Heh… The 19th guitarist is being published on the 19th of the month! This means something!
Wait, no it doesn’t…
Well, it does mean that I’ve been at this for a while. In Internet Years, this site is now a grizzled old man. I publish these once per week and skipped just two weeks. That’s a long time, considering I expected to list just a few before I got bored.
I must say, it has been fun. You can read the list of featured guitarists (all of whom are better than Hendrix) by clicking this link. That link isn’t always updated as well as it should be but it’s pretty close and I try to get to that updating thing every week. Sometimes, I just don’t have the time.
Now, what is this list about? I’ve told you this before, but this could be the first time you’ve ever visited – so I’ll tell you again.
The unwashed mental midgets at Rolling Stone have made a number of lists. They’re not the only group of people who should have their fingers smashed with a ball-peen hammer and forbidden to type again. Lots of people make these lists. They’re just the ones I dislike the most, ’cause people consider them an authoritative source.
At the top of these lists, they put one Mr. Jimi Hendrix. That’s horrible. This mistake has permeated through society and now people think he was a great guitarist. They’re wrong. They’re horribly wrong.
The term greatest guitarist is a technical term. This should be measured objectively. The qualifications are ability to master the various techniques, understanding of music theory, versatility, innovation, ability to compose sound complex works, and consistency of quality – both in the studio and live.
It hasn’t got a damned thing to do with who we like best. It hasn’t got anything to do with who our favorite artists are. Those are subjective criteria and the term is “guitarist” and not “artist.” I’d have had no complaints (or at least far fewer) had they called him the greatest artist. But, when they call him the greatest guitarist, it’s personal and they’re doing many other actually great guitarists a disservice.
Many of the people on my list, and to be featured in the future, don’t get nearly the accolades they deserve. They’re overshadowed by the looming figure that is Hendrix when they are, by objective measurement, better than he was on his best day.
It’s not about who we like the best. It’s not about who we prefer to listen to. It’s not about who had the most hits. It’s not about popular sentiment. It’s about greatness defined as a technical skill and trying to be objective as humanly possible.
And, our next guitarist is just that. His worst day was more technically adept than Hendrix’s best day. And, like many on this list, you can change him around and place him higher or lower on the list. One thing that I don’t think is deniable is that he was a far more adept guitarist than Hendrix was.
Continue reading “It’s true. Here’s the 19th guitarist better than Hendrix!”