Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Axemen Cometh! - the Official Lists of the Top 100 Guitarists

The following lists were compiled by music magazines of the top 100 guitarists of all time.

Rolling Stone Magazine 2003

Hot Guitarist. com's TOP 100 GUITAR PLAYERS OF ALL TIME

Guitar World's Top 100 Metal/Rock Guitarists of all time 2004

From Mojo's top lists Top 100 Greatest Guitarists of all time 1996
Mojo - 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time
June 1996 Issue

Artist - Outstanding Track (Album/CD/Single) - year of track or album - Main Guitar

1. Jimi Hendrix - Are you experienced, the whole album - 1967 - Fender Stratocaster
2. Steve Cropper - Green Onions - 1962 - Fender Telecaster
3. Peter Green - The supernatural (John Mayall’s Hard rain) - 1967 - Gibson Les Paul
4. Keith Richards - Jumpin’ Jack Flash - 1968 - Fender Telecaster 1950’s
5. Chuck Berry - Johnny B. Goode - 1958 - Gibson ES-350
6. Eric Clapton - Crossroads (Wheels of fire) 1968 - Custom Fender Stratocaster
7. Jimmy Page - In my time of dying (Physical Graffiti) - 1975 - Gibson Les Paul
8. T Bone Walker - Your my best poker hand (The Complete..) - 1946 - Gibson ES-150
9. Neil Young - Like a Hurricane (Decade) - 1977 - Gibson Les Paul
10. Richard Thompson - Can’t Win (Watching The Dark) - 1988 - 1959 Fender Stratocaster
11. B.B. King - Sweet Little Angel - (Live at the Regal) - 1965 - “Lucille” Gibson Archtop
12. Jimmy Nolen - Papa’s got a brand new bag - (Any James Brown compilation) - 196? - Vox 335 copy.
13. Jeff Beck - Where were you? (Guitar shop) - 1989 - Fender Esquire
14. Stevie Ray Vaughan - Pride and Joy (Texas Flood) - 1983 - Fender Stratocaster
15. Pete Townshend - My Generation - 1965 - Rickenbacker 1997
16. George Harrison - Something - 1969 - Rickenbacker 360 - 12
17. Robert Johnson - Come on in my kitchen (the complete recordings of..) - 1937 - Gibson L1
18. Charlie Christian - Solo Flight (Genius of electric guitar) - 1988 - Gibson ES-150
19. Guitar Slim - The things I used to do (The things I used to do) - 1953 - Telecaster
20. Johnny Ramone - It’s alive (Whole album) 1979 - Mosrite Ventures
21. Eddie Van Halen - Eruption ( Van Halen) - 1978 - Custom Linn Ellsworth
22. Ry Cooder - Vigilante Man ( The Purple Valley) - 1972 - Customised Fender Stratocaster
23. Johnny Marr - The Queen is dead - 1986 - Fender Stratocaster
24. Hubert Sumlin - 300 pounds of joy (Single) - 1990 - Gibson Les Paul Gold Top
25. Curtis Mayfield - People get ready (Originals) - 1965 - Fender Stratocaster
26. James Burton - It’s up to you (Ricky Nelson’s All my best) - 1992 - Fender Telecaster
27. Elmore James - The sky is crying (The history of..) - 1990 - A cheap Kay
28. Frank Zappa - Watermelon in Easter hay (Joe’s Garage) - 1978 - Gibson SG
29. J Mascis - Freak Scene (Dinosaur Jr’s Bug) - 1988 - 1963 Fender Jazzmaster
30. Buddy Guy - Five long Years (Damn right I’ve got the blues) - 1991 - Fender Stratocaster
31. Freddie King - Have you ever loved a woman ( Texas Sensation) - 1960 - Les Paul Gold Top
32. The Edge - Bullet in the blue sky (Joshua Tree) 1987 - Gibson Explorer
33. Prince - I wanna be your lover (Prince) - 1979 - Cheap Telecaster Copy
34. Tom Verlaine - Marquee Moon (Television’s Marquee Moon) - 1977 - Fender Jazzmaster
35. Jerry Garcia - Dark Star (Live Dead) - 1969 - Irwin Custom
36. Sister Rosetta Tharpe - That’s all (Lucky Millinder’s Apollo Jump) - 1941 - Gibson SG Custom
37. Eddie Cochran - My Way (Legendary Master series) - 1972 - Gretsch Chet Atkins
38. Roger McGuinn - Mr Tambourine man - 1965 - Rickenbacker 360 - 12
39. Duane Allman - Dreams (Allman Brothers Band) - 1970 - Gibson Les Paul
40. Link Wray - Rumble (The best of..) - 1994 - Danelectro Guitarlin
41. Robbie Robertson - Unfaithful Servant (Rock of ages) - 1972 - Fender Telecaster
42. Bert Jansch - Angie (Bert Jansch) - 1965 - Yamaha acoustic
43. Chet Atkins - Chinatown,My Chinatown (The RCA Years) - 1952 - Gretsch Chet Atkins
44. Hank Marvin - Sleepwalk (The Shadows) - 1961 - Fender Stratocaster
45. Robert Lockwood - Hard time getting Started (The Chess Box) - 1952 - Gibson L7
46. Scotty Moore - That’s all Right (Elvis’s The Sun Collection) - 1954 - Gibson Super 400
47. Eldon Shamblin - Faded Love (Bob Wills, Classic Western Swing) - 1950 - Gibson Super 400
48. Bo Diddley - Mumblin’ Guitar (Have Guitar will Travel) - 1959 - Square Gretsch
49. Lowell George - Fat man in the Bathtub ( Dixie Chicken) - 1973 - Fender Stratocaster
50. Ron Asheton - TV eye (The Stooges, Fun House) - 1970 - Fender Stratocaster
51. Robert Fripp - Sailor’s Tail (Islands) - 1971 - Ferandez Sustainer
52. David Gilmour - Shine on you crazy Diamond (Wish you were here) - 1975 - Fender Stratocaster
53. Mick Ronson - The width of a circle (The man who sold the world) - 1971 - Gibson Les Paul
54. Syd Barrett - Baby Lemonade (Barrett) - 1970 - Fender Telecaster
55. Bob Mould - Friend, You got to fall (Songs and Stories) - 1987 - Ibanez Rock ‘n’ Roll Junior
56. Leo Nocentelli - Sophisticated Cissy (The Meters, Good old funky music) - 1990 - Fender Stratocaster
57. Nile Rodgers - Good Times (Chic, Risqué) - 1979 - Fender Stratocaster
58. Clarence White - Cuckoo Bird (Everly Brothers Single) - 1969 - Custom Fender Telecaster
59. Steve Jones - Bodies ( Never Mind the Bollocks ) - 1977 - Gibson Les Paul
60. Kurt Cobain - Serve the servants (In Utero) - 1993 - Fender Jaguar
61. Wayne Kramer - Looking at you ( Back in the USA) - 1970 - Fender Stratocaster
62. Les Paul - How high the moon (The Legend & the Legacy) - 1991 - Gretsch Chet Atkins :-))
63. Eddie Taylor - I’m Gonna Love You (J Reed & E Taylor, Ride ‘em on down) - 1955 - Gibson ES-355
64. Ike Turner - Prancing ( Unissued track given away with Guitar Player Mag.) - 1959 - Fender Stratocaster
65. Dick Dale - Misirlou (The best of..) 1962 - Fender Stratocaster
66. Cliff Gallup - Crusin’ (Gene Vincent & the Blue caps, Guitar Player Mag. Giveaway) - 1991 - Gretsch Duo-jet
67. Lou Reed - I can’t stand it (Velvet Underground, V.U.) - 1985 - Gretsch Country Gentleman
68. King Sunny Ade - Sunny Loni (Live live Juju) - 1988 - Fender Telecaster
69. Leo Kottke - Ojo (6 & 12 String Guitar) - 1969 - Taylor 12 string
70. Eddie Hazel - Maggot Brain (Funkadelic, Maggot Brain) - 1971 - Fender Stratocaster
71. Albert King - Blues Power (Live wire/Blues power) - 1969 - Gibson Flying V
72. Carlos Santana - Sampa Pa Ti (Abraxis) - 1970 - Yamaha SG 2000
73. Merle Travis - Merle’s Boogie (Capital Classics) - 1948 - Custom Merle Travis/Paul Bigsby
74. Wes Montgomery - Montgomeryland Funk Chase (Far Wes, Pacific Jazz) - 1959 - Gibson L5
75. Billy Gibbons - Nasty Dogs & Funky Kings (ZZ Top, Fantango!) - 1975 - Gibson Les Paul
76. Peter Tosh - Get up, Stand up (The Wailers, Burnin’) - 1973 - Gibson Les Paul Sp.
77. Joni Mitchell - Coyote (Hejira) - 1976 - Martin D-45
78. Mike Bloomfield - East West (The Butterfield blues band, East - West) - 1966 - Gibson Les Paul
79. Zoot Horn Rollo - Big eyed beans from Venus (Cpt. Beefheart, Clear Spot) - 1972 - Danelectro
80. Angus Young - For those about to rock (AC/DC) - 1981 - Gibson SG
81. Mark Knopfler - You and your friend (Dire Straits, On every street) - 1991 - Fender Stratocaster
82. Bernard Butler - How about you (The Sound of McAlmont & Butler) - 1995 - Gibson ES-355
83. Charley Patton - A spoonful blues (Founder of the delta blues) - 1989 - Stella
84. John McLaughlin - Dream (Mahavishnu Orchestra, Between Nothingness & Eternity) - 1973 - Rex Double neck Gibson
85. Carl Perkins - Matchbox (Carl Perkins) - 1957 - Gibson ES-5 switchmaster
86. James Williamson - Search & Destroy (The Stooges, Raw Power) - 1973 - Les Paul custom
87. Rory Gallagher - Shadow Play (Stage Struck) - 1980 - Fender Stratocaster
88. Ernie Isley - Summer Breeze (Isley Brothers, 3+3) - 1973 - Fender Stratocaster
89. John McGeogh - Spellbound (Siouxsie & the Banshees, Juju) - 1981 - Yamaha SG1000
90. Toni Iommi - Supernaut (Black Sabbath, Vol 4) - 1972 - Gibson SG Jr
91. Mark Ribot - 16 shells from a 30-Ought-6 (Tom Waits, Big Time) - 1988 - Fender Telecaster
92. Bonnie Raitt - Give it up or let me go (Give it up) - 1972 - National Resonator
93. Phil Manzanera - In every home a Heartache (Roxy Music, For your pleasure) - 1973 - Gibson Firebird
94. John Cipollina - The Fool (Quicksilver messenger service) - 1968 - Gibson SG
95. Mick Green - My Babe (Johnny Kid & The Pirates, Classic & Rare) - 1993 - Fender Telecaster
96. Jonny Greenwood - Just (Radiohead, The Bends) - 1995 - Fender Telecaster
97. John Squire - Shoot you Down (The Stone Roses) - 1989 - Gretsch Country Gentleman
98. John Fahey - When you wore a tulip (After the ball) - 1973 - Yamaha Acoustic
99. Marv Tarplin - Tracks of my tears (Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, Single) - 1970 - Gibson Les Paul Custom
100. Ritchie Blackmore - Highway Star (Deep Purple, Made in Japan) - 1972 - Fender Stratocaster

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Axemen Cometh!

In 2003, Rolling Stone Magazine put out a list of the Top 100 guitarists of all time. That list was controversial. There were phenomenal guitarists left off of that list. Not all music genres were fairly represented. Some who made the list should not have made the list.

Other mags, through the years, have also put out their lists of the top ranked guitarists, and the same types of criticisms ensued. Guitar World had no people of the feminine persuasion on their list.

I think we should take a look at those lists. Compare them. Discuss them. Time has gone by since those lists were compiled. We need to add to them. Reconfigure the rankings. Explore the music and the musicians!

Here's the link to RollingStone's 2003 Top 100 Guitarists List:

Next Blog Post: The Axemen Cometh! Each day we'll highlight a specific guitarist. We'll talk about his music, his style, his history, his instrument! Stay tuned. (haha)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Be A Blissard of "Bliss" by Muse

Bliss is happiness, and a Blissard, if I may coin the phrase, is a happy person. Be one. Be a Blissard. It's a choice to make every day, no matter what.

Here's a piece of music to which you can listen, that may bring you a bit of joy, if you're a rock fan. It goes like this:

"Everything about you is how I'd wanna be,
Your freedom comes naturally
Everything about you resonates happiness,
Now i wont settle for less.
Give me all the peace and joy in your mind. Oohhhh.
Everything about you pains my envying,
Your soul can't hate anything.
Everything about you is so easy to love,
They're watching you from above.
Give me all the peace and joy in your mind. x3
Ohhhhhhh" ----Lyrics to "BLISS" by MUSE

I like this song. It's a love song, a modern day, alternative rock love song, by Muse. The video for it is cool. Here's the link: (Copy and paste in your browser)

Here's some backgound about Muse: This English alternative rock band had their song "Supermassive Black Hole", included on the "Twilight" soundtrack. Per Wikipedia, "Twilight" was the best-selling theatrical movie soundtrack in the United States since "Chicago". The soundtrack won the 2009 American Music Award for Favorite Soundtrack. This song, "Supermassive Black Hole" was also featured at the beginning of the Series 6 Doctor Who episode "The Rebel Flesh". A live version of this song is at: (Copy and paste in your browser)

...and, here is the Music Video from Twilight:

Muse formed in 1994 with school friends Matthew Bellamy (lead vocals, guitars, keyboards), Christopher Wolstenholme (bass, backing vocals, keyboards, guitars, harmonica) and Dominic Howard (percussion, synthesisers, backing vocals). After the release of their 2006 album "Black Holes and Revelations", Morgan Nicholls performed live with the band. Muse are known for their exciting live performances, and their fusion of genres, including space rockpost grungeprogressive rockalternative rockheavy metalclassical music, and electronica.
Muse have released five studio albums, from 1999 through 2009, have won numerous music awards, and have sold 11 million albums worldwide. Matthew Bellamy has said "Bliss" is his favourite song because it's got 80s arpeggios and keyboards on it, reminding him of music when he was a child, a simpler, more pleasant time. Per Wikipedia, Christopher Wolstenholme said: "We have just always loved playing that song ["Bliss"] live. Even if you don't know the song it has one of those disco-ey feels to it but recorded in a rock way. It was one of those songs that when we play it live you always know if you are having a bad gig - it will be the song that will get the crowd going."

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Blizzard of Ozz, the 1980 debut solo album of former Black Sabbath frontman Ozzie Osbourne

**** This is a "Crazy Train" live performance from the album The Blizzard of Ozz featuring Randy Rhoads on guitar.

In 1979, Black Sabbath sacked its lead singer, Ozzie Osbourne, and Ozzie who was forming a new band auditioned 22 year old Randy Rhoads for guitarist. As Rhoads was tuning up, Ozzie hired him immediately, later saying it was if God had entered his life.

The band, The Blizzard of Ozz, released its debut album of the same name in 1980 featuring Randy Rhoads on his Gibson Les Paul guitar. Rhoads was clasically trained and a pioneering innovator in neo-classical metal music. It was said that Rhoads guitar jumped out to scare the listener.

The album is one of the few albums to achieve 4x Platinum certification in the U.S. without the benefit of a Top 40 single. The album has sold over 6 million copies worldwide, making it Ozzy's best selling album to date.

Rhoads died in 1982 at age 25 in a plane crash. His career was short, but he left his mark. Randy won Guitar Magazine's Best New Artist award. His guitar tone was special. See the following link on how to achieve Randy's tone. 
**** (Copy and paste into your browser.)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Love, Love Me Do: My Brush with The Beatles

  • I met the Beatles, alone with my cousin, when I was a kid. My aunt was in charge of  'star' relations as the Promotional Director of Pittsburgh's theatrical venue and she met all the stars when they came to do shows and saw to their needs. Carol Burnett always wrote thank you notes and Zero Mostel ("Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum", Fiddler, "The Producers") followed her around and said "Can you believe she's Jewish?" My aunt was a stunning woman, a tall statuesque blue-eyed blonde. I should post a picture of her. She was lovely.

    Anyway, I was in 7th or 8th grade and prided myself on not being starstruck, a non-groupie, and, I was shy, didn't say anything, and was distant. My cousin Rhonda, 2 years older, looked like my Aunt Rose, and George Harrison chatted with her. Like many things, I took this meeting for granted and didn't think much of it. It's only later in life that I became interested in stars and star power.

    Rhonda led a sad life, as her mother died when she was eleven, and her Catholic half sister, Velma, took her in and treated her like Cinderella. I never understood why my family didn't adequately come to her rescue. She became a porn star without talent (movie "3 AM"). Later, we heard she was in a car accident in Florida, suffering facial damage. Without her beauty she committed suicide.
  • I met The Beatles in connection with their first US concert tour in Pittsburgh. During the concert, I was in the 11th row center aisle and couldn't hear a thing of The Beatles through the screaming crowd. No wonder John, Paul, George didn't enjoy their US touring, as explained in the new news story in the link below.

    Paste the link below into your browser to see the news article, with pictures, about The Beatles.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

TV's Mildred Pierce and The Great Depression, Blog Part I

Born in 1923, my father grew up during the Great Depression. My father's grandfather, Meyer, was an immigrant from Latvia and he had worked in the local public school system before he owned a small corner grocery store in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's Hill District. In the early 1930s, people bought their groceries on account. After the Depression hit, eventually many people couldn't pay their grocery bills. In those days because of that, Meyer couldn't pay his bills, either. To keep his store from going under, Meyer approached the Hebrew Free Loan Association and asked for a loan. Meyer took my father, who was a child, with him, to the loan meeting. The men on the Loan Committee knew my great-grandfather from the public school system, from when they were school children. They loaned my great-grandfather $500 which was a lot of money then and sealed the deal with a handshake.

My father's aunt was a ticket taker for a movie theater. So, while my grandmother worked in a millenary shop selling hats, the movie theater was my father's babysitter.

My father has seen Joan Crawford as Mildred Pierce. He saw that movie again on television two weeks ago, and now, we're watching the HBO miniseries, Mildred Pierce, currently in its third installment of a five part series.

It's no coincidence that there is a re-make of Mildred Pierce at this point in time. If you pay attention to the background sound, you can hear Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivering a speech about unscrupulous bankers. There are parallels between then and now.

Mildred Pierce starts out during the early 1930s, when the depression was hitting its hardest, and the turn of life was at its cusp. It was a boom bust period, from the late 1920s to the early 30s, and life's changes were affecting everyone, hitting them right where they lived. Those changes were difficult to absorb, mentally. Moraes, customs, value systems, life's expectations were at a crossroads, but the full realization of the necessary adjustments forced by those changes were difficult to grasp.

The Mildred Pierce story is about a well-off middle class housewife, during that period, who divorces a cheating husband, and how she and those around her handle the near-dire circumstances in which they find themselves in. It's a heart-wrenching and heroic story, an actress's dream.

To be Continued in TV's Mildred Pierce and The Great Depression, Blog Part II


Monday, April 4, 2011

Big Girl Blizzard Queen

When I was a little girl and an only child, my father loved my mother and me with food. My dad would take us out, after dinner, on many a summer evening, riding in the 1960 red Bonneville convertible, with the white top down, the jasmine breeze dilating our nostrils and flapping the silly chiffon scarves tied around our hair. These jaunts invariably ended up at a fast food drive-thru diner.

McDonalds, Wendy's,  they didn't exist back then. Our drive-thru quests took place at Big Boy's for the best Big Boy Hamburger sandwiches in the whole country. They came with lettuce, pickles, special sauce, and a sesame seed bun. Sans cheese, they were called Big Girls. Yummy. I'm craving them now.

More often than not, we also stopped at Dairy Queen, and that fortunate happenstance was the ultimate acme of summer activity, the taste bud pinnacle of delight. My ordered fare was a Jack and Jill sundae, a double scoop with one scoop of vanilla drenched in chocolate sauce and the other scoop, chocolate in marshmallow sauce.

These days, when I'm feeling nostalgic, I go for a Dairy Queen Blizzard, a soft serve milkshake with candied toppings. I belong to the Dairy Queen Blizzard Club. This month the featured shake at DQ is the Caramel Toffee Cookie Blizzard with almonds.
Oh, look at the time. It's after dinner and it is springtime. Hmm. I think it's time to search out a Blizzard.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Blizzard is a Bunch of Flakes with a Lot of Wind

A Blizzard is a snow storm with excessive high winds and drifting snow that reduces visibility. A Blizzard lasts a long time.

Ever had a blizzard happen to you, in life? I have. You probably have, too. Ever had a job that threw you into a tailspin? Or gone through a difficult divorce?

Sometimes, no matter which way we turn, we're blinded by emotion and can't see our way out. Sometimes, people around us just don't seem reasonable. They blow hard and bring chaos and pain.

When these life blizzards occur, it's important to remember that weather eventually changes and that weather differs by locale.

Life is circumstantial.

You can wait for the weather to change where you are. You can put your snow boots on and goggles and your fur coat. You can tether yourself to a sturdy rail to trudge through the blizzard head on. Or, you can go to a sunny spot in a different milieu where you will be involved with people more suited to this time in your life. You can flourish along a different path, in activities that bring reward. You can give yourself a lighter load.

We don't forget where we've been, and we can return to the place where we used to be. Some things will have changed. You will have changed. Most probably, the weather has changed, and, if not, the sun will be shining  elsewhere.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Beginning

April 2, 2011   Today I start my blog, The Blizzard of Oz. Blogging is new to me, and, I expect it will take a few posts before I get the hang of it. Friends of mine have been encouraging me to write a blog for some time now. Through my looking glass, a magnifying glass, life is interesting. Life is good. Even when it isn't.

You know, sometimes, it's hard to see what lies ahead through a blizzard, but not to panic. Try to look  through the snowflakes. And,...when snow falls, harvest the water.

That's what I do.

--- Oz