UGH...The tired, "BEST" Rock guitarist thread

Only because  I found a REALLY  good  copy of terrible  Ted's debut(his best IMO) yesterday, I'm sharing this one. Ted describing the electric  guitar God hierarchy gets my vote. I tapped out after Dog Eat Dog(before Derek St Holmes was dropped.) Those 2 albums and early Amboy Dukes still sound great to me.



I have NO love for Ted Nugent. Is he even relevant anymore? He is just an old rocker who still thinks he is relevant, sad.  I remember he had a couple of hits way back when but......

stereo5- I imagine if one’s beliefs followed a certain orange haired,red capped genuis, he might be?

I just admired his playing and knowledge/experience as a R&R geetar player in the 70’s. He is the real deal as far as R&R musicianship.

Otherwise, if were in my 20’s I likely would see him as some old, irrelevant white dude.

Ted is as relevant as any of us. Why the anger? Don’t like his point of view on things? He is both relevant and free to have his views.  

I'm so sick of look-at-me-I'm-so-cool guitar solos, I could hurl. Sure, bad taste is often good taste. But bad taste is bad taste more often.

Sigh...oh dear

My post misunderstood. My fault since I always think most will " get it"

I believe a typical 20 something would see Mr Nugent as musically irrelevant. That all that  was meant. Good grief!

For those who aren't guitar players/admirers...never mind(as Emily would say)

If Nuge says it's so, I'll trust him on this issue. I'm not a big Van Halen fan and I like more soul than flair on the electric guitar but no doubt Eddie is admired by many.

What EVH represents is the R&R guitarist who came out of the dying Classic Rock  period(which doesn't go beyond mid 70's or so, IMO) and introducing  things truly revolutionary that just about ALL Rock guitarist moving forward, acknowledge.

I quickly lost interest in VH after their 2nd LP. Saw them in 78 when their debut came out and they were doing their first rounds of arena concerts not long after doing Pasadena backward parties and Holliday Inns and the LA clubs.

Ted Templeman produced  the debut LP-Anyone who also listened to early Montrose knows the BIG SOUND of those albums. No audiophool LP needed.

Blues Breakers/Cream era Clapton remains my favorite electric blues guitarist. Those recordings are the reason I bought an electric and hunkered down to learn to play. Ardent.Mellifluous..

@whitefishpoint1175 - Love me some Phil Manzanera and all the work he's done on his own and other projects, including Roxy, Eno, etc! And if you like FZ's guitar playing, have you heard his son Dweezil? I think he's even better than his dad....

"Blues Breakers/Cream era Clapton"


can't remember exact articles, but I've read many over the years of 70's era players citing the "Beano" BB album as their inspiration. 

  You probably know those Clapton BB runs were essentially juiced up riffs rom all his Blues heroes, which Eddie listened to. I picked up on it in the early 80's and finally understood what it meant to go backwards to understand R&R history.


@whitefishpoint1175 - fyi, I haven't heard Dweeze on record, just at some of his live shows. You ain't heard Zappa till you've heard 'Black Napkins' with the featured instruments being 2 baritone saxes! But you should be able to find plenty of live stuff from him on YouTube. 

I have loved and admired many of the great and well known guitarists, but I think that it’s important to realize that because there’s so little room at the top where a player becomes famous, there are many brilliant players that never become known.

One example that comes to mind occurred about 4 years ago. I went to see Chris Isaak I think, and the opening act was Jesse Colin Young. I was expecting a snorefest, but actually, he was excellent with a great band. He had in his band a young Asian guitarist in his twenties that I thought was one of the most technically advanced players I had ever seen in my life...and I’ve seen a lot of the greats.

My point is that many who are famous are great, but many who are great aren’t famous.

I lost most of my interest in lead guitarist with the advent of arena rock in late 70's. I was more into the blues, blues/rock guitarists. Once that blues based feel gone, the soul left. That's not to say, other forms of lead still interested and continue to interest me today. I got into Prog rock, and still listen, the new Jam bands carry on that torch, some very fine leads in this genre. And then I like Celtic, International, Americana, bluegrass, old country, blues, I could go on and on. Some of best lead guitarists are NOT rock guitarists. If some of these guys chose or had chosen to be rock leads they would have been rock gods.

Not the best pick for Manzanera. Listen to "Walking through Heaven's door", magical and audiophile quality to boost.

@russ69 +1


Think the focus was on EVH ... not the Nuge... 


He will burn your house down though ... sayin

For me Eddie was best rock guitarist long before Ted said so…

It has nothing to do with his speed or showmanship (or lack there of)

But I agree, like Ted says his phrasing and sense or rhythm and timing has a groove that was second to none…

The  title implies one of those silly, chest pounding, insert the name threads, BUT is clarified with Theodore talking about Eddie.

Since Whitefish1175 decided to jack the thread with something completely UNRELATED, I'll pile on to it. Along with my Teddy LP, I got this-:

Jean Luc Ponty Play the music of Frank Zappa-excellent!




"For me Eddie was best rock guitarist long before Ted said so…"

johhnycamp5- I knew from the first time I heard VH's cover of "You Really Got Me" in 1978 that EVH was different and, unique. After seeing VH, it was confirmed.

Ted is so polarizing, I think it's cool he mentions EVH as a "BEST".

Mastery, passion, intelligence, creative genius, humility, and modesty...Mahavishnu John McLaughlin had it all. With Miles and then with MO...transcendent.

But maybe you don't count him as "Rock".

IMO Hendrix was the greatest in Rock history in that case.  Beck, Page, Clapton, FZ (and Dweezil), SRV, EVH, Larry Carleton, you name it...none contributed as much to the development of "Rock" as Jimi did in his too short life on the scene.

You dudes all need to chill.  Maybe take a journey to the center of your mind.  🤣

 " Maybe take a journey to the center of your mind."

bigtwin- +1

Amboy Dukes LP's fortunately are always in the 3/$10 bin, but I haven't found an unmolested copy yet. I have the debut and "Call of the Wild".


@crustycoot  Mahavishnu John McLaughlin did have it all. Carlo and John together, just wow! Larry Coryell another great in the Fusion genre.

In more straight rock genre, I also very much enjoy dual leads such as Allman Bros., Wishbone Ash, Quicksilver Messenger Service. Rodney Stewart had a fair share of very nice leads, Jeff Beck and Ronnie Wood to name a couple. My fav Stones lead, Mick Taylor, saw him live after splitting with band, very very nice.


The other thing I'd add about leads in general, is while we often think of solos when thinking about leads, its the small gestures and flourishes  when in background that make a great lead as much or more than the solos.


Funny thing about leads, I notice much of today's youth don't care for guitars in the manner spoken of here. Very few guitar solos and guitars way down in mix. Synths dominate. Rock only a very small genre today, best guitar players have long been migrating to other genres. OP original post reflects this present state, mentioning "tired", which is apt due to what will likely be the same old rehashing of mostly long gone bands and leads.

I'll keep the thread off topic  since the mentions are cool artists. This is just breakfast time filler anyway.

John  Mclaughlin IS one of the original guitar "shredders" before the term "shred."

As a guitar wanker, always hypnotized listening /watching someone play a million notes with the space of 1. There are plenty of players that can do that, but Mclaughlin is one of the few to get away with it.

I especially like his world/Indian CD release. Great live album. Maybe a good audiophool  showoff for those into that sort of thing.


Thanx for the tip, just bought the Remember Shakti from discogs. $12 for double CD! 

Did I mention on this website that I walked out in the middle of a Mahavishnu Orchestra concert at the Santa Monica Civic? Virtuosity to spare. But stiff, one-dimensional and overbearing.

Every band can have off night. One of the WORST concerts I ever saw, Moody Blues, mid 70's last show of long tour. I thought they'd go out with big bang, instead went out with a snooze. I can imagine Mahavishnu would also greatly benefit from a sympathetic sound system, John's studio albums display a pretty 'crunchy' sound from his guitar, very biting at times. So, the best concerts ally good sound quality with performance intensity, involvement, this was far too rare in my big concert going days.


Speaking of live concerts and previous mention of Zappa, saw him three times in George Duke era, Frank was way underrated guitarist. Funniest thing, Frank was big chain smoker at the time, could swear he had cigarette going on all concert long non-stop, when it came time for solos, lit cig stashed up in headstock.


Since OP meant this for uncool leads, how bout another round of Free Bird. My recollection of that era was the constant rotation of the same songs on FM, that made even cool songs into uncool songs for me. Stairway to Heaven another example, could think of far more. I bet they continue to play the same overplayed songs on today's classic rock stations.

I don't generally go along with the concept of 'best' when it comes to the arts, so my favorite hard-rock guitarist is Don 'Buck Dharma' Roeser of Blue Oyster Cult. 

@sns - FZ used to say 'cigarettes are food'.... 

On a good night, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton. John Cipollina, Jerry Garcia and Jorma Kaukonen. Johnny Winter, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Johnson. Danny Gatton, Roy Buchanan. Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Shawn Lane, Steve Morse.


"I don't generally go along with the concept of 'best':

larsman- I agree. Musicianship isn't the same as the fastest sprinter or athletic endeavor.  

It is however, interesting to hear an opinion from a polarizing guy as Ted, who does have cred to make such a statement.

The non relevant straying is....TIRED, as the title says. 

Dave Navarro never seems to be in the conversation so tossing that out. But really, is there anyone who can touch John Butler? Listen to “ocean” on the 11 string guitar and its game over.


A truly prime selection of fret flyers. But I'm also partial toward the punk/new-wave generation. The Ramones (I'll never remember their individual first names) remain underappreciated and unsurpassed for their unanimity and sheer enthusiasm & passion. No band ever sounded happier to be playing what they were playing.

My favorite quote about shredding guitar players was Zappa, "It's not a pushup contest." I met Hendrix, opened for Zep, blah blah...most moving guitar playing I've ever heard? Jesse Ed Davis was in town (Honolulu) for a while (I actually loaned him a Fender Vibroverb for some recording thing he was doing) and he sat in with a band I knew for a simple blues jam...I'll never forget it. For me the jazz world has the most interesting players...Julian Lage, John that...saw Joe Pass in the mid

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Yes Wolf, Joe Pass was an unparalleled prodigy of the instrument for jazz. Completely organic and effortless.

@edcyn - Joey, Johnny, and DeeDee were there the whole time; Tommy was the original drummer, than Marky.... A good time was had by all at a Ramones gig! 

Well, the thread is totally off topic, but what the heck...

"saw Joe Pass in the mid 70s"

wolf_garcia-Yes! My guitar teach and I saw Joe at the local college in the late 70's.

I wish I could have seen Barney Kessel- an original "wrecking crew" player before there was the "wrecking crew." 

"A good time was had by all at a Ramones gig" 


I was fortunate to catch the original lineup with Marky, and with Richie. I thought the Ramones were in "Jumped the Shark"  territory with the R&R High School  movie appearance. For me, they peaked at the Rocket to Russia album. 

Hardcore guitar guys would question Johnny's guitar ability, but playing the way he did consistently is tough. I can't play all downstrokes the way he did! Johnny Ramone- master of  2 minute- 1,2,3 4 count off songs!


You guys need to listen to Kim Simmonds of Savoy Brown fame.  He has been called the Jimi Hendrix of Blues.

I got heat from my wannabe punk band members because I just could not do Johnny Ramone's all down-stroke guitar style for more than a few measures at a time. The band leader put me down for being a surf guitarist. The trouble was that I was the only member who could provide a regular place to practice.

There's no questioning EvH's brilliance as a musician.  He was the real deal, although he probably didn't produce music equivalent to his talent level.  On the other hand Ted Nugent as a guitar player is a footnote.  A fine entertainer, but his playing is run of the mill.  Compare him to Rick Derringer, Steve Hunter, Angus Young, James Gurley, Eddie Hazel, Joe Walsh, Jim McCarty, Dick Wagner, Stephen Stills, Jeff Baxter, Leslie West, Michael Monarch, James Mankey or Jerry Miller.

John 5 is a ridiculously good talent. 

Buckethead is also an incredible talent. 

@tablejockey - Marky was not in the original lineup. Tommy was the original drummer, and he's on 'Rocket to Russia', which is also my favorite of their's....

Did I mention in this website that I saw Joe Pass do a solo gig at...what was it...Dante's Nightclub in L.A.? Eventually his solos got a bit long in the tooth for me but there was no questioning his soul, chops or integrity. 

onhwy61- all the players listed are great-Rick Derringer imm

ediately brings to mind the incomparable Johnny Winter.

I’ve posted this before- A real R&R guitarist has to make Johnny B Goode their own.



All 20 somethings think all good musicians are irrelevant.  That's what it's like to be young and inexperienced.

But I wouldn't put Nugent in the top 1000 guitarists.