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Jimi Hendrix Tops Rolling Stone's Greatest Guitarists of All Time List

November 24, 2011, 3:13 am GMT

Tom Morello praises Hendrix for his effortless guitar playing and calls the late musician the one who 'exploded our idea of what rock music could be.'



Passing away over 40 years ago, Jimi Hendrix seemingly would never lose his charm and would continue to inspire the next generations in the years to come. The legendary guitarist, who died after suffering a drug overdose in 1970, is honored with the title of Greatest Guitarist of All Time on the newest issue of Rolling Stone magazine.

One of the industry experts who votes for him is Grammy-winning musician Tom Morello. The former member of Audioslave sings praise for his idol, "Jimi Hendrix exploded our idea of what rock music could be: He manipulated the guitar, the whammy bar, the studio and the stage."

"On songs like 'Machine Gun' or 'Voodoo Chile', his instrument is like a divining rod of the turbulent Sixties - you can hear the riots in the streets and napalm bombs dropping in his 'Star-Spangled Banner'. His playing was effortless. There's not one minute of his recorded career that feels like he's working hard at it - it feels like it's all flowing through him."

Sitting at no 2 on the list is none other than Eric Clapton. One of his admirers, Eddie Van Halen gushes, "There was a basic simplicity to his playing, his style, his vibe and his sound. He took a Gibson guitar and plugged it into a Marshall, and that was it. The basics. The blues. His solos were melodic and memorable - and that's what guitar solos should be, part of the song."

Jimmy Page rounds up the top 3. "As a lead player, he always plays the right thing for the right spot - he's got such remarkable taste," Joe Perry says. "He was writing the songs, playing them, producing them - I can't think of any other guitar player since Les Paul that can claim that."

He continues, "He had this vision of how to transcend the stereotypes of what the guitar can do. If you follow the guitar on 'The Song Remains the Same' all the way through, it evolves through so many different changes - louder, quieter, softer, louder again."

  1. Jimi Hendrix
  2. Eric Clapton
  3. Jimmy Page
  4. Keith Richards
  5. Jeff Beck
  6. B.B. King
  7. Chuck Berry
  8. Eddie Van Halen
  9. Duane Allman
  10. Pete Townshend


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