(Reuters) - Legendary musician Jimi Hendrix was named the greatest guitar player in history on Wednesday by Rolling Stone magazine in a list compiled by a panel of music experts and top guitar players.
“Jimi Hendrix exploded our idea of what rock music could be: He manipulated the guitar, the whammy bar, the studio and the stage,” said Grammy-winning guitarist Tom Morello in the magazine, citing Hendrix’s “Purple Haze” and “The Star-Spangled Banner” as key tracks.
Hendrix is joined by the likes of Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page and Pete Townshend among the top 10, in a list laden with rock ‘n’ roll icons spanning decades.
The panel of experts recruited to vote for their favorite guitar players included musicians such as Lenny Kravitz, Eddie Van Halen (who was voted No. 8), Brian May and Dan Auerbach from The Black Keys, along with a selection of Rolling Stone’s senior writers and editors.
The experts also weighed in on their favorites, with Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready calling Eddie Van Halen “a master of riffs” and Joe Perry praising Jimmy Page’s “vision of how to transcend the stereotypes of what the guitar can do.”
The full list will be featured in a special issue with four special covers of Van Halen, Clapton, Hendrix and Page, and will be on newsstands and online at www.rollingstone.com on Friday. Rolling Stone’s top 10 greatest guitarists follow:
1. Jimi Hendrix
2. Eric Clapton
3. Jimmy Page
4. Keith Richards
5. Jeff Beck
6. B.B. King
7. Chuck Berry
8. Eddie Van Halen
9. Duane Allman
10. Pete Townshend
Reporting and Writing by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte