Hank Marvin

It’s a week to celebrate guitar-players, starting with the best living guitarists and following later with those who are, sadly, no longer with us.

As he’s influenced so many of the very biggest names in music (including David, who wanted a Fender Stratocaster “because Hank Marvin had one”), and as The Shadows were at the top of the UK singles chart with ‘Apache’ on this day in 1960, here’s one of the songs that inspired David.

Although never particularly well-known in the US, Cliff Richard & The Shadows were popular in Europe and Canada (Neil Young being another fan who has cited Hank Marvin’s influence). Others include Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Mark Knopfler, Brian May, Carlos Santana, Pete Townshend and Frank Zappa. That’s probably most people’s Best Guitarists list right there.

A TIME magazine music critic listed his picks for ‘Greatest’ electric guitar-players recently. Have a look and let me know if you agree with his choices, then add your own (living guitarists only today, please).

If, during contemplation, you find yourself in need of more Hank, reach no further than the Fender Strat Pack DVD. As well as ‘Apache’, the Bespectacled One also performed ‘The Rise and Fall of Flingel Bunt’ and ‘Sleepwalk’.

Among his most recent works is 2007’s Guitar Man, a collection of instrumental covers of classic and contemporary tunes, which includes a beautiful rendition of the Beatles’ ‘Here, There and Everywhere’. If you like that, track back to 2002 and Guitar Player, worth doing for Hank’s take on Elton John’s ‘Your Song’ alone.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

119 thoughts on “Hank Marvin”

  1. Great topic – love it!!!

    I’m going to do this off the cuff… only 5 as to keep the list down…

    1. David Gilmour
    2. Dave Navarro (highly under rated IMHO, who lists David as one of his top 3 influences)
    3. Kirk Hammett
    4. Jimmy Page
    5. Steve Stevens

    I guess I’ll just leave it at that for now – I know I’m leaving out a lot, but I like that all 5 play such different styles…

  2. Hi FEd,

    Wow, what a blast from the past. Have not heard that song for ages and ages. Thank you!

    I would have to agree with your Best Guitar Players List. Many greats listed there. I can appreciate all of them and their talent. Such good music from folks don’t you think?

    An up and coming would be that of my son. He is a genius in his own rights but has picked up on the electric guitar like nobody’s business. He amazes me with his renditions of Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters, Led Zepplin’s Stairway to Heaven and many more, too many to mention. I live for the day he can play for me David Gilmour’s intro to Shine on you Crazy Diamond. He knows that is my life long wish. Someday I know he will surprise me with that. Anyway, you may be hearing his name someday also. 🙂

    Love to the World.

  3. Yes, we were there at the “Strat Pack” concert in Wembley Arena to see some brilliant guitar talent. Hank Marvin – what can we say? Awesome!!!

    There was another person who also played that night with a guitar whose serial number was 001, a white guitar which sounded awesome, and certainly made everyone’s night!

    1. You know, one thing that always intrigued me about the Strat Pack line up and that was; why was Brian May there playing? He always plays a Guild guitar.

      No disrespect to Mr May, but I always wondered that.

  4. I just can’t say I completely agree with this critic’s list… I didn’t read David’s name in it. :/

    Anyway, some time ago I read a list made by Rolling Stone which was, in my opinion, much worse than this. I couldn’t find it on the official website anymore, but I found it here.

    I wonder which are the parameters these critics use to judge. Do they judge from a technical point of view, or do they just express their personal tastes?

    Being too hard for me (and finding it unfair) to decide only by the technical, I’ll just have to use my personal tastes. 😀

    I’ll think about it, then I’ll write my list.

    1. Adam Jones of Tool is placed higher on the list than our David? :!

      I think whoever complied this list had his 100 noted on folded pieces of paper and pulled them out of a hat to determine the order.

    2. And what about Kurt Cobain? 8|

      Even though I still admire him, for the way he had to express is feeling by the music and creating something new, he was very far for being a great guitarist, or maybe I should say that he was far from being a guitarist at all.

      I even don’t know if he has ever considered himself a guitarist, but I don’t think so.

      As I said, it’s unfair to judge only by a technical point of view, but it’s also wrong to follow the personal tastes, only.

  5. I must admit, I don’t think the ‘Time’ list is that great. It does have some great players on it, but it also lets itself down with some of the choices and comments. For instance, I think the other members of Led Zeppelin might have something to say about Jimmy Page creating the Led Zeppelin sound.

    I also noticed that it lists Yngwie Malmsteem as one of the greats, but admits that “the great bulk of his music is so fast that it’s unlistenable.” Is a musician really that great if his music is ‘unlistenable’? Slash’s playing leaves me cold, so I can never understand why he is so highly rated, but I guess it all just comes down to personal preference.

    As for guitarists who should be on the list (apart from the obvious choice of David) the first guitarists that spring to mind are Pete Townshend, Richard Thompson and Neil Young. There are other guitarists of course who have been overlooked, but these three really need to be on a list before I’ll ever consider it accurate. Well, the first and last need to be there, I think the middle one should be there as well, but I’d be amazed (and impressed) if anyone ever put Richard Thompson on one of these lists for a magazine.

    1. Have a look at the link provided by Alessandra. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by Richard Thompson’s placing, but probably mortified at where Neil Young and Pete Townshend are.

    2. I also noticed that it lists Yngwie Malmsteem as one of the greats, but admits that “the great bulk of his music is so fast that it’s unlistenable.” Is a musician really that great if his music is ‘unlistenable’?

      :)) It’s like saying that someone is a great cook, even though his foods are uneatable, it just makes no sense.

  6. Hi FEd,

    you correctly wrote ‘Greatest’ in quotation marks. It seems to me as if the had their eyes on the billboard? What does Malmsteen do in such a list? He is impressive, but surely not in the Top Ten, when on the other hand David Gilmour, Frank Zappa or Uli Roth are missing.

    Here are 6 of my guitar (and more) heroes:

    David Gilmour – for the very, very unique sound and the way he plays solos and the lap steel
    Angus Young – for the fun you feel hearing him play
    Andy Summers – for the delicate chords
    Jimmy Page – for inventing heavy metal
    Dave Murray – for his solos
    Uli Jon Roth – for his Electric Sun

    Best regards

  7. I was surprised when I heard David namecheck Hank as an influence – well, not so much as an influence because he was a pioneer amongst few others but it always seemed to me that to play the “one line” melody on the electric guitar is missing the point of what the instrument can do.

    I like the sound of the guitar full stop. But I rarely go for the instrumental because they are so often constrained and one dimensional to my obviously terribly-refined ear.

    It’s the same with the likes of Joe Satriani – leaves me cold and I tend to refer to him as “Hank Marvin on speed”.

  8. By the way…

    Eric Clapton’s “River of Tears” is another one of my favorites that David Gilmour would totally give justice to. 🙂

    1. Yeah, I believe anything Clapton can do, Gilmour can do better. And vice versa.

      Wouldn’t it be phenomenal to see a guitar duet between Clapton and Gilmour?

    2. Hey NewYork Dan,

      I’m with you on that one. Can you imagine what a concert that would be. Only if the day would come.

      Thanks for sharing your idea. That was a Great one.

  9. My top ten… in no particular order and not including David.

    Joe Bonamassa
    Don Felder
    Derek Trucks
    John Mayer
    Mark Knopfler
    Eric Clapton
    Jeff Beck
    BB King
    Albert Lee
    Philip Sayce

  10. I think the Time Music Critic left a few off of the list. I would have to add:

    David Gilmour (of course)
    Pete Townshend
    Donald (Buck Dharma) Roeser
    Joe Satriani
    Joe Walsh
    Carlos Santana
    Kenny Wayne Shepard

    These are just a few that I would put on the list.


  11. Dear FEd,

    Honestly, I do not mean to “hog the blog” if you will. I just thought of another amazing group regarding guitar music.

    Not sure if anyone has ever heard of Los Indios Tabajaras. I have the Rainbow cassette from many moons ago. Absolutely amazing acoustic guitar playing. Have you heard of it?

    I fear this may be another addition to my collection if I can find it on CD. My husband will flip. Oh well, life is a short, warm moment…

    Love to the World.

    1. Dear FEd,

      Now that I have a rough idea of what to do, I would like to share also this clip of Los Indios Tabajaras. Let me know what you think.


  12. RE: Time’s (aka The Journal of Music Appreciation… not)

    List of Greatest Guiarists… I clicked on the link for amusement. I then went to dictionary.com and entered “Josh Tyrangiel.” There was a a picture of a douchebag. Curious, I thought.

    Slash is a great guitarist because Axl Rose gave him crap? The hair dude who plays so crappy most of his music is unlistenable?

    OK, I will stop there. I have to think about my choices, but we all know who is missing from the list…

    1. Kevin,

      I agree with you about the people you just named on the list. Also, about Tyrangiel and all music and movie critics. Usually, there is a reason they favor certain artists and it is the same reason politicians generally behave the way they do.

      Top Ten lists that are printed in public should be by other guitarists who are the professionals in the field, in my opinion. Anything else should not be taken seriously.

      Why Prince? He has won a lot of awards but he never won an award as a guitarist because he is known as a singer. He has won best R&B, won for choreography, best performance
      in a music video, but not one guitar award.

      I will have to think about my list. Of course, David Gilmour is #1 or I wouldn’t be on this blog. Top Ten should be GUITARISTS who have won awards for their work or been the influence for other guitarists.

      So I will have to think about my choices as well. Pink Floyd won a Grammy for “Marooned” in the best instrumental category, but we all know it was David’s instrument that won that award and the song is mainly his guitar. A beautiful song. But David has done other songs too just as good, if not better than that one so I will have to put them together. 🙁

      Will get back to it later after I have had some time to think about it, which obviously this guy and the Rolling Stones Top 100 guy did not do. I agree he probably had the names on a folded piece of paper and pulled them out of a hat to determine what order they should be in.


    2. Why Prince? He has won a lot of awards but he never won an award as a guitarist because he is known as a singer. He has won best R&B, won for choreography, best performance in a music video, but not one guitar award.

      Prince is one fine guitarist. His guitar is very emotional in Purple Rain and Bambi is also good.

  13. The list is excellent but I have to add Slash and Kirk Hammet. Eddie Van Halen deserves a mention as does Joe Perry.

    Interesting that for the most part it is always men on the list? Nancy Wilson of Heart could get a mention. She is not the best guitarist out there but she is quite good and she is a rocker. I guess you could also add Lita Ford but most don’t even know who she is let alone any songs she has done.

    I just don’t know if there is a woman guitarist out there that inspires people to pick up the instrument.



    1. I just don’t know if there is a woman guitarist out there that inspires people to pick up the instrument.

      How about these? :))

    2. Michele,

      They inspire alright in many a different and mysterious ways… LOL.



  14. I know less than nothing about Hank Marvin. Maybe it is time to learn more about him.

  15. I’ve heard this song a handful of times on oldies stations, and every time a Brave (Atlanta Braves MLB) hits a home run this song is played, although not the original version.

    The only thing that I know about Cliff Richard is from The Young Ones. :))

  16. Fantastic song. I remember that well, I’ve never heard the original Apache version folks. In Canada we grew up with the Ventures (USA) who are my first inspiration to play guitar.

    Thanks Hank, and you use that whammy bar to perfection. Wonder why David does that. 8)

    Good to see Hank play that one on the 50th Fender bash. It must have been magical for he and David to hook up for the night. Wow!

  17. Hank Marvin, fantastic, the first guitarist that I ever remember hearing, it must have been Apache on the radio.

    If any guitarist sum up the sound of the Stratocaster it surely must be Hank.

    Wonderful Land is another Shadows classic too.

  18. I finally wrote my list.

    1. Have a guess! 😉

    2. Mark Knopfler
    3. Jimmy Page
    4. Eric Clapton
    5. Hank Marvin
    6. Keith Richards
    7. Jeff Beck
    8. Slash
    9. Pete Townshend
    10. Ben Harper or, if you think he can’t be considered as an electric guitarist, Steve Hackett.

    Apart from the very first positions, I’m very unsure about the order. Every one of these great musicians has a personal style, so it’s very hard for me to compare each to the others.

    I think that, if I could, I’d rather put all of them on the same level.

    1. :)) Who knows?

      He could also be Kurt Cobain, or, even better, The Edge (sorry, but I can’t stand his sound).

      It’s curious that, when we talk about guitarists, we (me, at least) only think of men.

      Sincerely, I don’t know any woman playing an electric lead guitar. If anyone here does, please, let me know.

    2. ‘The Edge (sorry, but I can’t stand his sound).

      Alessandra: have to agree with you about this. In the comments posted on the site you provided someone called him ‘Edgeless’. :))


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  20. Martin Tielli
    Jonny Greenwood
    Doyle Bramhall II
    John Frusciante – His solo stuff is amazing

    4 of my fave guitarists up there. David is a given.

  21. Now that I’ve had a chance to look at the photos from Time’s Top 10 guitarists, I agree with him to a point. Slash may well be a talented musician, for example, but I never found his work to be of interest. And despite the fact that I love to listen to the Stones, I would not have placed Keith Richards on this list alongside Clapton, Hendrix and King. For me, Kieth Richards is great at doing riffs, and those riffs are a very different beast than the spine-tingling solos of those others.

    BTW, I saw BB King twice — in the mid-90s and again more recently — and his playing knocked my socks off.

  22. Thinking back all those years, as a mere 5 year old at the time of ‘Apache’ being at #1, it evokes memories of how different and refreshing Hank and the Shadows sounded way back then, compared to the other stuff that was coming out of the wireless.

    Obviously, many others thought the same (as your comment conveys, FEd), his influence has been vastly under-rated. The video seems to perfectly capture that bygone era.

    Speaking of bygone era’s, is it really 3 years today since David’s final OAI gig in Gdansk? Where does the time go…?

    Oh, BTW, Happy Birthday to Adrian today, too.

    1. Thank you very much indeed FEd. It was a quiet yet splendid day. I picked up the new Jet album… and it is terrific!!!!! As is the new solo album from Brendan Benson of the Racontuers. I highly recommend those be checked out by everyone.

      Also, David should have been placed higher than Adam Jones but I must say for all the mesmerizingly spectacular songs Tool’s been able to come up with, I’d say Adam deserves to be relatively high on that list and undoubtedly would upset someone… no?

      Thank you very much indeed, good night to you.

  23. I’d go for:

    1. David Gilmour

    …and the rest in no particular order:

    Jimmy Page
    Mark Knoffler
    Kirk Hammett
    Pete Townshend
    Hank Marvin
    The Edge
    Carlos Santana

    I noticed there’s a new documentary on electric guitars out called ‘It Might Get Loud’. It won’t if The Edge is using the same sound system U2 used at Hampden last week, that went very quiet for several minutes.

  24. The best guitarist I have ever had the pleasure to see live is Glenn Phillips, from the Glenn Phillips Band (not the young guy who plays acoustic). GPB are from Atlanta, and they play twice a year in my hometown.

    You can see a video here.

  25. There are many styles and different genres, if you stick to rock’n’roll, for example, someone could be great just for the right riff while jamming with the right sound.

    The period 67-72, when the Blues married with power amplification and heavy use of electronics like Wah-Wah and Univibe, is my favourite: Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, and others. That’s when a complete new genre was created I believe, which we can call progressive rock.

    The guitar experimentation in Pink Floyd, Genesis, Camel, Led Zeppelin and others, I think we should look at the harmony, the orchestration, and how that particular solo has been composed, so unique, and how it fits in the arrangement.

    That’s how I value the beauty of compositions like Shine On, Dogs, Echoes, or some other unforgettable instrumentals from Carlos Santana, Hank Marvin, Andrew Latimer, Steve Hackett, Jimmy Page. Nothing hyper-technical, but just genial and with the power of enchanting a large audience with diverse cultures. It’s writing on the six strings something unique, like a song with unforgettable lyrics and music that can talk and inspire a lot of people.

    There’s a nice American scene today I think, with guitarists who have blended super virtuoso technique with taste and melody, I am thinking of Joe Satriani, Paul Gilbert, Rob Balducci.

    And the women! Why does nobody ever mention wonderful lady shredders like Jennifer Batten, Lita Ford, Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow, Nancy Wilson?!

    1. Thanks to Andrew and GianLuca for suggesting some women’s names.

      I never listened to them, so now I’m very curious to do it.

    2. Alessandra,

      Nancy Wilson of Heart is pretty mainstream rock and roll. By the way, they were one of the first successful bands to emerge from Seattle long before Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Mega hits for them were Magic Man and Barracuda. Then there were a number of other hits they had over the years. Live they sometimes do Led Zeppelin covers such as Rock and Roll. If you search for her (and her sister Ann) just make sure you look for Nancy Wilson of the band Heart. There was another Nancy Wilson in the music industry who is a jazz singer.

      Lita Ford is an all out rocker. Her career started with The Runaways (an all girl band) which also gave us Joan Jett. Runaways had lukewarm success in the U.S. but were extremely successful in Japan (I don’t know about other parts of the world). The Runaways had several releases but their music is hard to find on both album and CD (online is your best bet). Once The Runaways broke up, Lita had a few solo recordings. She had some MTV success with a few songs back in the 80s, Kiss Me Deadly was one. However she also had a very significant hit with a duet with Ozzy Osbourne called If I Close My Eyes Forever.



    3. Thanks for sharing all this information, Andrew.

      I knew Ozzy Osbourne’s “If I Close My Eyes Forever”, but I didn’t know Lita Ford also played the guitar on it.

  26. Hi FEd, long time no comment I’m afraid. I’ve been here quietly watching but the mention of Hank has kicked me into life!

    I’ve been playing his music now for the past 30 years and people never tire of listening to it. He had a unique talent that inspired so many others as we know.

    I’m not a lover of these “greatest” type of lists due to the wildly different viewpoints people have as listeners, critics or musicians.

    There are so many that deserve credit for their work that I daren’t start a list for fear of running out of space! So let’s just say “all the ones already mentioned!”. No list would be complete without acknowledging the work of David Gilmour so the TIME list gets 0 out of 10 I’m afraid.

    Haven’t seen any mention of Roy Buchanan yet (look him up anyone who doesn’t know his work). And where was Sea Sick Steve?

    Best Wishes FEd,


  27. Dear David Gilmour

    When did you come to play in Brazil???

    The Brazilian people love you.

    Osnir Ribeiro

  28. Well all I can say about the times line up is don’t give up your day job.


    NUMBER 1 OF COURSE: David Gilmour

    2. Ritchie Blackmore
    3. Brian May
    4. Micky Moody
    5. Jimmy Page
    6. Jimmy Hendrix
    7. Angus Young
    8. Chris Rea
    9. Eddie Van Halen
    10. Mike Rutherford

    David is number one here, but the others are in no particular order but all brilliant.


  29. To each his (or her) own taste.

    My list is:

    David Gilmour (that’s no surprise)
    Derek Trucks
    Mark Knopfler
    Keith Urban
    Vince Gill
    Johnny Lang
    Paul Simon
    Charo (yes, Charo of Coochie-Coochie fame. She is considered one of the best Flamenco guitarists… so go ahead and have your laugh, but this gal plays beautifully.)
    Leo Kottke


  30. Time is escaping me. Today I find myself remembering that night once again. The night I’m speaking of is now 3 years gone, the night I sat in the audience in Gdansk, Poland. I will never be able to forget that night.

    It makes me sad to look back and know that those moments have passed so long ago and can never be relived. I suppose that’s why we can’t live in the past, because it can makes you miss out on the future.

    Anyway, tonight I’m going to live in the past once again while I listen to my ‘Live In Gdansk’ vinyl collection.

    Cheers! 😉

  31. Hi!

    I love this topic Fed.

    I agree with Alessandra, the Time’s list is unfair.

    It really makes me sad when I read a list of the best guitarists and David isn’t mentioned. I personally hate Rolling Stone and its lists of everything, it’s a shame.

    David is the number one, then I say Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Tommy Emmanuel and Mark Knopfler. I like many other guitarists but these are my favourite ones.

    Love you all.

    1. I personally hate Rolling Stone and its lists of everything, it’s a shame.

      I completely agree with you, Piero.

      If it was for me, Rolling Stone shouldn’t be considered a music magazine at all, just a fashion one.

  32. For me it’s impossible to put musicians in numbers, but I’ll put them by the order that I found them:

    1. Hank Marvin – The first time I saw a Strat and heard echo effect. My first “teacher”.
    2. David Gilmour – Space blues guitar.
    3. Jimi Hendrix – Funky songs and coloured ballads.
    4. Yngwie Malmsteen – Virtuosity with attitude and felling. His first album changed my world.
    5. Jeff Beck – Crying guitar.
    6. Mark Knopfler – Percussive and dynamic playing.

  33. Hi, FEd.

    Oh, I like this topic! It’s very interesting.

    Sometimes I ask myself: Why aren’t there female solo electric guitar-players to greatest levels? 😉

    Unfortunately I see often they play in secondary order.

    Maybe they are on stage but they are invisible. 😐

    Bye, Hydrea

    1. Sometimes I ask myself: Why aren’t there female solo electric guitar-players to greatest levels?

      I always used to ask this in the 80s. Not one woman guitarist has been to the dizzy heights of say Clapton, Beck or Page in the guitarist realm. When I was trying to get into the music business back in the 80s, I endeavoured to be the biggest woman electric guitarist on a par with the aforementioned names. Don’t you just love youth though, so full of dreams and aspirations. 🙂

      From working in bands over here I found a lot of times that being a female lead guitarist was hard in that I was subject to lots and lots of sexist remarks. However, I do believe that if I tried to make it in the States, I might have had a better chance. My memories from my high school days and the GIs on the base were that they thought it was cool that a girl could play guitar and supported lots of girls in doing ‘manly’ pursuits. I was a respected motorcycle mechanic.

      But yes, it would be nice if there is ever a world’s first BIG female guitarist. All the women guitarists I have seen are not in the Guitar GOD category, if you know what I mean.

      Don’t get me wrong, I ain’t no feminist but does it really matter if a great guitarist is a guy or a girl?

      It is probably down to egos.

    2. I didn’t experience many overtly sexist remarks, but I would usually have my solos stepped on before they even got started, or I’d never be given a solo opportunity. Then, when everyone was packing up, someone would hand me an acoustic guitar and say “Play something for us.” I’d be rich if I had five dollars every time someone asked me to play ‘Angel from Montgomery’ at the end of a jam! I had to learn to crank it and just take my solos.

      Recently at a jam, I had a guy come up after “Oye Como Va” was announced and say “You’re actually going to play Oye Como Va!?” Didn’t ever hear him asking the guy guitarists a comparable question! I don’t think ego explains it, or they’d be stepping on the guys’ solos as well. I notice this happens mostly with my contemporaries (I’m in my late 40s).

      I’ve noticed that when I play with guys in their 20s, they are MUCH more respectful.

    3. I didn’t experience many overtly sexist remarks, but I would usually have my solos stepped on before they even got started, or I’d never be given a solo opportunity.

      Perhaps the men were scared that you might be better than them.

      In one of the bands that I was in, they were getting me to play less and less guitar. Just before I left them, I said: “What do you want me to do, give the microphone a blow job on stage?”

      Don’t get me wrong that was just one band that I was in, but I was never given any free rein to break out and do a full blown guitar solo in any band that I was in.

      I just used to play solos over my own music, improvising over records or classical pieces in the end.

      By the way, Carla, the Atom Heart Mother suite is great for improvising over. You ought to have a go. 😉

  34. I have made a list of guitarists who have either won awards for their guitar work or it has been publicly written in Wikipedia (if that is reliable) they are an inspiration to other famous guitarists. The only exception to that is #10. Orianthi is a female guitarist who is only 24 and hasn’t had time to achieve fame, but Carlos Santana passed his work to her so that speaks for itself. If Michael Jackson had lived, she would have been more recognized by now with the 50 Concerts tour.

    Also, with David Gilmour in #1, it must be said his best most well known work was “Marooned” which won him a Grammy, “Comfortably Numb” on Pulse, probably the most perfect rendition of this song technically, and “Sorrow” from the Fender’s 50th Birthday Celebration or Pulse…it is difficult to say which is best.

    However, Gilmour is also well known for volumes of albums he has done solo which I do not have a favorite, because they are all so good. He has established his own sound, separate from Pink Floyd with his solo work, thus making his achievements even greater than with Pink Floyd.

    1. David Gilmour
    2. Buddy Guy
    3. Robert Cray
    4. Jimmie Vaughan
    5. Hubert Sumlin
    6. Mark Knopfler
    7. Mike Oldfield
    8. Joe Satriani
    9. Alex Lifeson
    10. Orianthi

    There are many other great guitarists who did not make the list but are still terrific guitarists, like Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page.


    1. If you talk about great performances, check the Sorrow and Comfortably Numb of the Venice concert.

      Both are awesome and maybe the best ones ever…

  35. Everyone is bashing the TIME list but I find it rather intriguing. I don’t necessarily agree with the list but if you step back you’ll see that they tried to cover the different genres and periods of music.

    The standards are there: Clapton, Hendrix, Page. They also touch upon the modern era with Slash; heavy metal with Yngwie (he may be unlistenable to many but in the heavy metal world he rules, although I am still trying to figure out why a scalloped neck is faster); classic rock with Chuck Berry; blues with B.B. King; dance with Prince; punk with Johnny Ramone and then they throw in Keith Richards and Les Paul.

    The big problem with the list is that they market it as the 10 Greatest yet they list 11.

    Why is David not on the list?? Good question but I think when you look at it from a broad spectrum he is not a recognized name. Fact is that PF was always more broadly known as the band instead of the individual members. I’m sure that last comment will ruffle some feathers on this site but think about this: if David is so wildly popular, then why are there only a few hundred (if that many) folks posting on this site?



    1. Why are there so few posts here? Perhaps because David isn’t active right now and also is still living.

      Clapton is always doing something with a new album every couple years, so people are interested in checking him out. Hendrix is dead, that always intrigues people. But Gilmour (thankfully) is still here while, at the same time, has not released new music in three years, and has released precious little original music in the past quarter century.

      So those who post here are bona fide fans, and David does have lots of those.

    2. Fact is that PF was always more broadly known as the band instead of the individual members.

      I agree with you.

      I know many Pink Floyd’s fans who have never been actually interested in listening to any of the solo’s discographies.

      They are interested in the band’s music only and, many times, they also judge “A Momentary Lapse of Reason” and “The Division Bell” less important than the previous albums, because of Roger Waters’ departure.

      Even though I don’t agree with them, I think it’s all quite normal.

      Famous bands are usually considered by most of fans as they were something different/more than a group of musicians. I think that’s why so many people still hope in bands’ reunions, even when it’s clear that something like that will hardly happen.

      As for your second comment, I think that if this was Pink Floyd’s blog instead of David Gilmour’s, the posts number would be much higher (and, probably, the blog would be very different from the friendly, comfortable place it is now).

      I think there could be many different reasons for not wanting to write here.

      Some time ago I read on an Italian fans website that they don’t write in this blog because the idea of David Gilmour reading their messages would make them shy.

    3. Some time ago I read on an Italian fans website that they don’t write in this blog because the idea of David Gilmour reading their messages would make them shy.

      Wow, that’s an interesting reason.

      Dan, I agree with you and I know there are probably many more that are lurking at the edges. But isn’t it a shame that DG being dormant is the reason?



    4. Some time ago I read on an Italian fans website that they don’t write in this blog because the idea of David Gilmour reading their messages would make them shy.

      Ah! I know well some Italian PF Fans Club. 8)

      I don’t agree with them too, because they talk about “reunion” and I think it’s very boring to read on these websites only these kind of words. 😕

      So, I think if they have a genuine interest for real Pink Floyd music or not. I have serious doubts about this.

      I think they don’t want the friendly, comfortable place that this Blog is now.

      Bye, Hydrea

    5. Andrew,

      I understand what you are saying and I think you are right. Even in the 70s when I was so into PF I played DSOTM every night, and I didn’t know their names. They didn’t come across commercially like The Stones in the US, maybe because they didn’t want to focus on individual names of the group at the time. Did they even have a frontman? You would think it would be David, but interviews show all of them in statements, and of course, there is Roger, yet I didn’t know his name either. 😐

      My 9-year-old nephew in New Orleans loves Pink Floyd. He loves their songs and doesn’t know anyone’s name in the group. I don’t think he would like David’s solo work because the sound of Pink Floyd is what he is so into. After all these years, PF still continues to gather new fans of a younger age.

      I don’t know, maybe The Stones do too, but that would surprise me. The Floyd sound seems to attract fans now even though they will never reunite.

      I feel I have a duty to tell my nephew PF will never reunite since he is so excited that they are still alive and hopes for a concert in New Orleans or somewhere near there.

      About female guitarists, check out Orianthi when she is NOT singing. Carlos Santana has said he might pass the wand for his work to her and she is amazing. Everyone would know about her now if MJ had lived since she was in the “This Is It” tours. She is only 24 and a female so watch her star rise in time.


    6. Wow, that’s an interesting reason.

      I’m not sure if you’re talking seriously or not, Andrew, but I think you’re ironic, aren’t you? 🙂

      I also think that sounds as an absurd reason, but it works fine to represent the way a big part of fans (not only David’s fans, but fans in general) are used to thinking. That’s why I could never join a fans’ club.


      you said exactly what I wanted to mean. 😉

    7. Patricia,

      I will have to check out Orianthi. I’m always open to listening to new talent. Thanks for that. O, FYI, I just missed you in the chat room the other night, by the time I logged in, you were gone. O well.


      I have been known to be ironic from time-to-time.



    8. This has been a very interesting thread. Thanks, everyone.

      To answer Andrew’s original question…

      if David is so wildly popular, then why are there only a few hundred (if that many) folks posting on this site?

      Maybe people have better things to do with their time? You can like the music without having to say so, can’t you? Popularity isn’t measured by the number of comments published or hits received. Many of David’s fans don’t even have computers. They’ve attended concerts and bought records instead.

      A better question is “Why is there a ‘Voice and Guitar of Pink Floyd’ sticker on his CDs and DVDs?”

      Which leads me to Patricia and her nephew.

      He loves their songs and doesn’t know anyone’s name in the group. I don’t think he would like David’s solo work because the sound of Pink Floyd is what he is so into.

      Read that back a few times and tell me it’s not at least a bit silly.

    9. RE: Being wildy popular.

      Popularity (the lowest common denominator) is not synonymous with greatness, in any field or endeavor. McDonald’s is arguably the most popular restaurant in the world. When is the last time you walked out of a McDonald’s and thought to yourself, “That was the best damn hamburger I have ever eaten?” If you ever have, then we need to add Nick Jonas (had to google that one) to the guitarists list.

      He loves their songs and doesn’t know anyone’s name in the group. I don’t think he would like David’s solo work because the sound of Pink Floyd is what he is so into.

      Hmm… umm… LOL?

    10. But what if you did walk out of McDonald’s one time and said: “That was the best damn burger I ever ate.” Would you know the name of the person who prepared it?



    11. Patricia,

      Not only can Orianthi play, she is HOT! People here need to really check out how she burns up the frets.



    12. He loves their songs and doesn’t know anyone’s name in the group. I don’t think he would like David’s solo work because the sound of Pink Floyd is what he is so into.

      Firstly, I hear Pink Floyd coming through loud and clear in David’s solo work. I believe many other people do, too.

      Secondly, if knowing individual names isn’t important, what does it matter if it says ‘David Gilmour’ instead of ‘Pink Floyd’ on the cover? You either like the music or you don’t. The ‘Voice and Guitar of Pink Floyd’ sticker is obviously on there to help those that might not know the individual members’ names but do know – and appreciate – their individual contributions.

      If you made someone listen to, say, ‘Corporal Clegg’ and then ‘Dogs of War’ for the first time, would they think it was the same band? No, they probably wouldn’t.

      That’s what I meant when I said that this remark sounded a bit silly, at least to my mind and in my humble opinion, anyway.

  36. David and his band played great gig in Gdańsk 3 years ago, I was there and it was unique experience. It is good that it is officially released, so it can be relived again and again.

    My top guitar players are:

    David, Peter Green, Ritchie Blackmore (not only for Deep Purple, Rainbow did some great albums as well, recently I rediscovered Rainbow’s Rising) Eric Clapton, Alvin Lee, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Mark Knopfler, Michael Schenker and Dave Mustaine.

  37. I agree with some of the choices. However, not placing Eddie Van Halen in the top 3 of any list is a travesty!

    I would also place Steve Howe in at least the top ten.

    Finally, honorable mention goes out to one of the most underrated guitarists of all time in Don Felder, formerly of the Eagles.

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  39. Why David Gilmour is skipped over on these lists defies logic. Who did he piss off?

    This list is more respectable than many I’ve seen, but I still cannot agree with it.

    Narrowing to 10:

    1. David Gilmour
    2. Eric Clapton
    3. Carlos Santana
    4. Davy Knowles
    5. Doyle Bramhall II
    6. Mark Knopfler
    7. James Taylor
    8. Robin Trower
    9. Tonino Baliardo
    10. Jeff Russo

    I would have liked adding Gregg Allman and Stuart Adamson to the list of great ones who are gone.

  40. Hi FEd!

    Nice topic. I read about this list a a few days ago and it makes me laugh. Johnny Ramone?!!! I mean, I used to like the Ramones but his not a great player and Keith (I love Keith!) he knows and made public declarations that he is not a great player. So this is my list, as well as the “specialist” is only a personal choice.

    1-David Guilmour
    2-BB King
    3-Eric Clapton
    4-Jimmy Page
    5-Buddy Guy
    6-Carlos Santana
    7-Hank Marvin
    8-Joe Satriani
    9-Neil Young
    10-Marty Friedman

    I can´t put them in order, except number one of course, so be free and choose your own.

    I would also add to this list Mr John Scofield, he´s not a rock guitar player but he´s awesome playing the electric guitar.

    By the way, when are these critics going to make a list for bass players? 😀

    Take care all of you.

    1. I would also add to this list Mr John Scofield, he´s not a rock guitar player but he´s awesome playing the electric guitar.

      I’ll second that. I really enjoyed his Blues/Gospel Piety Street album from earlier this year.

  41. Well, my neighbour is a musician, played in various bands, he plays the guitar, piano, drums etc., he has a university degree and he is a qualified music teacher. I once asked him, in his opinion, who would be the best guitar player in the world.

    There is no such thing, he replied, there may be two-three hundred “best” guitar players, everyone is unique in his way, something you can’t compare, the difference is the “soul” of the player. Give Sting the guitar and the gear of David Gilmour and it will still be sounding like Sting!

    I now agree with that, I have no list!

  42. Me again, on all the current posts, I still miss out one name, what about our friend Steve Lukather? (Or Steve Morse?)

  43. 1. David Gilmour

    Nine more in no particular order:

    Mark Knopfler
    Chris Rea
    Joe Satriani
    Jeff Beck
    Eric Clapton
    Alex Lifeson
    Pete Townshend
    Jimmy Page
    Eddie Van Halen

    Oh and Nigel Tufnel (my list goes to 11 as well.) 😉

    Cheers FEd! Hope life is good.

  44. HI FED,



  45. My favorite living guitarists are

    1. David Gilmour and Brain May (tie)
    2. Alex Lifeson
    3. Steve Hackett
    4. Jimmy Page
    5. Don Felder and Joe Walsh
    6. Glenn Tipton and KK Downing (Judas Priest)
    7. Adrian Smith and Dave Murray (Iron Maiden)
    8. Daryl Stuermer
    9. Tony Iommi
    10. Tommy Shaw

  46. Oh Hank Marvin is great. I have actually seen the Shadows twice, once at the Oxford Apollo and again at Knebworth with Cliff Richard, and the concerts were great.

    I have always had fun playing Apache on my guitar. I have always loved Hank’s melodic tone and it is refreshing to see him get a mention on this forum as most of the bands I have been in have sneered about me playing an Shads and stated that Hank plays nursery rhymes. What an insult.

    Anyway my top five guitar influences and greats are:

    1. David Gilmour
    2. Jeff Beck
    3. Eric Claption
    4. Hank Marvin
    5. Dick Dale

    Thinking about it, I think all of the above are Strat players. 😀

    However, Hank Marvin did play Apache on a Burns guitar on one film that I have seen. I think Burns even made a guitar in honour of Hank’s name.

  47. if David is so wildly popular, then why are there only a few hundred (if that many) folks posting on this site?

    Perhaps because it’s possible to appreciate David’s work without feeling the need to give an opinion on it on a public forum?

    1. Many have tried to post to this site over the years, many of which had praised David from one side of their mouths and then damned him from the other, simply because he wouldn’t support a Pink Floyd reunion. Thankfully, Fed has never allowed that type to dig their heels in the ground here and turn it into the type of insane ramblings which have taken over other forums.

      Also there is the fact that David has never prostituted himself to his fans. He works when he wants and we as fans are learning to patiently await his next piece of work and respect his privacy to live a private life behind the guitar.

  48. if David is so wildly popular, then why are there only a few hundred (if that many) folks posting on this site?

    Because David’s fans know that quality is much better than quantity…?

    Who agrees? 😉

    1. I’m with you on that one, Michele.

      I also agree with the previous comments from Lorraine and Melissa, who typify the voices of reason conveyed by the many ‘Irregulars’ who exist on this site.

  49. One of the first 45rpm singles I ever owned was by The Shadows and as a youngster I loved Cliff and the Shadows.

    Despite having ‘seasons’, along with other variety act, at our local theatre (note: concert tours were not as we know them now) I was too young to go and see them play live although I did see The Shadows play live in the mid 70’s.

    For my birthday this year I was bought tickets to see Cliff and the Shadows at the NIA in Birmingham this coming November (maybe October). So really looking forward to that.

  50. Seeing as my favourite guitarists have already been mentioned here, I just would like to add a French one that I like very much for the feeling he expresses in his ‘blues’. His name is Paul Personne.

    For me the feeling is much more important than technical perfection.

    You can listen to ‘Visions’ by Paul Personne here.

    Hope you like it.


  51. Here’s a few more for consideration that have not been mentioned.

    Peter Frampton, kinda funny how it took a live album to bring him to popularity.

    Lou Reed, although he is probably better known for his vocals and lyrics, the guitar work in songs like Sweet Jane is phenomenal.

    Ted Nugent, you may not agree with his politics and find his lyrics to be crass but songs like Stranglehold and Free For All show off great talents on guitar. Damn Yankees was also an interesting experiment for Ted and Tommy Shaw.

    Neal Schon, forget about the sappiness of Journey. Neal started out playing alongside Santana and always wanted to play a harder edge. Although Steve Perry provided the formula for success, Neal’s guitar talent still shines through if you listen.

    Johnny Winter, another often overlooked talent.

    Dweezil Zappa, hanging around a talented musician like his father certainly rubbed off on him.



  52. Does anybody like the ‘King of the Surf Guitar’ Dick Dale? He was ahead of his time. He was fast too.

    1. I grew up listening to Dick Dale, Julie.

      My daddy was a huge fan of surf guitar styles. Hank’s playing style does bring him to mind. 🙂

  53. Everyone has hit the usual suspects so far but may I add two names:

    Steve Hackett of early Genesis and John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

    Both in their own unique way bring spell binding chops two the table (see Genesis “Firth of Fifth” on “Selling England By The Pound” for example of lovely Hackett work).

    And Frusciante was like a madman on the Pepper’s “Stadium Arcadium” album.

    Thank you very much indeed, good night to you.

    1. Steve Hackett is one of my favourite guitarists too, Josh, after David that is.

      As I’m sure you’re aware he has compiled quite a comprehensive catalogue since his Genesis days.

  54. OK. Check out Prince in this performance of a classic rock tune and then tell me he can’t play guitar.

    I think this will amaze some of the folks here.



  55. I believe that Chuck Berry should be mentioned before anyone: he practically invented rock’n’roll and was/is a very good guitarist on his own right. I wonder why he’s nearly forgotten despite his fundamental role. 😉

    Good rock references (beyond the many obvious listed above) are also Mike Oldfield, David’s friend Sir Paul McCartney (yes, he’s a heck of a guitar player), Malcolm Young and James Hetfield (both much underrated due to playing rhythm), Keith Richards and Camel’s Andy Latimer.

    There are other names as Paco de Lucia, Al di Meola, Pat Metheny, João Gilberto and Caetano Veloso (both from Brazil), who are very good players in their own right.

    Cheers, have a nice weekend.

  56. I’ll give Steve Hillage a mention, seeing as nobody else has.

    Take a ‘trip’ back to the ’70s – here.

  57. Peter Green is a guitar God in my view, not only for the way he plays but also for the way he writes music. It all makes sense when I hear him play.

  58. i’m a drummer but have always loved the sound of guitar.

    there are some great names been listed here.

    i’ll go with HANK B MARVIN just loved all that echo and delicious licks on the early cliff stuff.

    here some forgotten greats:

    VIC FLICK, the john barry seven
    JOE BROWN, one of the best ever
    DICK KUY, joe meek session player
    D WILCOCK, the fentones. ace player.

    you see, you can go on forever. to me it’s what the ear hears.

  59. Le plus grand de loin: Hank MARVIN – il y lui et puis tout le reste.

    Il est à la guitare ce qu’ Eddy Merckx à été au vélo…

    Chet Atkins est le deuxième sans aucun doute.

    Pour les 3 suivants loin derrière, le peloton…

    Je trouve bizarre que l’on classe des “hardrockiens” comme Jimmy Page dans les guitaristes; il ne faut pas être difficile ou n’avoir jamais joué vraiment de la guitare!

  60. In a YouTube video called “Hank Marvin Echo”, Hank talks about a fan in the UK that was able to run software through “Alesis QuadraVerb 2” to recreate his same sound.

    Do you know if the software is available or perhaps tell me how to contact Mr Hank Marvin so that I could ask him personally? I play guitar and I am also a big fan of The Shadows.

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