Since emerging with Guns N’ Roses, Slash has been one of the world’s most sought after guitarists. Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Quentin Tarantino and so many other fellow icons have sought his services in order to make the good sound great.
The riff master and former Guns N Roses guitarist has been busy of late as a solo artist; first with his self-titled 2010 debut album, quickly followed by 2012’s Apocalyptic Love, and his latest World On Fire, which was released worldwide on June 13th.
Critics and fans alike still debate the greatest rock riff of all time with “Sweet Child O’ Mine” consistently taking top honours, and Time Magazine placed Slash second only to Jimi Hendrix amongst the greatest guitarists of all time.
But who does Slash himself think are the greatest guitarists to walk the Earth? Esquire Magazine found out, and the results show Slash has a heavy inclination towards the blues.
Joe Perry and Brad Whitford from Aerosmith were the first to be nominated, with Slash commenting that “those two guys just have always personified rock guitar to me, and the kind of phrasing and attitude and aggression that appealed to me when I was just picking up the guitar.”
The list also include British blues-rock masters Jeff Beck and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page. “The sound of “Whole Lotta Love,” that introduction where the guitar comes in and then the bass and the drums and everything, was definitely the most primal and most sleazy, sexy kind of thing that I’d ever heard up to that point.”
Billy Gibbons Of ZZ Top, Mick Taylor of The Rolling Stones, and Blues legends BB King and Albert King also made the cut.
“The thing with the Stones is the Stones have such an ensemble sound that a lot of the times you don’t really differentiate between Keith [Richards] and who’s playing lead guitar. You just sort of listen to the Stones as a whole.”
“But the period that Mick Taylor was in the band, as far as lead guitar was concerned, that was my favorite Stones period. That was very much the background of my youth. But when I started playing guitar I recognized how wonderful the lead guitar was and a lot of that Stones material that I loved so much, a lot of it had to do with Mick Taylor’s voicing.”
Further down the list is Rory Gallagher, Pete Townshend of The Who, and Joe Walsh of The Eagles. “Joe’s probably one of the tastiest lead guitar players around. From way before he was in the Eagles, when he was in the James Gang and even in the Eagles, he’s just got such an understated but great, nasty way of playing.”
Rounding out the list, but certainly not the least worthy is Jimi Hendrix, who Slash rightly crowns the pioneer for the electric lead guitar.
“The thing about Jimi is he came along and he was definitely the primal wild man, shit coming out of his pores. It was the extremes of all the different nuances that all the different guitar players before him had and just coming out in droves and saying it in a certain way that was uniquely Jimi and nobody else.”
“Jimi’s still the man. It’s funny because you hear about him so much but he was that great. And his material stands the test of time all these years later.”
Slash is about to arrive in Australia for a whirlwind visit, including performances for Rolling Stones Live Lodge, and the NRL Grand Final.
The 12 Best Guitarists Of All Time According To Slash
Joe Perry (Aerosmith)
Brad Whitford (Aerosmith)
Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin)
Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top)
Mick Taylor (The Rolling Stones)
Pete Townshend (The Who)
Joe Walsh (The Eagles)