling stone should be fired for this."
"a lot of people seem to forget that being a great guitarist isnt about how much fret wanking you can do, its about trying to create great sounds with a bit of wood, sure guys like slash can play fast complicated solos but..who cares. The reason guys like john f and jack white are near the top is cause they make great sounds with the guitar."
Okay, I lied. I blew this list off with one glaring exception - where in god's name was Sister Rosetta Tharpe(1915-1973) on this list? A misunderstood woman in her time(and, apparently, in the modern era), her gospel style was not well received by the secular world and her electric blues style was criticized by many in the church. She was ahead of her time and influenced many in the early era of rock n' roll including Little Richard and Elvis Presley. Her 1945 crossover hit "Strange Things Happening Everyday" was later covered by Jerry Lee Lewis. It wasn't until last year that funds were raised to place a headstone at the barren spot where she is buried in Northwood Cemetary in Pennsylvania, some thirty-five years after her death. One has to wonder how much more Tharpe's legacy would have been acknowledged had she been a male.
Watch this woman SHRED at about 1:25 into this video and remember that she was doing this well before most people on Rolling Stone's list...