Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Guitar Heroes of the 90's and Beyond

I really hate sometimes how people look down on music since 1980. Every great music poll is heavy on music from the 60's and 70's and sometimes I feel like the last 30 years isn't getting its due.

Guitar gods are only 60-70's legends. Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Ritchie Blackmore, Eddie Van Halen, Jimmy Page, etc...well I say you better add these geniuses from the 1990's and beyond carrying on tradition. I might do one for the 80's too just to include Stevie Ray, Slash, Kendall from Fishbone, Vernon Reid, etc...

Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine) - SOUL Power with the fury of activism in each note. Some of the most inventive guitar playing I've ever heard. - see "Bulls on Parade" "Know Your Enemy" "Guerilla Radio"

Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains) - an underrated harmonizing vocalist and just plays with a dark, beautiful angst. See "Man in a Box" "Them Bones" "Would"

Dimebag Darrell (Pantera/Damageplan) - Rest in Peace to a metal legend. I'm glad I got turned on to Pantera late last year and moreso this year. See "Cemetery Gates" "Floods" and "Walk"

Kim Thayil (Soundgarden) - "Rusty Cage" "Jesus Christ Pose" "Black Hole Sun"....if this guy isnt the most underrated guitarist of the decade, I dare you to school me. MIA since the band broke up.

Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead) - I've said for years that I can't get into Radiohead but this year might change. Listen to "Paranoid Android" and that stormtrooper noise on "Creep" and realize that dude is a genius. Should've won an Oscar for There Will Be Blood's score but rules kept him from it.

Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins/Zwan) - Yeah he's a better songwriter/vocalist than actual instrumentalist. But listen to "Geek USA", "Cherub Rock" "Zero" and tell me he's not a decent shredder too.

Jack White (White Stripes/Raconteurs) - A combo of Detroit fury, Southern blues and old-fashioned rock makes all that WS sound. Rolling Stone ranked him too high in their poll but he's a guitar genius in training. "Seven Nation Army," "Icky Thump" prove it to me.

Mike Einziger (Incubus) - He's underrated as well because Incubus got a few female fans off Brandon's looks. But his guitar playing is creative and can cross genres, giving Incubus a diverse sound that makes them one of the most unique bands of the late 90's-early 00's.

Mike McCready (Pearl Jam) - In the mold of hard rock legends before, McCready gives that 70's arena rock flair to a great band. The whole 10 album says he's a great player (Black and Alive) and he's still killin it on songs.

John Frusicante (Red Hot Chili Peppers) - The last guy I'm mentioning. My 2nd favorite guitarist of all time - Melody, psychedelia, hard rock, Hendrix-like. Too many solos to name, too many great songs to peep. A teen prodigy who blossomed into one of the most technically sound guitarists of my lifetime.

So I more to name. Actually I'll just show his pic and let y'all bug out

WTF???? Have I lost my Black mind calling this pretty boy a guitar hero. Heck yeah I did and for good reason.

John Mayer deserves to be on this list. Don't let the small voice and simple lyrics fool you, he can PLAY. After watching "Human Nature" at Michael Jackson's funeral and seeing him perform live, dude is bringing the blues alive in that soul of his.

I'm not putting him in Stevie Ray Vaughan's shoes. But I am saying that his skill is underrated and he surprises people with the soul and richness he brings to his craft.


  1. I was going to be very disappointed if JM wasn't on this list. Seeing him live (again) in December!

  2. He definitely had to make it...I've seen him at award shows just impress me and I had to give him his due. Give him another decade and a LOT more people will too.