In Guitar World’s 30 on 30, 30 great guitarists pick their favourite axemen.
All the cats you’d expect to see are there: Green, Clapton, Blackmore, Beck, Hendrix, May, van Halen, B.B., Rhoads, Malmsteen …
As are, thankfully, a few guys you worry might be all but forgotten, like Leslie West, Alvin Lee and Mick Taylor. And there are a few names you might not expect to be the idols of guitar wizards, for example Neil Young or Pete Townshend or George Harrison. Not that they weren’t/aren’t amazing guitarists, but you don’t realize the hotshots feel the same way as you do. So that’s cool.
But what’s really interesting is to see who the guys on the list like. So:
- Tom Morello likes Steve Vai, and Steve Vai likes Brian May.
- Joe Perry likes Angus Young, but Angus likes Chuck Berry.
- Ron Thal likes Zakk Wylde, whereas Zakk Wylde likes the Judas Priest duo of Tipton and Downing.
- Richie Kotzen digs Eddie van Halen, who in turn thought Clapton was the man.
Sometimes you can clearly hear a guitarist’s influences in his work; other times, not so much. So it’s instructive to see what they actually think. And sometimes surprising.