We asked for your FIVE Fave Guitarists...
The above Slideshow shows my personal FAVE 5 which was to kick start proceedings :) Actually I have a confession to make, I chose SIX – that is my ‘Designer's Prerogative‘ – I simply couldn't leave out Frank Marino lol.
JOHNNIE BOLIN'S CHOICE:
Hmmmmm, interesting choice... Ray Gomez & Johnny A...
1. Tommy Bolin
…without a doubt the person in my mind that plays the perfect note in the perfect place every time…still find something in his playing that is new and makes me smile.
2. Jimi Hendrix
3. Jeff Beck
…still remember riding my bicycle to the mall in New Jersey when I was like 12 and getting Beck, Bogart, and Appice on vinyl… wow!
4. Randy California
… just listen to those layers on those great Spirit records!
5. Ted Nugent
…I know this is terrible because of all the crap he talks, but if he would just shut up and play his guitar he would come off better… when I was a kid At like 6 or 7, I thought he was the greatest guitar player… he got me interested in playing a guitar… unfortunately, he just should have shit up and played guitar… I kind of can’t listen to his music anymore, which is kind of a sad thing… he can really play guitar but I just can’t get over his politics,etc.
Saw and met Tommy in January of 1976. No one could have predicted what would happen 311 days later. Tommy was a gentle spirit, brilliant in his craft, self taught and motivated by the fusion that so many recognized in his talent. Beyond gutted when his light went out that December, but can never forget the incredible talent that all of the greats also recognize, respect and appreciate to this day. The Ultimate in incredibly crisp audio (excuse the actual video quality lol) on the following September 20, 1976 video:
Rest in Peace Tommy.
Personal friend who was a severely underrated and incredible Les Paul lead guitarist with REO Speedwagon who was dealt a shit hand by others within his own band in their quest for personal fame and sappy ballad fortune. Another self-taught musician and songwriter who spent nearly his entire life perfecting his craft. Sometimes there are no words. You have to see it, hear it to believe it. Hold onto your frets and have a listen t:
Rest In Peace Gary.
Known as the "fire-fingered" English guitarist, singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist and guitarist of the blues rock band Ten Years After. Another incredibly talented, often overlooked guitarist of historic proportion, rocking it from Woodstock straight through 2013 when his signature ES-335 was forever silenced. Watch and tell me I'm wrong (see following video):
Rest In Peace Alvin.
Another self taught magician who from the age of 20 amazed the masses from his days with the Yardbirds, to the Jeff Beck Group and Beck, Bogert & Appice, the talents of which have been praised by generations of guitarists that many consider to be the best of the best. Many young talents declaring Jeff their personal guitar hero and spending hours honing their craft trying to emulate his riffs and chords. Some talents can never be duplicated. Jeff is one for the books.
Rest In Peace Jeff.
Although there wasn't one guitarist in Lynyrd Skynyrd that wasn't a phenom, there was something special about Gary Rossington. His slowhand riffs and rhythm made him unique and his playing will forever stand the test of time. When you consider the rise in fame, the tragedy of the plane crash, the longing to continue, and to perservere throughout all adversity, there is a special place Prince Charming will always hold. Saw him play twice in 1975... can still see it in my mind. Witness their 1975 Old Grey Whistle Test and tell me I'm wrong (see following video):
Rest In Peace Gary.
Peter Frampton: “You can't have success of the caliber of ‘Frampton Comes Alive’ in 1977 unless your band is tight, and tight is defined by the impeccable bass notes that provides the bridge between the drum and the the guitar, the glue for holding the band together in rhythm and harmony.”
In addition to his stellar performance on this album, he was also tied directly to the incredible Tommy Bolin on ‘Teaser’, blending that incredible jazz fusion into mind blowing outcomes.
He also toured with Lou Gramm, Waddy Wachtel, Rick Marotta, and Dan Dugmore and the great Warren Zevon. We often overlook the role and the importance of the bass player. On this score, Stan should shine front and center. Enjoy 1977 at the Oakland Coliseum:
Clearly ALL of us here are huge Tommy admirers, I mean, this is 47 years after his passing, and here, we, all the faithful, still ARE! He was clearly a shooting star across the sky. Fast moving, bright as the heavens, and in a snap of the fingers, the flame was snuffed. He had mastered more styles than any guitarist I’ve ever experienced, NO genre escaped him. And he was proficient in all of them, he took them all in like a sponge, and his debut album “Teaser” was a statement that has never been matched by any artist, hands down. The album was a gutsy bold statement for a (almost, lol) 25 year old KID, and had he been able to hit the road with it effectively, Fame would have definitively come sooner for him.
The progenitor of the whammy bar noises, the dive bomb sounds, the GROWLS, the talkbox, and just plain making the guitar lines talk and SING!
When you’re good, everyone copies you. (E. Van Halen.) Everyone became Eddies. How many tried to match or steal Jeff Beck’s sound and licks? NONE. None COULD!
Who are we kidding here, just look at the number of masterpieces he has produced, and the iconic classic solos that millions have MEMORIZED!
The Teutonic Wonder! The Man with the Flying Vee! He is one of those who never achieved the solo stardom that they should have.
The sounds THIS guy created started an entire musical genre! Stoner rock, doomer rock, whatever you wanna call it, it was an entirely new sound!
Dream Theater’s super-speedy guitarist is another unique guy. Berklee did him well, he combined wild time signatures with lightning quick scales and solos, and with amazing accuracy! The band’s compositions are what technical musician’s wet dreams are made of!
Just give a listen to what rock guitar sounded like before Mr. Hendrix arrived, and the effect he had on it afterwards (particularly a tune like “Purple Haze”).
EDDIE VAN HALEN
Most people seem to fixate on his two-handed tapping and soloing skills. And while there is no denying both were outstanding and groundbreaking (and countless rock guitars of the ‘80s were merely copying it), I was always more impressed with EVH’s songwriting (“Jump”), riffs (“Outta Love Again”), and rhythm playing (“Mean Street”).
The master of “guitar harmonies.” Most times when a guitarist would take an unaccompanied solo at a show in the ‘70s or ‘80s, it was time for a bathroom break. Not the case with Mr. May - just take a listen to his extended solo in “Brighton Rock” on Queen’s Live Killers, which holds your attention the entire time/takes you on a journey.
Mr. Belew’s use of experimentation and noise on the six-string always caught my ear - especially such tunes as “Thela Hun Ginjeet” (by King Crimson) and “Big Electric Cat” (as a solo artist).
As I’ve mentioned before, I view Mr. Bolin’s playing as the bridge between Jimi and Eddie - particularly his scintilating solo in Billy Cobham’s “Quadrant 4.”
Check out Greg’s latest writing and info on his books, including Touched by Magic: The Tommy Bolin Story, by clicking below...
Video featuring Thomas Hommeyer...
PRERNA’s Led Zeppelin Kashmir & Four Sticks medley.Live at Meta House, August 2020. Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
5??? Oh goodness that’s a tough one!!!
Ok here we go!!!
His mix of classical and hard rock goes straight into my soul. You can literally feel it. His music takes you from the times of Beethoven straight to today.
His sweet mix of Irish and America blues and rock take you to other places! Hard to fathom he is an American and not an Irishman.
Virtuoso – enough said there...
EDDIE VAN HALEN:
Eddie changed the Hard Rock guitar sound forever. Many have tried to copy his fireish licks… few have come close none have mastered his genius.
And of course TOMMY BOLIN:
Obvious reasons for me but Tommy’s mix of Jazz, Fusion, Blues and Rock were so ahead of his time and let’s not forget how young he was! Imagine if his lifetime extended to today what he would have done. Tommy inspired so many guitar players of today and future guitar players. Guitar was truly in his soul.
HARTMUT KRECKEL ON BERNIE TORME:
Bernie was a dear friend of mine and I really miss him. Bernie knew about Tommy Bolin and liked him. He had James Gang with Tommy in his record collection. Gillan losing Bernie lost half of the signature. It was sad to me, I missed Bernie in Gillan by 5 days!
STEVE CAUDLE (PHOTOS):
I never got to see Montrose, but was a huge fan. I did get to see (and shoot) Gamma twice at Rainbow Music Hall in Denver, and once at The Ritz (old studio 54 location) in NYC once.
AN INTERESTING CLIP SENT TO US BY GEORGE MATZKOV
Music from Australia and New Zealand in the year 1972:
Coloured Balls performing ‘Working Man’s Boogie’ on the ABC-TV program GTK - broadcasted in 1972. Guitarist is LOBBY LOYDE...
Top five guitarists in no particular order...
The freedom and innovation he expresses in his playing does it for me. Totally unpredictable unlike many of the other top guitarists. He blew my mind away when I first heard him play when I was about 11 or 12. Nobody else has ever sounded like Tommy.
A relative newby on the jazz/rock/fusion scene. Impossibly fast yet expressive and dynamic, his technique is like nothing I've ever seen before.
Like Tommy, a unique style of playing and has never stuck to a formula. Always evolving.
AL DI MEOLA
A legend in the fusion world. I discovered him after watching Return To Forever on the Old Grey Whistle Test in 1976 and couldn't believe how remarkable his playing was and still is.
Paul, supplied another five faves...
My brother MARK
He died suddenly in 2012 and left a big hole in all of our lives. Being four years older than me, he was the one who introduced me to real music whilst I was about 9 or 10. His first love was Deep Purple, especially Blackmore, but when Tommy came along, he realised that there was a big wide world of other styles and techniques. He loved everything Tommy but never tried to emulate him. I think his words were... “There is only one Bolin and I’m not going to try to copy him.”
Another Italian master of rock/jazz and fusion. I discovered him via a band he played in in the 70s called Nova. I noticed that a bass player called Percy Jones (formerly of Brand X) played on their album ‘Vimana’ and that was enough for me to check it out. More than 40 years on, it’s still one of my ‘go to’ albums.
Another technically gifted player whose liquid runs make the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. I discovered him only about 10 years ago and wished I could have shared his music with my brother.
Laurence Archer. A long time stalwart of the British rock scene, Laurence has played with the likes of UFO and Magnum and currently fronts Grand Slam the band he formed with Phil Lynott after the demise of Thin Lizzy. Laurence is a good friend and invited me into the studio to capture the recording of Grand Slam’s first album (nothing was recorded in the studio before Phil’s death) and my images feature heavily on the CD and vinyl. Having watched him up close, he is an immensely talented guitarist and very modest as well. Check it out...
Albert Lee. Another English journeyman guitarist who has played with just about everyone. His style is predominantly country and his finger picking technique is astonishing.