Gibson Top 50

If you missed it yesterday, David will perform at one – just one – of Roger Waters’ forthcoming Wall concerts; his part of the deal in getting Roger to join him on stage on Saturday. (Please see the previous post if you’ve been holidaying underneath a large rock for the past week and know nothing about this now sacred day which some speak of.)

Roger has explained how it all came to be over at Facebook, so do be sure to read that if you haven’t already done so.

Although fully aware that it will be buried amidst the ongoing and increasing excitement since Saturday’s surprise reunion, which benefited the Hoping Foundation, and granted that it isn’t anything new (but was considered worth a tweet earlier this afternoon), I’ll wrap up what has been an eventful week by presenting to you the results of a simple poll, should you welcome an innocuous distraction from speculation, hope and intrigue. We haven’t had one of these in some time and it’s not good to get too excited about anything, don’t forget.

Take a look at’s bloody appalling somewhat contentious (sorry, I may be biased, but 41st?!) list promising to herald the Top 50 Guitarists of All Time. Results of a readers’ poll are also included. You may jeer, boo and hiss as you rearrange either of these lists to suit your own liking and add the notable omissions in place of the apparent imposters, which I hope you can share with the rest of us. Any combination of fist-shaking, eye-rolling and name-calling will also be permitted during this exercise.

Oh, Gibson.

Now, someone with far greater knowledge of guitars than I ever will possess ought to point out to the suspicious which of the 50 are principally found to favour a Gibson guitar hanging from their shoulders, because that would be revealing.

Have a very good weekend, everyone, and thanks again for giving your reaction to the temporary reunion – both past and future.

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’.

75 thoughts on “Gibson Top 50”

  1. Well it wouldn’t do Gibson any bloody good to rank the reigning Stratocaster king in the top 10, would it? And yeah I know Hendrix favored the Strat too, but everybody knows that any list that does not have Jimi at top will be ignored.

    All you have to do is notice that Keith Richards is ranked one spot higher than Clapton to realize that Gibson wanted to make sure the players that primarily use its guitars came out on top. Richards is a great songwriter and comes up with great riffs, but IMHO you have to at least be able to play with 6 strings to rank in the top 10.

  2. FEd,

    This has to be the most shocking list I have ever seen in my life!

    It must be some kind of wind-up, surely… Jimi coming first; no surprise… But the rest of it!?

    Jack White coming in at #13. Well that just says it all.

    See, I made it through a whole comment without mentioning… IT… Well, almost! 😉

    Have a good weeked FEd! 🙂

  3. Hilarious.

    I’d love Gibson to share with us which Bo Diddley effort got him ranked 10 positions above David (among others). So there’s that one song where he does the Bo Diddley beat, and then all those other monumentally significant works. None of which I can remember right now.

    Not to pick on Bo, just pointing out one of the more puzzling examples.

  4. And another list maker winds up on my stoopid doody head list. Never to supplant Rolling Stone, mind. That one caused me to not renew my subscription and literally cringe whenever RS was mentioned in my presence for an entire year.

    Neil Young’s a better guitarist than David Gilmour?? NEIL YOUNG???? A better GUITARIST? Buhwah???

    Sorry for the question mark abuse. I will now go out and tend the juniper tree I’ve planted in Mr Gilmour’s honor and mutter to myself for about a day.

    Stupid list makers.

    1. Jill~

      I had the same reaction you did when I saw “Neil” being better.

      Nothing against Neil Young; but… there’s just no comparison! :))

  5. Pingback:
    1. Paul:

      Is that true? When I last heard him, he played only one. He must have learned a lot lately. 😛

  6. Hey Fed,

    I see why some folks would question the top ten of the Gibson’s poll. Chet Atkins, Chuck Berry and Robert Johnson as examples. But I think the reasoning here is these 3 and others created methods of playing that were either brand new or revolutionized what was already existing. They don’t look just at the guitar solos.

    There will be the usual complaints as to why Mr Van Halen make the top ten but I still remember hearing Eruption for the first time back in 79 and how speechless I was at the technique and the sound… so so new.

    Cheers, Howard

  7. Unbelievable.

    Gibson WISHES they had someone like David playing their guitars all the time….but oh well.

  8. I can see how Gibson would say that there are some people ahead of David, but he’s deserving of at least a top 10. And no Steve Howe? Alex Lifeson? Steve Hackett?

  9. Gibsons best 50, my ass… Here are my 2 Eurocents:

    1. Jimi Hendrix – for me on the list but not up here
    2. Jimmy Page – again for me on the list but not up here
    3. Keith Richards – nice guy, but guitarist #3?

    Actually I stop right here with farther comments, since they have disqualified themselves putting Keith as #3.

    The readers made it in sum slightly better, but…

    1. Duane Allman

    Him #1? Huh? Do my eyes deceive me?

    I put these lists to the hot weather, possibly on hangovers, or someone with a strange sense of humour…

    Have a nice weekend


  10. Great News. It’s a miracle…

    But my in my dreams I see Dave playing Goodbye Blue Sky and Dogs.

    Thank you.

  11. Wow…I must say that I’m speechless at the moment.

    I’m guessing my tickets in Little ole Hartford the day after my birthday won’t get the gig, but dare to dream.

    Any idea when they will announce the date? More importantly do you know if any video will be made?

    Thanks FEd and have a fantastic weekend!!! Cheers

    1. I’m guessing my tickets in Little ole Hartford the day after my birthday won’t get the gig, but dare to dream.

      We are all daring to dream, Rob, each one of us in our own little ole place!

      Good luck and have a wonderful Birthday.

      Bella xo

  12. These polls are so subjective it’s hardly worth reading. Most of them have the same people in the top 15 anyways.

    I’m glad to see Duane Allman’s name on there though.

    Have a good weekend, FEd.

  13. Yeah, 41 is a mistake. How does Lou Reed rank above David? Lou is very talented, no mistake but top 50? And David does have a real nice goldtop Les Paul with a Bigsby trem.

    I was looking at the list to see if there was a bias to Gibson players over Fender. If you look at just the top 10:

    – Jimi was known as the Master of the Stratocaster but also played a Gibson SG.
    – Page has always been a Les Paul guy.
    – Keith has mostly been a Fender guy and particulary the Tele.
    – Eric is also mostly a Strat guy but also played an SG early in his career (I think mostly when he was with Cream).
    – Chuck Berry is a Gibson guy.
    – Beck is Fender player (and a what a player).
    – Eddie originally modified a Fender and then later went to Kramer/Charvel and others.
    – Chet was a Gibson player.
    – Robert Johnson I think was an acoustic Gibson player.
    – Townshend is a Les Paul guy like Page.

    It does seem to be balanced.

    Readers Poll is very odd. Seems it was hijacked by some Allman fans. How else can you explain Duane, Warren Haynes, Dickey Betts, Derek Trucks all getting listed in the top 25? Especially since Duane is the only one who made the top 50 list. But I will say that Derek Trucks is phenomenal.

    Who is missing?? Andy Summers for sure and surprised that Kirk Hammett didn’t make the cut. But then Kirk doesn’t play Gibson or Fender. And where is Tony Iommi?? He plays a Gibson too.

    Maybe more commentary later.



    1. Who is missing??

      What do you think about Gary Moore and Peter Green? They are great guitarists and they are also Gibson Les Paul players.

      I don’t know if a Peter Green Signature Les Paul guitar has ever been produced, but I know for sure about the existence of a Gary Moore Signature one. Here it is, if you’re interested.

      And I agree with you about Lou Reed.

    2. Given that Gary Moore has/had Peter’s old Les Paul, and used it for years. Then I guess it could be a twofer!

  14. What a terrible list.

    I’m quite fed up of seeing Jimi always in no. 1 on every guitarists list. It’s just become such a meaningless cliche now I feel. Sure, he probably is the most influential guitarist of all time but the best? I disagree.

    Also George Harrison that high? No way, he’s only that high on the list because he was in The Beatles (AKA the most overrated band ever) and no way are people like The Edge, Robert Johnson and Jack White better then David Gilmour.

    The people that make these lists need to see that just because some guitarists are influential does not automatically mean they are better then other less influential guitarists.

  15. That Gibson top 50 guitarists is dumb. David Gilmour should be in the top 5-10 in my opinion, but what do I know. Some on the list just don’t make any sense. Some of them barely or rarely even play guitar. Many that scored above Mr. Gilmour honestly aren’t that good.

    I would guess that the younger generation might not even be aware who he is. If they put the band name they were associated with he might score higher.

    No matter, he is still number 1 in my book.

  16. It is great to come back from work on a hot muggy evening and find one’s mailbox chock full with “Blog” activity. Especially the “perhaps, maybes” report from Roger’s Facebook page hinting at a surprise appearance by David in one of The Wall gigs.

    When all is said and done, we are not on this particular blog for Israel, or Palestine (there are other sites for that), or to discuss ad nauseam whether Roger was wrong or David shakes hands – we are here for the MUSIC and the DREAM of hearing it again the way it was meant to be played, and the voices who were meant to sing it.

    To awkwardly paraphrase what different Floyd band members have said at different times throughout the years: “The only thing that counts is that it moves you.” The music does move us; it takes us on flights to heaven and some of us never quite come back! So it’s not about whose money, whose fame, whose career, it’s about things that don’t really have a price: the most beautiful music on earth and the ripples of its sound in our souls. I look at my tickets for The Wall in three different Canadian cities (a big financial effort for me – but truly worth the moon and the stars) and dare carry a tiny spark of hope in my heart of hearing both those voices. Just for the sheer madness of the beauty of it all 😛

    Even if I don't get to hear David in The Wall it will have happened and I am happy for music and the Universe.

    Bella xoxox

  17. Hi FEd!

    Wow!!! How cool is that?

    I, of course, would love it if he decided to do the Houston, TX gig, in November. 🙂

    Hope you have a lovely weekend,


    P.S. My 18-year-old kitty, Tailer, died Thursday. I miss him very much. 🙁

  18. Classical guitar players will find it ABSOLUTELY APPALLING that Andres Segovia ties at 47th place on this list!! He’s considered by many to be the best classical guitarist who ever lived.

    Robert Fripp will be equally appalled that he not only didn’t get named greatest guitarist ever, not only isn’t in the top 40, but that guitarists like Prince, Keith Richards and George Harrison came in above him!! Fripp’s talent is far exceeded by his ego.

  19. Dr. David,

    PLEASE do your Comfortably Numb performance in Phila on Tues. Nov 8? It would be the MOST spectacular birthday gift I could ever possibly HOPE to receive; my birthday is 11/5.

    You are my favorite PF musician (Syd is in a class by himself respectfully so) followed by Richard Wright (RIP sweet Rick). Rog is my least favorite, LOL. I’ve never been fortunate enough to make it to any PF concerts in my earlier years; it was always a case of the wrong place at the wrong time. Now that I am 51 years old I feel that this is the last opportunity in my lifetime to see (what is left of) my all time favorite band. So my husband, David, is taking us to The Wall tour for my 52nd birthday, we have club box seats and traveling via limo!

    PF music was the basis of our courtship and the music continued to “fit” our relationship through all these years. Even ‘Keep Talking’, LOL. Love the Division Bell! Kudos Polly!

    Sadly, I recently lost my little brother, Vince, on April 1 of this year. Vince fell, hit his head on the concrete and bled out in his brain; he was only 49. It’s been very rough, especially for my parents. I would like you to know that On an Island got me through the most difficult time in my life; especially When I Close My Eyes, which in my opinion is the MOST beautiful composition in the whole wide world. Followed by Red Sky at Night, Smile and Where We Start, which ironically totally depicts my very happy marriage.

    Thank you for listening. Hope to see you in Philly.


  20. I hope David and the family fancy a trip to the San Francisco bay area, as it looks like we’ll be going to all 3 of those Roger shows.

    I must say FEd, with the utmost love and respect, that I’m shocked I had to hear of all this temporary reunion stuff from other sources first. In the past, you’ve been the first place for all my Gilmour related news.

    As far as the poll goes, blah! What do they know? Some of the guys above David are just ridiculous. But everyone has their own opinion… :/

    Hope everyone is doing well. I miss my Gilmourettes in chat!

    Peace and Love

    1. I must say FEd, with the utmost love and respect, that I’m shocked I had to hear of all this temporary reunion stuff from other sources first. In the past, you’ve been the first place for all my Gilmour related news.

      It’s not David’s place to say it, is it? It’s Roger’s tour.

      Had it been announced here first, I think that would have appeared quite vain and vulgar, which is not David’s style. As I’ve already said, there’d have been no mention of last weekend’s charity event were it not for Roger’s attendance making it something that simply could not be ignored, because the speculation was inevitable. I did not mention the previous year’s event.

      It was up to Roger to announce it in his own time, and he did… when I was thinking about my bed, if I wasn’t already in it.

      You’ll notice that there has been no comment from David since Roger’s announcement. That’s because there doesn’t need to be.

  21. Anyone in their right mind knows that David Gilmour is and will always be the greatest. I just watched a rerun of the 50th anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster and he mad that baby sing.

    Gibson, keep on trying, you will get it right some day.

    I had the pleasure of seeing David play in 1977 and it was the greatest concert I have seen and I have seen many. Thanks for the memories.

  22. Well, I think this kind of list is not really important, because audience thinks different… 8)

    Have a great time to you FEd, and everyone! 🙂

    Bye, Hydrea

  23. My list of best ever guitarists has David on top… even before Jimi and not without reason.

    David, you must include Malta in your next tour… PLEASE! 🙂

  24. I’m quite surprised Cheryl Cole, sorry – Tweedy, wasn’t on the list too.

  25. Just because you are an expert at making guitars doesn’t necessarily mean that you are an expert at assessing player skill level, much the way the best athletes usually don’t make the best coaches (Maradona for example), so we must take these lists with a grain a salt, realize that they are totally subjective and then just laugh it off when ridiculous as this one is.

  26. The list was be written by a monkey. 41? You must be the first!.

    I hope to see you on “The Wall” European tour in Madrid! It would be the best moment of my life, I’m 19 and you’re the best guitarist, please, come to Madrid, David.

    Bye, from Spain.

  27. Paul:

    Is that true? When I last heard him, he played only one. He must have learned a lot lately. 😛

    Well spotted, Taki! It was indeed a big fat white lie… he only uses the one.

    Taki… are you saying this has happened before?? Are these people right in the head??


    1. Are these people right in the head??

      I fear so. They are promoting stuff and since when does marketing care about truth?



  28. ‘Lo all. Marvellous, isn’t it!

    As far as the List goes, there are some good Players, in there. That’s about it! Don’t like lists! They are nasty.

    Have a good weekend all.

  29. Honestly, these dumb lists are not worth the toilet paper they are printed on. Do real musicians take them seriously? I hope not.

    With a few solid exceptions, it’s mostly “white boys” who “did good” filling the coffers of their record labels and promotional products, with a few Blues genii thrown in for good measure. Keith Richards “above” Bo Diddley? Give me a break. KR got all his moves from these Masters.

    Anybody notice Muddy Waters is not included at all? Nor is Johnny Lee Hooker? One could go on and on.

    This is like that stupid Rolling Stone Magazine classification of the “500 hundred best songs ever” with only three PF songs… and NO Leonard Cohen. Talk about losing any credibility they might have left.

    Toilet paper!

    David Gilmour is beyond any possible classification. No one knew what a guitar could really do before he came along.

    Have a great week-end.

    1. Well, don’t forget Albert Collins who in my opinion was incredible in getting a guitar to talk.



  30. David’s guitar playing always gets my attention; he makes it look like an art.

    David would be first on my list.

    I think the comments on the Gibson web list speak for a lot of people, including myself. 😕

  31. I don’t know how many ways to say the same thing about the Gibson list. Bollocks and f*** it.

    Hey, I’m from the U.S. and that was the first time I said bollocks. I like it. :))

    But I was really moved by Roger and David’s armistice on behalf of the charity. Pink Floyd is my favorite band ever. It’s so obvious that the acrimony and spite between the two was petty and lame. But I appreciate that they came together (again) for the benefit of a greater cause. I just put up a hundred bucks/euros to The Hoping Foundation.

    I feel good right now… for multiple reasons. 🙂


    1. I just put up a hundred bucks/euros to The Hoping Foundation.

      I feel good right now… for multiple reasons. 🙂

      Thank you, Blair. You’re right to feel good; that’s a really generous thing that is very much appreciated.

      All the best to you.

  32. Hi FEd and friends,

    pathetic list made by dumbs for dumbs (with all respect for the real dumbs).

    In Italy it’s a hot lazy Sunday and I’m dreaming about next summer days in Puglia.

    Just a word about RW Facebook: this old guy has never changed…

    Have a nice rest of Sunday

  33. If Roger Waters still wants to make good deals with David, perhaps he should stop calling him ‘Dave’ on his acebook page… 😉

    And I would be very interested in reading David’s own version of this story, because all this, it seems to me, is very odd, I don’t recognise David’s style. But of course, who am I to think I know his style…?

    Anyway, what is more important: this news, the Gibson list (41? no problem, just remove the ‘4’) or the start of the new football season? 😉

    1. I meant Roger’s ‘Facebook’ of course, not ‘Acebook’. I just want to correct my typo because I’ve read that Acebook exists and is a ‘free asexual dating and social networking site’. :))

    2. Michèle,

      But it is possible that David doesn’t mind being called Dave within a close circle of friends. It is just that he commands the respect of everyone else to call him David. It is a way to differentiate between the close circle and everyone else – kinda like Us and Them.

      Just like most teachers are referred to by the students as Ms., Mrs. or Mr. while among themselves they are Prudence, Michèle and Pierre. Yes?



    3. In Roger’s defense, he’s cut down on the “Daves” quite a bit recently. I was actually a bit impressed by the number of times he properly called him David.

      Even Rick called David “Dave” quite a bit on the various OAI tour videos. Old habits are hard to break.

    4. I meant Roger’s ‘Facebook’ of course, not ‘Acebook’. I just want to correct my typo because I’ve read that Acebook exists and is a ‘free asexual dating and social networking site’. :))

      :)) Quite possibly the funniest comment ever.

      Sorry, I should have picked up on your typo. In fact, I probably created it by insisting that the name of that popular social networking site be capitalised and hitting the damn space bar instead.

      My bad, but oh-so worth it.

    5. But it is possible that David doesn’t mind being called Dave within a close circle of friends.

      Yes, but that would be assuming that Roger belongs to his circle of close friends, which I doubt…

      Oh well, once again, who am I to say that?

  34. That list is a joke, David should be amongst the first if not on the first place.

    Totally missing on the list is Steve Stevens, so I regard the list as not funded and as some other bloggie said, composed by monkeys.

    1. Totally missing on the list is Steve Stevens

      Yes Ulli… I agree.

      I will be seeing him again with Billy in September in NYC. I am looking forward to it. He is very under rated IMHO…

  35. That made me sick. So much so that I called off work!

    I could spend all day re-working, adding, and omitting (Neil Young WTF?!) and I have to admit when I saw Jack White I nearly shit a little. When it comes down to it, it ain’t worth my time. Somebody had an agenda or was on the wrong drug or worked for Rolling Stone Mag or some excusable reason for such stupidity.

    I can only hope that Gibson will receive the bill for all 2.5 million laptop computers that were vomited on because of there top 50 and think a little clearer next time.

    Gilmour forever!!

  36. It’s a homer list of Gibson players with few exceptions. If they want a true list of the Best Guitar Players in the History of Rock Music why didn’t they come ask me? I would have given them the top 10 and saved them the homer label.

    David can do more with one note than many ahead of him on the list can do with 6 strings and a neck and David isn’t one dimensional in that he’s mastered many different styles. That should put him at the top of any list.

    It was good to see Keith Richards and George Harrison on the list, though. Two more bands that changed the way we listen to music. I would have liked to have seen Mark Knopfler on the list as well.

  37. Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt not in that list, outraged!!!!

    Sarcasm works, folks.

    1. Hey!

      Leave the Fed’s favourite band alone… nothing wrong with Rossi and Parfitt. 🙂

      And where was Wilko Johnson?

  38. RE: The Edge before David..

    Being the Devil’s advocate here, I still say that they look at distinctiveness as part of the equation. You can never mistake the style of Edge’s playing and he did inspire a generation of professional copiers. David also is distinctive… perhaps too much as you don’t see his style reflected as much in the same arena.

    When I say professional copiers, I mean popular recording bands that have adopted the guitarist’s style.

    Cheers, Howard

    1. Howard:

      I like your point here. Brings up a different view which I like. However, for me ‘distinctive’ would be the only adjective I feel could be used with the dull ‘Edge’. I know, only my opinion, but we are all entitled,yes?

      So for me, distinctive in this case is a negative. I can only see his influence as being a cop out ‘style’ of play. Where in his ‘offering’ can you find any feeling or emotion or shading of sound. He never brings the instrument to life. Now take David’s style of playing. Yes, perhaps too distinctive and difficult, but… I am willing to bet that more people have been inspired to pick up a guitar because of David than they ever will because of the Edge. For me, there is no comparison.


  39. Well, well, surprises keeps coming these days… now I’ll just have to get those tickets for the Wall-show in Copenhagen, although I guess it’s unlikely for David to show up here.

    WARM greetings 8)

  40. P.S If you want an omission, how about Joe Walsh. Check out “You’re Gonna Need Me” from James Gang Live in Concert, 1971. Absolutely blistering and even has some seagulls a la Echoes at the end of the song.

    You never heard him like this in the Eagles… mores the pity.

    Cheers, Howard

  41. P.P.S. He also plays a mean Hammond organ in the next 2 tunes on the same album… check it out.

    Cheers, Howard

    1. Howard,

      I still have some DG stuff in my mancave for you… email me. 🙂

  42. Beaten by Steve Jones (Who???) 😡

    And Bo Diddley. 🙁

    Someone, somewhere, is seriously extracting the urine!!! 8|

    I guess the majority must attribute DG to Fender rather than Gibson. :!

  43. oh well, these lists are a bloody waste of time. as such I agree, it is appalling david coming in that late, and also as mentioned, so many of these players became famous not with a gibson of any sort but a strat. b.b. king would maybe come out top 3 if the respective instruments would be considered. did jack white (mind you, I love the man) ever actually play a gibson?

    I think even if we honour a player in respect to his/her instrument, something which is all too legitimate in david’s case, imo a player should never be “listed” through an instrument, but most of all through innovation.

    I know my top 5-10 guitar heroes without a doubt, they all transcend pretty much any category one would put on them. only so much, it was mentioned “the edge before david”, funnily enough the two single players that reside at the very top for me, followed very very close by one or two others, that have influenced my musical life for the last 17 years like no others.


  44. FE’d:

    These lists are only good for stirring us all up. I don’t think they take it as seriously or in the same way that fans do.

    And since I am stirred up here goes for me.

    Jimi Hendrix… Sorry, I know he was innovative, but I am tired of seeing him on the lists. I don’t think he was that great and am bored with his music. As for Keith Richards, George Harrison (like him, but mainly as song writer) and Neil Young (another good song writer)??? Probably decent but certainly not great or outstanding. Just my opinion.

    I think the organization was mainly hoping to pat people on the back for using their product. Which you can’t really fault them for. However, you can’t then take their list seriously.

    You would never be able to make a list that all would agree on anyway.

    On the other issue. Astounding that David is going to play with Roger. Never say never. What a great thing for him to do in order to get Roger to support him for that charity. It was a win win.


  45. Howard:

    Another point I wish to express. You say you can never mistake the style of the Edge. Well, there was some discussion one day at work about a certain manager’s ‘style’. What they really meant was that the manger actually had no management skill at all.

    That’s where he falls in my book.

    Brings to mind a summer song from way back. Tab Hunter ‘singing’ Red Sails In The Sunset. How horrible. Hard for me to admit now that I actually bought it. Ugh!!!


  46. Stupid list made by idiots.

    If ever there was a number one guitarist, then Mr. Gilmour. Ever heard a better solo than Comfortably Numb?

    But to show those idiots that there is more, how about Andrew Latimer? Ever heard of Camel?

  47. This chart looks quite odd to me… Prince at 14th position? And David at 41st??? Maybe they swapped over the 4 and the 1 digits…?????

    I am not a Gibson fan anyway, maybe I’m a bit biased though… they interviewed me big time for a technical support role here in Europe, they were supposed to hire me, but then decided to bullshit me saying the business went bad… 😉

    I don’t touch a Gibson guitar ever since, and I won’t ever again.

  48. David Gimour is by far the greatest guitar player in the world. I am glad to hear that you are putting Christ back into Christmas this year. Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Brian May. Happy B-day.

Comments are closed.