The 50 Greatest Guitarists of All Timeby yankofau | created - 15 Apr 2015 | updated - 20 May 2017 | Public
As the title states, this is a list about my perspective on who are the 50 greatest men who ever picked up a guitar. As i said, this is my personal appreciation, which is based on my personal prog./alternative rock genres affinity, to be clear about the choosing method for this chart.
1. Frank Zappa
Soundtrack | Baby Snakes
Of all the qualities that typified Frank Zappa, perhaps the most striking is that he was a paradox. A workaholic perfectionist rock star who eschewed the hippie culture of the 1960s, deploring its conformism, spurious ideals and drug use, Zappa was not only a brilliant rock guitarist but an ...
6. Daevid Allen
Actor | Gong: on French TV 1971-1973
Daevid Allen was born on January 13, 1938 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia as Christopher David Allen. He was an actor and composer, known for Gong: on French TV 1971-1973 (2011), Du côté d'Orouët (1971) and The Black Balloon (2012). He was married to Gilli Smyth. He died on ...
Soundtrack | 127 Hours
Ernest Joseph "Trey" Anastasio III (born 30 September 1964) grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, playing drums. He worked with his mother, an editor for Sesame Street Magazine, developing stories and songs of fantasy and fun and meaning. (His father was an executive with the Princeton-based ...
Soundtrack | The Perks of Being a Wallflower
In 1980, Thurston Moore formed the band Sonic Youth as a lead guitarist and singer with Kim Gordon (bass guitars/vocals) and Lee Ranaldo (lead guitars/vocals). In 1981, they released their debut album "Sonic Youth", which attracted lots of attention for using feedback in music. They later released ...
10. Trey Spruance
Composer | The Anna Cabrini Chronicles
Preston Lea "Trey" Spruance III is an American composer, producer, and musician, perhaps best known as guitarist and keyboardist with Mr. Bungle and for his short time in Faith No More. He is also leader of the multi-genre outfit Secret Chiefs 3. Originally a guitarist and trumpeter, Spruance later...
11. Jerry Garcia
Soundtrack | Great Expectations
One of the most prolific and iconic guitarists of the second half of the 20th Century, Jerome John Garcia was born in San Francisco, California, USA on August 1st 1942. Garcia, whose mother was a registered nurse and whose father, Jose, was a small time jazz musician, had a troubled childhood. At ...
16. Adrian Belew
Soundtrack | Rush Hour
Adrian Belew caught the public attention for the first time around 1977 when he played guitar with Frank Zappa, David Bowie or the Talking Heads. He began his solo career in 1981 as singer, guitarist, drummer, lyricist, composer and producer of his own records. Since then he has released 15 of them...
17. John Frusciante
Soundtrack | Stealth
John Anthony Frusciante was born on March 5, 1970, in New York. He became interested in rock music at an early age. After his parents divorced, John and his mother moved to California when he was seven. When he was nine, his stepfather offered him his first acoustic guitar.
John taught himself how ...
18. David Byrne
Soundtrack | True Stories
David Byrne is an Oscar winning composer, songwriter and singer, best known for being frontman of the New Wave/punk band Talking Heads, which was active between 1975 and 1991. Born in Scotland but raised in the United States in Maryland, Byrne began performing musically in high school.
22. Johnny Ramone
Soundtrack | 11:14
Johnny Ramone was born John William Cummings in Queens, New York. He went to be the guitar player for the Ramones, alongside Jeffrey Hyman and Douglas Colvin (later Joey Ramone and Dee Dee Ramone). They also hired Thomas Erdelyi (later Tommy Ramone) as drummer. Tommy disbanded in 1978 and asked ...
23. Wayne Kramer
Soundtrack | Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
Wayne Kramer is a songwriter, producer and composer whose reputation writing music for television and film risks supplanting his legend as one of music's stellar guitarists. Rolling Stone Magazine recognizes him as one of the top 100 guitarists of all time and highlights from recent composing and ...
Actor | Animal Room
Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein was born on September 15, 1964 in Lodi, New Jersey, USA as Paul Doyle Caiafa. He is an actor, known for Animal Room (1995), Death Ward 13 and WCW Monday Nitro (1995). He has been married to Stephanie Bellars since September 1, 2001. They have one child.
26. Ian MacKaye
Soundtrack | SLC Punk!
Ian MacKaye formed the Washington, D.C. band Fugazi with Brendan Canty and Joe Lally and Guy Picciotto in 1987. Before that, he was a member of Egg Hunt, Embrace, Minor Threat, Skewbald/ Grand Union, and Teen Idles. Ian created "Dischord Records" in 1980 to document the music coming out of the ...
30. Tom Morello
Soundtrack | Battleship
Tom Morello was born on May 30, 1964 in New York city. He has become an influential guitarist due to his work with Rage Against The Machine in the 1990s. Tom got his Social Studies degree from Harvard and went to L.A to start a band. He briefly played guitarist for a band named Lock Up with fellow ...
32. Kurt Cobain
Soundtrack | Moulin Rouge!
Kurt Cobain was born on February 20 1967, in Aberdeen, Washington. Kurt and his family lived in Hoquiam for the first few months of his life then later moved back to Aberdeen, where he had a happy childhood until his parents divorced. The divorce left Kurt's outlook on the world forever scarred. He...
33. Adam Jones
Special_effects | Jurassic Park
Adam Jones was born on January 15, 1965 in Libertyville, Illinois, USA as Adam Thomas Jones. He is known for his work on Jurassic Park (1993), Escape from L.A. (1996) and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). He has been married to Camella Grace since September 18, 1999.
34. Neil Young
Composer | Dead Man
Neil Young is one of the most respected and prolific rock/folk guitarists of the late 20th century. Raised in Canada, he first became well-known as a guitarist and occasional vocalist for the band Buffalo Springfield. After the band's breakup, Young became a solo performer. However, he also has ...
38. Johnny Marr
Music_department | Inception
Johnny Marr made his name as lead guitarist with the cult British rock band, The Smiths, regarded by some as one of the most influential bands of the 1980s. Along with Morrissey, Marr created some of the most memorable and acclaimed songs of that decade, with Morrissey's witty, satirical lyrics and ...
44. Johnny Thunders
Soundtrack | Bringing Out the Dead
Born in Queens, NY, Thunders is best known as the lead guitarist for the New York Dolls in the early 1970s and unintentionally helped inspire the Punk movements in New York City and London. He later formed The Heartbreakers and went on to a solo career. His career was often interrupted by issues ...
45. Steve Jones
Soundtrack | The A-Team
Stephen Philip Jones, was born on September 3rd, 1955 in West London. His real father, an amateur boxer, named Don Jarvis left Steve and his mother when he was just two years old. Sometime later his Step-father arrived on the scene, for a time, Steve lived in a house with his parents and ...
46. Jerry Cantrell
Actor | Jerry Maguire
Jerry Cantrell is an American musician best known as the founder, lead guitarist, co-lead vocalist and main songwriter for the Seattle Rock band Alice in Chains since 1987. The band was part of the Grunge movement and is known for the unique vocal harmonies between Cantrell and Layne Staley, and ...
48. Graham Coxon
Soundtrack | Southland Tales
Graham Coxon is an English musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and painter who came to prominence as a founding member of the rock band Blur. As the group's lead guitarist and secondary vocalist, Graham Coxon was featured on seven of Blur's studio albums, from 1991's Leisure to 2015'...
50. Dave Navarro
Soundtrack | Twister
Born June 7, 1967 to James Raul 'Mike' Navarro and Constance Colleen Hopkins. His paternal grandparents immigrated from Mexico; his mother, Constance, was a model and worked on Let's Make a Deal (1963). After his parents divorced when he was seven, Dave moved with his mother to Bel Air, and lived ...