Guitar Gods: The 25 Players Who Made Rock History

Guitar Gods: The 25 Players Who Made Rock History

Guitar Gods: The 25 Players Who Made Rock History

Guitar Gods: The 25 Players Who Made Rock History

Synopsis

Guitar Gods showcases the 25 players who made the greatest impact on rock and roll's long and winding history. All the players profiled in this book threw fans for a loop; their advancements in music left the genre in a different place than when they arrived.

Excerpt

For almost 20 years now, I’ve made it my business to follow the comings and goings of rock and blues guitar players for major guitar magazines. I’ve anticipated their new releases, contemplated the arc of their career, and deliberated on their importance to my readership.

I’ve battled other editors for the rights to feature particularly hot artists on our magazine covers, hoping to maximize newsstand success, and I’ve spent many a day and night pulling my hair out wondering who the next guitar hero will be.

Over the years, I’ve picked some hits and missed some picks. As an observer of the rock music world for that time, I’ve learned that navigating the waters of rock, especially in the turbulent 1990s, was a lot like trying to stand up in a canoe on a fast-flowing river. Helping to run a monthly magazine meant predicting trends, staying two steps ahead, and keeping an ear to the ground when the locomotive still could have been weeks away.

On the other hand, putting guitar magazines together helped me maintain proper perspective on the instrument and its best players, most of which are considered so unanimously, at least by the journalists who cover the beat. Sure, I’m as guilty about overstating the ability of some promising players as the next optimistic journalist. Some of the players I’ve fingered as the Next Big Thing have long since drifted agonizingly into the sunset, victims of bad work habits and/or the vagaries of the industry. Generally speaking, though, the old adage holds: the chaff sifts through, and there’s nothing left but the finest wheat.

THE PLAYERS

In assembling this book, I selected only the most important guitar players in rock music. But before you nitpick through the table of contents dismissing certain players, please understand that I did not judge them by the typical conventions: technical dexterity, songwriting prowess, or sonic innovation. Rather, I chose the guitar players whose playing made the biggest impact on rock music. All the players profiled in this book threw rock ‘n’ roll for a loop; their advancements in music left the genre in a different place than when they arrived.

In a sense, these guitarists are party crashers. They came into an established framework, rearranged the furniture, tipped over a few chairs, and ditched, leaving the stragglers to . . .

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