The greatest exponent of...the electric guitar


OK, so TGEO… threads should allow us to get through the close season (Euros apart) and retain our sanity. The idea is that you have to

  1. chose one, and only one response to the question/statement in the thread title.

  2. provide evidence

  3. explain why you selected this person or thing.

If you are going to comment on someone else’s choice to defend yours, you must have watched/read/listened to (some of) the evidence. This will be highly subjective, and unless you agree with Bletch, then you’ll likely be wrong.

Post your TGEO threads in the Best ever category.

There is to be no namby-pamby “second or third choices” and just as unwelcome is the underhand “I was going to be pick x or y, but chose z because…” tactic. There should be one

Feel free to post other examples, but ONLY once you’ve chosen your one, and only, greatest exponent.

There should be one thing to rule them all.

Post your TGEO threads in the _ Best Ever _ category.

My Premise

The greatest exponent of the electric guitar is obviously Johnny Marr known mainly for his playing and songwriting in The Smiths, but he is also a solo artist of renown and a serial collaborator too.

My Evidence

This is not electronic, it is physical…

Layered to perfection…

The The who he collaborated with quite a bit…

…and this joker from left- field

My Defence

He created an amazing sound which became the frame for Morrissey’s wonderful lyrics. He came around at a time when someone with his talent should have been either strumming big rock chords in big stadia, or riffing themselves into seven-minute, self-indulgent hell. He did neither of those, but instead created a new sound that would help to pave the way for the entire Indie category.

Go on, tell me I’m wrong…


I agree an astonishingly talented man. But the best ever? I’m afraid I don’t agree on that. Too many names flying around my head at the moment to even begin a cohesive reply.

I’ll be back once Gary Moore, Joe Satriani, Dave Gilmore, Prince, Hendrix etc all have a barney and decide who I should present to you xx brb

My first thought is Cozy Powell but I too will go away and gather evidence.

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I will put forward the great Freddie King, but will gather some evidence and present my case late, time allowing, m’lud.

Best white blues guitarist for me, you won’t be surprised to hear was Peter Green. I won’t try to justify it in writing, how could you.

I’ve posted this impromptu, concert filler (while Danny Kirwan replaces a broken string) several times before because it shows what a natural talent he was.

This clip has everything, light and shade, restraint and attack, emotion, technique.

I say was… which insn’t an intention to deminish the man he is today but to illustrate a true artist at the height of his powers.

…the voice ain’t bad either. :lou_wink_2:


It’s clips like that one of Peter Green that clarifies with thousands of guitarists all over the world that they are in fact not guitarists.

Just when you think you are getting somewhere he shows you how far you still have to go.


would be easier to write a top 5 and even that would be nearly impossible

I have had many favourites over the years but the one I keep going back to is Steve Howe. For his work with Yes alone he is a giant amongst plank spankers but he has also had a career with Asia as well as producing many solo albums. He started out with a psychodelic band called Toomorrow and they had a hit with My White Bicycle. When Keith Emerson broke up The Nice and was looking for a guitarist he asked Steve Howe to joing him in ELP. Steve Howe chose Yes instead and as they say, the rest is history. He wasnt the guitar hero of the day type player. His style wasnt so much the Blues as Jazz, Classical, Ragtime, Folk all mixed up. He rarely played the usual guitars of the 60s and 70s (Gibson Les Paul/Fender Statocaster etc) but prefered the hollow body guitars of Gibson and Gretch. He also used the peddle steel to greta effect on tracks like And You And I. He took the art of playing guitar to another level in Yes as can be evidenced on The Gates of Delerium, a 20 minute plus epic that blows you away with it power only to fade out with a beautiful and peace coda, the song Soon. Prog Rock isnt everyones cup of tea, but for a period in nthe early to mid 70s it pushed the boundaries of what was possible in rock/contempory music and left us with some modern classics. If you were putting together a best of Prog band, you would have to have Steve Howe and Robert Fripp on guitars. Steve gets my nod over Robert simply because he defines the sound of his band.

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If you have 20 minutes to spare, give this a listen. Steve Howe at his best.

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OK - let me introduce you to certainly the best current working guitarist and I think worth consideration as the best ever:

Guthrie Govan

Who? I hear the majority ask - well Wiki can save me a lot of typing here.

He is a master of any genre, has been at the top of his game for 25 years, a teacher, session man, band member, and the ‘virtuoso’s virtuoso’. Bit of a hippy but there you go.

He is currently touring with Hans Zimmer (and Johnny Marr!) playing orchestral music.

Guthrie Govan - the best guitarist you never heard of.


Some wonderful ethereal peddle steel from Steve Howe takes this song to another plain.

I was there that night. If I could play guitar I would like to play it like this guy…

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Tom Morello.

One of my favourite bands growing up were Rage Against the Machine. Was always listening to them at home and on the old Sony Walkman on the school bus.

Tom Morello’s sound/sound effects were the first time I can recall hearing something a bit ‘different’. It all sounded slightly experimental, though always provided a wow factor when listening.


Loved Tom Morello’s work on Springsteen’s The Ghost of Tom Joad.


No explanation needed.

Originally posted by @Rallyboy


No explanation needed.


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Originally posted by @Lets-B-Drinking

Originally posted by @Rallyboy


No explanation needed.


That would be Pete Townsend

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Good shout!

Just watched Springsteen and Morello perform Ghost of Tom Joad at Madison Square Garden. Epic!

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There are so many possible choices for this accolade. Most of them, though, are very much lead guitarists. Nothing wrong with that in itself, but it does rather ignore the other side of electric guitar playing. And you can certainly make the case that the electric guitar is first and foremost an instrument for artisans, an accompanying instrument.

So, enough of the tricksy-wicksy lead stuff, twenty-minute solos and all that bollocks. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the late, great Johnny Ramone

It might sound easy, but try doing it. Then try doing it on stage for a couple of hours, non stop. That buzz saw sound is a lot harder to achieve than you might think. And, of course, it sounds fucking wonderful. You can keep your solos and twiddles.


Bletch :laughing:

Jonny Marr was only 17 when he wrote This Charming Man

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