Jeff Zito

Does your favorite guitarist make Zito's list for Guitar God Canidate?

You can be great, you can be a legend, but can you be a God? It will take a lot to impress me, so if they have made it to this list, they are something to behold. Will your favorite guitarist shred their way onto the list, or will they be regulated to live a life of mediocrity?

What does it take to be a “Guitar God?” Does it mean that you inspired others to follow your sound? Have you influenced other greats on this very same list? Maybe you revolutionized a genre or flat out broke barriers? This list contains valid reasoning for why I believe they are the best pick to be a “Guitar God.”

  • Angus Young

    Guitar God

    This list wouldn’t be complete without any member of the greatest rock band of all time. And very few are more incredible than lead guitarist Angus Young of ACDC. His rifts rally sports stadiums across the country every game, including “Thunderstruck,” the theme for our very own Tampa Bay Lightning. Many guitarists of that era did not care for the simplistic licks brought by Angus, but that never phased him. His antics on stage bring to mind a god of mischief; paired with his schoolboy uniform, it’s hard not to recognize this candidate for a Guitar God.

  • Neil Young

    Guitar Gods

    (Photo by Matt Kincaid/Getty Images)

    The Band Crosby Stills Nash and Young had four great guitarists but only one still comes to mind when you think of Guitar God. Neil Young couldn’t just play with Crosby and instead jammed out on his own making multiple album releases the same year he joined CSN.  “Everybody Knows This is Nowhere” which featured hits such as “Down By the River” and “Cowgirl in the Sand”. His iconic rifts still captivate artist today.

  • Eddie Van Halen

    2015 Billboard Music Awards - Show

    (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

    Go listen to “Eruption” and tell me to my face that Van Halen doesn’t deserve to be on this list. Go ahead, try me. Eddie Van Halen was so great that people were not too excited about the change when Sammy Hagar took over. His style of speed picking and killer use of the whammy bar has Classic Rock Stations jumping any time you hear the rifts coming from Jump. This guitar great inspires many to copy his style a large part due to his three patents: a tuning system, a headstock design, and a supporting guitar device.

  • Pete Townshend

    The Who Kicks Off Las Vegas Residency At Caesars Palace

    (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

    One of the first major players in Rock Pete Townshend has earned his spot on this list primarily for his inspiration to others. Many bands attribute the style of The Who, as a big influence on their style. Ever see a guitarist do a windmill strum, well Pete is noted for being one of the first and early adopters of the over-the-top style. Jimmy Page credits Pete for helping him refine his style.

  • Slash

    Zito's Top Pick For Guitar God

    What other lead guitarists out there go by just one name? Slash is the first and only one that comes to my mind, and his rifts can be heard almost every hour on any rock station across the country. November Rain” and “Sweet Child o’ Mine” both will have you headbanging and playing an air guitar to the rifts carved out by Slash. Plus, not many guitarists have gotten to rock with other music greats, including Michael Jackson, Lenny Kravitz, Alice Cooper, and Rihanna. He even found his way onto one of ACDC’s latest albums, “Power Up.

  • Keith Richards

    The Rolling Stones In Concert - Las Vegas, NV

    (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

    It’s Keith F-ng Richards, man. Were you going to make a guitar god list that doesn’t include this guy? That’s a crime, and I am pretty sure of that. He has created a whole style reserved for the band by playing lead and rhythm guitar for the Rolling Stones. Favoring iconic chord progressions and rhythms, he is one of the few guitarists that only record with an acoustic guitar. You wouldn’t guess he is almost 80 with his larger-than-life performance. My dad swore the only two things to survive a nuclear blasts were a cockroach and Kieth Richards.

  • Jimmy Page

    Zito's Top Pick For Guitar God

    It takes something special to be noticed by other legendary rock band “The Who”s Pete Townsend. Most guitarists after 1969 credit Jimmy page for the way they play. Lead guitarist for Led Zepplin and recognized for his iconic sounds Jimmy has been recognized as one of the best for rock. He innovated a blues style added with heavy rock riffs that are credited for the creation of metal rock. Plus how many other guitarists will play the guitar with a cello bow.

  • Brian May

    Zito's Top Pick For Guitar God

    We all know Freddy Mercury, but he was nothing without this guitar legend behind him. “Bohemian Rhapsody” will have you headbanging to that last little bit like your starring alongside Dana Carvey and Mike Myers in “Waynes World.” Unfortunately, not too many guitarists are such great musicians who can create their own instrument they play on stage. “Red Special” goes with Brian May everywhere. Other great lists that include incredible guitar solos also mention Brian’s solo in “Killer Queen.”

  • Jimi Hendrix

    Zito's Top Pick For Guitar God
    If there were a Mount Rushmore of guitar players, you would see this guy carved in it for sure. From a young age, he was breaking the mold and striking awe in other guitar legends such as Eric Clapton. Opening up a concert with a song released only three days prior (“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”) takes an astounding amount of talent. Would Woodstock ’69 (Giggity) be the same without him headlining it? Probably not.

  • Dave Mustaine

    Zito's Top Pick For a Guitar God

    Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

    Two, count ’em two major Rock bands Dave Mustaine has been a part of. Metallica and Megadeth, the latter of which he helped form. He is considered to be one of the most influential of the genre of thrash metal. Unfortunately, he was so inspiring that they didn’t bother to credit him on the Metallica album despite being the lead guitarist.

  • David Gilmour

    Zito's Top Pick For a Guitar God

    (Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images)

    There may not have been as much of Pink Floyd without the sounds of David Gilmour. Despite having great tracks before David, many say the band did not find its real sound until he joined. David was the guitarist behind the infamous album “Dark Side of the Moon,” Wish You Were Here,” “Animals,” and “The Wall,” all of which still populate airwaves to this day. He pioneered techniques that made conveying beautiful images and messages easy with sound alone. Plus, play “Another Brick in The Wall” and expect not to know it with his original sound.

  • Lita Ford

    Zito's Top Pick For a Guitar God

    Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

    Ok, we know the list says “God,” but why not include a contender for the goddess as well with Lita Ford. Lita was a big part of the Runaways which she could be seen fighting for attention with the likes of Joan Jett. So that’s how she makes this list; despite not being a more common name, she has rocked out with many legendary artists, including Ozzy Osbourne, Nikki Sixx, Dave Navarro, and Gene Simmons. Unlike most on the list, she is still putting out hits as she released an album back in 2012.

  • Eric Clapton

    Zito's Top Pick For a Guitar God

    Larry Busacca/Getty Images

    Most songs out there contain allegories to drugs, but Clapton was the only one with the cojones to actually just sing a song about Cocaine. That’s not what makes him a guitar legend. He’s just legendary on that alone. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 3 times, the man they call “Slowhand” has  18 Grammys and is always in the top 5 of greatest guitar players of all time.

  • Duane Allman

    Zito's Top Pick For a Guitar God

    (Photo Credit Capricorn/Getty Images)

    Duane Allman of the Allman brothers band has earned his place as a Guitar Great a lot in part with his ability to improve existing songs. He worked with many bands helping to improve the rifts and licks of each band as he went, including his own. Clapton himself had never heard some of the Beatles music performed better. The ‘Guitar God’ himself sought out Duane to accompany him on the track Layla.” He made so many great tracks that no one can agree on which is his best.

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