Ted Nugent picks the 11 greatest guitarists of all time
Last year, we asked Ted Nugent to name the 10 greatest albums of all time, and true to form, the Motor City Madman cranked it one notch higher and went to 11.
Recently, we checked in with Uncle Ted again, but this time we posed to him a far weightier question: Who are the 10 greatest guitarists of all time? As you would expect, the Nuge didn't disappoint - he went to 11.
But Nugent is quick to stress that "it would be wrong and dishonest to fail to mention so many other guitar geniuses beyond the 11 on the following pages."
Who are those other guitarists? Ted has them committed to memory: "Bo Diddley, Ronnie Montrose, Gary Moore, John Sykes, Derek St. Holmes, Eric Johnson, SRV, Joe Perry, Sammy Hagar, Duane Eddy, Dick Dale, Brad Whitford, Steve Vai, Chris Duarte, Angus Young, Johnny Winter, Steve Hunter, Bugs Henderson, Joe Satriani, Richie Blackmore, Steve Morse, Brian Jones, Keith Richards, Mick Taylor, Brad Gillis, Mike Bloomfield, Les Paul, Ricky Medlocke, Brian May, George Harrison, Joe Podorsek, Donnie Henderson, Dave Amato, Paul Kossof, Tom Miranda, Richie Sambora, Freddie King, Albert King, BB King, Mark Knopfler, Steve Ferris, Frank Moreno, Tommy Shaw, Tony Iommi, Zakk Wylde, Mick Mars, Tom Morello, Rich Eckhardt, Wayne Kramer, Mark Farner, Dick Wagner, Yngwie Malmsteen... and a virtual shitload of so many other guitar monsters I am failing to mention here, all of whom have touched so many in so many fortifying and enriching ways."
In addition, Nugent gives it up for great rhythm sections everywhere. "Without question, all the powerful bands, bassists and drummers that propelled all of our guitar magic forth with such authority and passion," he says. "Guitarists wouldn't be jackshit without our amazing bands.
"So, on behalf of all those killer musicians at our side, I salute and thank my incredible rhythm gods Mick Brown and Greg Smith and the army of dedicated musical animals I have been so privileged and honored to create and celebrate my music with all these dazzling years. God bless you all, and may the music rage on forever."
"I took every musical influence I have vigorously and intensely hunted down every day of my clean and sober life, combined them with the never-ending lust for adventure and life itself, and the result is my favorite musical SpiritNoize.
"The way I quiver my chord patterns in songs like Cat Scratch Fever, Crave, Love Grenade and so many others, along with the unprecedented way with which I rhythmically pummel pedal tones like Stranglehold, Little Miss Dangerous, Raw Dogs & War Hog and others, mixed with my unique defiance of scales and predictable patterns on my incredible solos, creates what is, without question, my favorite music in the world.
"Everyone should listen to my song Fred Bear and see why it has been the number one requested and celebrated song for more than 25 years in the four states in which it is played on the radio to see what I mean.
"I blow my mind. I am my favorite guitarist. I can hardly stand myself."
Eddie Van Halen
"Rivaling Hendrix for the Guitar Defiance Lifetime Achievement Award, Eddie turned the musical world upside down with his outlandish inventiveness and creativity. Having jammed and performed with Eddie over the years, I can truly say that his magical, superhuman musical oneness is one of life's greatest gifts to behold."
"Paying homage to the great black American inventors of guitar blues, ol' Billy G pushed the envelope deeper into the black soul than any other guitar genius. This Texan oozes sensual, sexual goo every time he touches the guitar.
"ZZ Top music kills."
"From Hang On Sloopy through the Winter brothers' collaborations to his Rock And Roll Hoochie Koo solo work, Rick was a virtuoso's virtuoso that never let his astonishing technique get in the way of pure rawness.
"Every time I've jammed with Rick, I've loved watching him dance upon and explore the fretboard."
"Carrying on the founders' vision of guitar-dominated songs and musical themes, Jimmy created some of the world's most impacting and timeless six-string musical moments ever.
"Though the influence of Link Ray, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters and other blues masters on Jimmy is inescapable, this English gentleman brought these American musical geniuses to the fore with his deft reinterpretations and developments on their themes.
"Led Zepplin music is essential for happiness."
"How this guy had so much soul and musical discipline at such a young age for a white guy will forever remain one of life's great mysteries. Eric brought both unbridled outrage and infectious melodiousness to hard-driving, bluesy guitar music at the perfect time.
"Everything Cream is to die for."
"From the Yardbirds onward, Jeff reminded us all that tone was god and a soulful touch was paramount to guitar music. The Truth and Beck-Ola albums say it all."
"Are you kidding me? Talk about sonic defiance, unadulterated outrage and pure animal bombast. This superhuman being called in an airstrike, cleared out the battlefield and started a guitar revolution that struck fear and astonishment across the musical hinterland.
"Jimi reminded musicians and musical lovers everywhere that rules were made to be broken, and that the status quo must always be wiped out and cleansed with regularity. This guy was not human. Listen to Foxy Lady, Fire, Purple Haze, 3rd Stone From The Sun, Manic Depression, Little Wing and more. Often.
"Thank God for Jimi Hendrix."
“The original guitar god with Billy LeeAnd The Rivieras that became Mitch Ryder And The Detroit Wheels, this guy delivered a six-string tsunami of both rhythmical chordal pulses and solo-note jabs andflurriesthat are unrivaled to this day.
"What Jimmy did with a Gibson Byrdland and Gretch Country Gentlemen through a Fender Twin Reverb amp inspires me beyond words. Listen to Jenny Take A Ride, Devil With The Blue Dress and Sock It To Me. Jimmy kills.”
"Listen to the original Wham! and Suzie Q for the definitive touch, tone, lyricism and soulful musical attitude. Lonnie figured out before anybody else just how to project the right notes and the ultimate sound that penetrated deep into our sensual souls."
"There is no question in my musical mind that His Highness, Chuck Berry, took this relatively new electrified instrument and unleashed a torrent of innovative tones, patterns, licks and unprecedented lyrical cadence and outrage that fired up the way and tore down all possible walls for all future guitar jammers. It's a spirit that lives on today.
"Every one of his songs define soulful, uppity all-American rock 'n' roll. God bless Chuck Berry."