INTERESTING STUFF – 23 November 2013
Elder Quality of Life

ELDER MUSIC: Lead Guitarists – Commenters' Choice

PeterTibbles75x75This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

This is your column, you the Time Goes By Music readers.

Not too long ago I did a column on Lead Guitarists. Those were my personal choices. However, you left enough suggestions for another complete column, so here are the ones you mentioned in those comments.

Just because they were omitted from my original column doesn't mean I don't like them - indeed, I would have selected some of them myself in part 2 or 3 if I ever got around to it. So, it's your choice today, and that will save me having to think who should be included.


Lindsey Buckingham

Lindsay is the guitarist for the most successful incarnation of Fleetwood Mac. There were several guitarists before him in that group, in particular one of the founder members, Peter Green. However, it's Lindsay's turn in the limelight today.

Here is the Mac with Lindsay singing and playing Blue Letter. There's a fine live version of the song on YouTube for those who'd like to hear more.

♫ Fleetwood Mac - Blue Letter

STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN was the real deal.

Stevie Ray Vaughan

He had already established himself as one of the finest guitarists around, respected by both rock and blues audiences when he met his death in a helicopter accident. Although thought of as a loud rock/blues player, he could also play jazz equally proficiently. Indeed, it is this style of his that I prefer.

However, today it's the blues and The Sky Is Crying from the album of the same name.

♫ Stevie Ray Vaughan - The Sky Is Crying

CARLOS SANTANA learned the violin when he was five and took up the guitar at age eight.

Carlos Santana

His family moved from Mexico to San Francisco but Carlos stayed behind. Not for long though, he joined them there and went to school in the city.

He first came to notice for his guitar work when the Paul Butterfield Band couldn't play at the Fillmore (various substances were involved). Bill Graham put together a band of musicians he knew or had heard of and Carlos blew everyone away with his playing.

He formed the band Santana and they were a regular act at the Fillmore. Here they perform Samba Pa Ti.

♫ Santana - Samba Pa Ti

ANGUS YOUNG plays for the Australian rock group AC/DC.

Angus Young

He and his brother Malcolm were founder members of the band. They have rock & roll in their genes as their older brother George was a member of one of the finest of Oz rock bands, The Easybeats.

Acker-Dacker (as they are universally known in Oz) are one of the hardest rocking bands around. Here's an example of that: Highway To Hell.

♫ AC_DC - Highway To Hell

I was a little surprised at MICKEY BAKER's inclusion. Not because he wasn't a fine guitarist, but because he isn't exactly a household name.

Mickey Baker

I should have realized that you, the readers, have great musical depth. That sounds as if I'm sucking up to you all. Well, of course I am.

Mickey was half of the fifties’ R&B duo Mickey and Sylvia (with Sylvia Robinson). He was also a much sort after session musician. As well, he recorded under his own name, mostly instrumental tunes. This is one of them, Midnight Midnight.

♫ Mickey Baker - Midnight Midnight

FREDDIE KING (or Freddy King, he used both spellings) was one of the great "King" bluesmen.

Freddie King

There were a bunch of these and I've even done a column on them all. However, it's Freddie's day in the spotlight with Five Long Years.

♫ Freddie King - Five Long Years

MARK KNOPFLER nearly made the cut in my first column, but he missed by that much. He wasn't alone in that regard.

Mark Knopfler

Mark first came to prominence as the main man for Dire Straits, a really fine group – particularly early on before all the overblown theatrics kicked in. I couldn't go past the first song of his I ever heard, Sultans of Swing.

♫ Dire Straits - Sultans of Swing

I mentioned JIMMY PAGE in the original column, but he didn't get an actual spot. I'll remedy that today.

Jimmy Page

Jimmy started his career as a session musician and he would also play at various clubs around London. When Eric Clapton left The Yardbirds, he recommended Jimmy as his replacement.

Jimmy didn't want to give up his lucrative session work so he suggested his friend Jeff Beck for the gig. Later on he joined Jeff in the group. After much coming and going Jimmy decided to form his own band.

Upon hearing them, The Who's drummer Keith Moon dismissed them suggesting they would go over like a lead zeppelin. They thought that was a good name for the band and changed its spelling to Led Zeppelin so there wouldn't be any misunderstanding on how to pronounce the first word of the group's name.

Here they are with Whole Lotta Love from their second album.

♫ Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love

I also mentioned DUANE ALLMAN in my first column. He missed out then too, but here he is today.

Duane Allman

Besides playing in his own band, he was in demand as a session guitarist. He plays that beautiful slide guitar part in Eric Clapton's Layla as well as letting it rip alongside Boz Scaggs on his first album after leaving the Steve Miller Band.

Here are the Allman Brothers from their first album with Black Hearted Woman.

♫ Allman Brothers - Black Hearted Woman

I finished my first column with Chuck Berry. I'll end this one with another influential guitarist from the early days of rock & roll, BO DIDDLEY.

Bo Diddley

Like Chuck, Bo's trademark way of playing has been pinched by many later guitarists. The Rolling Stones built their early career on Bo's style. You have to admire someone who made a career performing songs named after himself.

This is one of them, Bo Diddley.

♫ Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley

Joe Walsh was the other one mentioned but I had my quota so he missed out.


Did we miss a column? What about Eric Clapton, Keith Richards? Probably not enough column space to include everyone. Great column, we enjoyed. . . ..

What about Eric hero, my favorite.

Both columns are great, but where's Eric?

Well, no one suggested him last time.

Outstanding, Peter. Was happy to see the inclusion of Mickey Baker, who was featured a while back on the Geezer Music Club.

Thank you for the music!

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