Noted Guns N Roses riff-maker turned frontman Slash, has often topped lists of the world’s premiere guitarists, but even the best have been influenced by those who came before. Now the Guns N’ Roses legend has drawn up his own list of the twelve best guitarists of all time, perhaps giving fans a look in to who he might cover when he tours the country for Soundwave 2015.
Speaking to Esquire Magazine on the eve of the release of his latest studio album, World on Fire, Slash referred to Jimi Hendrix as “the pioneer for electric lead guitar” and is adamant that his influence continues to be heard.
“The thing about Jimi is he came along and he was definitely the primal wild man, shit coming out of his pores,” he explains. “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 also nominated Aerosmith‘s Joe Perry and Brad Whitford on his list, noting that Aerosmith’s 1976 record Rocks profoundly influenced his musical direction. “That kind of raunchy, barely-holding-it-together, loud, boisterous, frenetic sound,” explains Slash. “That was the biggest influence on me at the time. And it still is a huge influence on me.”
Slash also revealed a love for British blues rock as brought to life by guitar masters
Jeff Beck and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page. Dubbing Jeff Beck “the best lead guitar of all time”, he goes on to recount how hearing Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love introduced his seven year-old self to the “hedonism that would be the seventies”.
“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.”
Slash goes on to name the “underrated” Billy Gibbons Of ZZ Top, blues legends BB King and Albert King, Irish blues-rocker Rory Gallagher, Joe Walsh of The Eagles, former Rolling Stone Mick Taylor and The Who‘s Pete Townshend. “Everybody’s tried to sound like Pete Townshend at some point or another and failed,” he said. “Nobody can play like Pete.”
Slash’s latest album, World on Fire, featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators is available now. They will join Slipknot, Soundgarden and more when they tour Australia for Soundwave 2015. While no official sidewaves have been announced, Slash told Music Feeds he and his band will “definitely” play some sideshows while in the country.
Slash’s Top 12 Guitarists
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