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Jimi Hendrix tops greatest guitarist list

Jimi Hendrix has been voted as the greatest guitar player of all time in a poll conducted by Rolling Stone magazine.

music Updated: Nov 24, 2011 12:08 IST

Jimi Hendrix has been voted as the greatest guitar player of all time in a poll conducted by Rolling Stone magazine.

Four British guitarists were placed in the top five, with Eric Clapton as the runner-up.

Grammy-winning Tom Morello was among those who voted, nominating key Hendrix tracks Purple Haze and The Star-Spangled Banner.

“Jimi Hendrix exploded our idea of what rock music could be: He manipulated the guitar, the whammy bar, the studio and the stage,” the Daily Mail quoted Morello as saying.

Hendrix was able to manipulate his instrument like nobody before or since then, but it was only after winning the admiration of Clapton, Jeff Beck and others while he was in London in 1966 that the American really became a star.

He famously bought his first guitar at the age of 15 in 1957 for 5 pounds, and astonished fans by playing with his teeth while out of his mind on hallucinogenic drugs and headlined Woodstock at the peak of his powers in 1969.

Like Eric Clapton, he popularised use of the wah-wah pedal in mainstream rock, which he often used to deliver an exaggerated sense of pitch in his solos.

Following are the top 10 guitarists listed by the magazine:

1. Jimi Hendrix
2. Eric Clapton
3. Jimmy Page
4. Keith Richards
5. Jeff Beck
6. B.B. King
7. Chuck Berry
8. Eddie Van Halen
9. Duane Allman
10. Pete Townshend

The panel of experts recruited to vote for their favourite guitar players included musicians like Lenny Kravitz, Eddie Van Halen (who himself appears in the chart at No.8), Brian May and Dan Auerbach from The Black Keys.

The full list will be featured in a special issue with four special covers of Van Halen, Clapton, Hendrix and Page.