Rolling Stone’s 10 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

This next issue of Rolling Stone magazine will include sheets of dead trees stacked and creased at a spine-like center with many words printed on them. (It’s a whole thing, ask your parents.) Sometimes those pages include words about musicians, and often those musicians are Jimi Hendrix, or Led Zeppelin, or the Rolling Stones, or the Who. (Again.) This pre-list-season list, then — timed to take advantage of your inner guitar-wonk while you are home for the holidays and in your childhood basement surrounded by boxes of old Guitar Worlds and dusty amplifiers — is possibly the most Rolling Stone thing ever to be assembled. Lo:

01. Jimi Hendrix
02. Eric Clapton
03. Jimmy Page
04. Keith Richards
05. Jeff Beck
06. B.B. King
07. Chuck Berry
08. Eddie Van Halen
09. Duane Allman
10. Pete Townshend

It’s annoying that I always forget that time stopped after Van Halen. To create the list, the mag polled esteemed guitarists and music insiders along with RS’s editors, if you are looking for someone to praise/blame for their choices. You can check out those voters — and the full list of 100 guitarists — at

In fairness, it’s sort of difficult to imagine an unqualified discussion of history’s greatest guitarists without a bunch of those names. And that is why a much more interesting list idea is The Top 10 Guitarists Who Aren’t Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Jeff Beck, B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Eddie Van Halen, Duane Allman, or Pete Townshend. So let’s make that one? I’ll get us going with some candidates: Kevin Shields, Johnny Marr, Thurston Moore, J Mascis, Mick Barr, Mark McGuire, Ira Kaplan…

Let’s do this together, like a family. The floor is yours.

Tags: Jimi Hendrix