January 2, 2012
By Chrissy Mauck
As 2011 wound down, Rolling Stone compiled a list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time, and George Harrison stands at No. 11 among the prolific list of virtuoso musicians.
In the early-December issue of the magazine, Tom Petty offered Harrison high praise.
“George Harrison and I were once in a car and the Beatles song ‘You Can’t Do That‘ came on, with that great riff in the beginning on the 12-string. He goes, ‘I came up with that.’ And I said, ‘Really? How?’ He said, ‘I was just standing there and thought, “I’ve got to do something!’
“That pretty much sums him up. He just had a way of getting right to the business, of finding the right thing to play. That was part of that Beatles magic – they all seemed to find the right thing to play.”
Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page earned the top three slots on the list, with Keith Richards, Jeff Beck, B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Eddie Van Halen, Duane Allman and Pete Townshend rounding out the top 10.
Gretsch signature artists Chet Atkins and Bo Diddley came in at Nos. 21 and 27, respectively.
“His style was outrageous,” Keith Richards told RS of Diddley; it suggested “that the kind of music we loved didn’t just come from Mississippi. It was coming from somewhere else.”
“I think he influenced everybody who picked up a guitar,” Duane Eddy said of Atkins to Rolling Stone.
Eddy himself was also honored on this list, coming in at No. 64.
“If there was any doubt left in the late 1950s that the guitar – not the saxophone – was rock & roll’s essential lead instrument, Duane Eddy settled the argument: See his 1958 single ‘Rebel Rouser,’ curled with country twang and rippling with tremolo,” noted the music mag of the Gretsch signature artist.
For the full list, click here.