Last week, I sorta had a brief vacation – where Thursday was filled with news about Betts and I didn’t even have to write a real article. That was nice.
Yesterday, Nadeshda did it for me! Sweet!
By now, you know the drill. Each week, I name a guitarist better than Hendrix. Why? Blame Rolling Stone magazine. It’s their fault.
“Best Guitarist” should be a quantifiable term, as much as is possible. It should be objective, as much as is possible. Thus, it is a technical qualification and words such as “like” simply don’t belong as a metric.
And, again, I don’t dislike Hendrix. My liking him has nothing to do with the list. He just wasn’t a very good technical guitarist – as I’ve shown ya 28 times already! Sheesh…
This week, I’ve done things just a little bit different.
I didn’t initially want to include this guitarist on this list. I like them – and I’m worried that it may cloud my judgement. But, I think I can justify their inclusion.
Do keep in mind that this list has been (at least mentally) compiled over many years. This means that, for many years, I’ve been saying something like, “No, this one doesn’t really belong on the list.”
I not only think I was wrong, I think I was wrong – for years. Wanna see?
#28 Robby Krieger
That’s right. I’d like to retract any mean things I’ve ever said about him.
I’d also like to point out that my mean things have merit – but… I was viewing it very wrong and this new understanding is why I wish to formally retract my previous sentiments. I’m sorry if I was mean.
Now…. Let me give you my new perspective.
We must examine Robby within the confines of The Doors.
Oh, for those of you who don’t know – you know Robby. He was the guitar player for the Doors.
If you’re a professional musician, can you imagine the hell that would have been working professionally with Jim Morrison?
Seriously… Think about that…
On top of that, you’re overshadowed by a brilliant drummer and a fantastic organ player. Yet, even there, he found his place.
It’s also true that he never really took many chances during his live and improv work, but it’s Jim Fucking Morrison – I don’t blame him, now that I think about it. Besides, why should he? He had a pretty damned good drummer and organ player doing the work.
It is also true that he kept many things simple, and there’s a reason why – and it’s actually a good reason. Why make things needlessly complex? He does show that he’s very, very capable of it – as you will hear.
He’s got massive skills. His initial training was in flamenco guitar.
(I actually have to keep this fairly short today, so the following is somewhat of an excuse to do so.)
I’m going to mix things up a little.
First, here’s the Wikipedia article. I’m not going to regurgitate that and a few dozen other links today.
Instead, we’re just gonna show you.
This is probably one of the easiest Doors’ songs to play on guitar. Go ahead, click this link. (It’s a PDF.) Ignore the intro – that’s pretty easy. Scroll down. Trust me – even if you don’t play guitar, you will understand this well enough to see the complexity.
So, we know he can – and this is all about technical ability. He chose not to, much of the time. Can’t blame ’em, really. Working with Jim had to suck balls and he was gonna get sidelined by the fantastic organ and the excellent drumming.
Damned right. I’m pretty sure he phoned 80% of his work with the Doors in. Can’t actually say that I blame ’em, either. I’m pretty sure I’d have punched Jim right in the mouth, many times.
But… This is the easiest Doors’ song and this might just be the worst version I can find of it. Watch his fingers.
Now, let’s see something good.
He kinda looks a combination of angry and determined that they’re gonna let him play that. Funny enough, I see him wearing shirts with Jim on ’em these days. I figure he does that ’cause he’s still gotta eat.
Now, skip to about 4:15 in this video.
Why yes, yes that is Robby tapping. Funny how he does some much better (skill-wise) without Jim around. Huh…
Here, with this new perspective, I examine this more critically:
Yeah… I’m pretty sure you can hear why he’s on the list.
I was wrong. I was very wrong. That’s made even more unusual in that I never really bothered to look at it from his perspective within the band. That’s normally something I do.
So, I will leave you one for the road. I have absolutely no idea what the hell is going on in this video. I don’t even like it. It’s horrible. You should watch it.
Without further comment and until next time…
Shut up and play us a song!