Most influential guitarists.


Forum fella
East Bay Ray ?
I love the Dead Kennedys. I consider them the most subversive, creative and intelligent of all the American hardcore punk bands of the 80s. In that scene, East Bay Ray was unusual in that his own style reflected influences (spaghetti western, surf, rockabilly and others) not obviously shared by most of his peers.


Forum Sod
I think one of the finest guitarists in the world and one who is looked over by many rather unfairly in my opinion is Alex Lifeson from Rush. Although I have been into Soul music most of my life I have a soft spot for Rush and have all of their albums.


Legendary Member
I realise everyone is listing electric guitar players, but in terms of acoustic guitarists I've seen few better than Archie Fisher, Paul Brady, and Paul Simon, who is recognised by all as a brilliant songwriter, but he is also a gifted guitarist. Jimmy Page maintains that Archie Fisher taught him how to play acoustic guitar, & I can hear Archie's influence in Page's play. Brady brought Joni Mitchel style open tunings and pop and rock rhythms and scales and breathed new life into some very old songs. Now that I'm thinking about it, John Renbourn and Dick Gaughan are two more brilliant acoustic players.


Legendary Member
I'm going to see the current group of poseurs whom Ian Anderson is attempting to pass off as Jethro Tull this evening in Chicago. It's his band, I suppose, but I honestly can't imagine it being "Jethro Tull" without Martin Barre's guitar. I'll let you know, but my hopes aren't set very high.


Forum GOD!
Trying to stick to influential as opposed to those I like the best.

Jimi Hendrix - Show me a guitarist who hasn't tried to play like Jimi.

Les Paul - He is credited with so many firsts and innovations, both for the guitar itself as well as playing it that he has to be on this list.

Eddie Van Halen - Sure, there is Vai, Satriani and others who all have very similar sounds but all of them came after Eddie. He's the one who influenced these guys who came after him and who then took it to the next level. I actually prefer Vai over Van Halen. I agree with the comments about his first album Flex-able which could almost pass for a Zappa album. But Eddie did it first. That's influence.

Jimmy Page - I'll actually say that I don't think he is one of the greatest of all time, but his timing and the massive popularity of the band helped him to influence tons of young guitar players. I'm not a guitarist. I'm a drummer. But my teenage band played tons of Zeppelin. That's influence.

I didn't put Zappa on the list even though I would put him on a list of the greatest guitarists of all time. I think his weirdness factor kept a lot of people from listening to his music. For me growing up Zappa was extremely prominent in my listening activities. So much so that one day when I was 16 or 17, maybe 18, my mother was trying to get into my head and she asked me this question: "Do you think you'll still be listening to Frank Zappa when you're 40 years old?" My immediate answer was "absolutely". And wouldn't you know it, when I turned 40 I had to call my Mom and say to her, "Guess what Mom? I'm still listening to Frank Zappa." And with each milestone birthday I remind her that I'm still listening. My list is short because I'm not up on Robert Johnson or Chuck Berry. I know who they are but not being a guitarist I'm not certain of their influence on players. Now, if this was a listing of influential drummers, I'd be all over that one.


Scotty Moore......Elvis Presley’s lead guitarist. Just listen to ‘Little Sister’ or ‘That’s alright mama”


Rory Gallagher
Jimi Hendrix
Jimmy Page

Jimi was once asked in an interview what did it feel like to be the best guitar player in the world. He replied - I dunno, ask Rory Gallagher...
He said Terry Kath was better than he was too.