“Jimi Hendrix exploded our idea of what rock music could be: He manipulated the guitar, the whammy bar, the studio and the stage,” said Grammy-winning guitarist Tom Morello in the magazine, citing Hendrix’s Purple Haze and The Star-Spangled Banner as key tracks.
Hendrix is joined by the likes of Eric Clapton, BB King, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page and Pete Townshend among the top 10 in a list laden with rock ‘n’ roll icons.
The list was compiled by a panel of music experts and top guitarists, who were recruited to vote for their favourite guitar players, including Lenny Kravitz, Eddie Van Halen, Brian May and Dan Auerbach, along with a selection of Rolling Stone’s senior writers and editors.
The experts also weighed in on their favourites, with Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready calling Eddie Van Halen “a master of riffs” and Joe Perry praising Jimmy Page’s “vision of how to transcend the stereotypes of what the guitar can do”.
The full list will feature in a special issue with four special covers of Van Halen, Clapton, Hendrix and Page, and will also be online from Friday at rollingstone.com.