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Here Is A List Of Guitar Maestros

Here Is A List Of Guitar Maestros

Perhaps the most influential musical instrument in the past century has been the guitar. As the world shed its traditional baggage, it paved the way for the new. In music, the gates of the classical structures were breached and an array of new beings spawned to life. Jazz and Swing became the predominant substructures that emerged, and though the process went through various phases, they, became the cornerstone for a structural overhaul in the world of music. In due process, the guitar became the most popular weapon of choice in ushering in a new age of modern music. Early exponents like Robert Johnson, Lead Belly, Muddy Waters, etc. became inspirations for the future heroes. The invention of the electric guitar in the 1930’s gave these heroes a new weapon, one that revolutionised the entire concept of music altogether. With subsequent evolution and upgradation, these machines, wielded by appropriate agents, went on take the international center stage in an increasingly globalised world. We pay homage to this legendary instrument, synonymous to modern music, by listing some minutiae of some of its foremost champions.

Muddy Waters ­

One of earliest guitar legends, Muddy Waters is often hailed as the principal exponent of his signature style, which eventually came to be called ‘Chicago Blues’. Hailing from a very modest and humble background, the master is often considered to be one of the greatest guitarists of all time. But did you know?

● His first ever recording was for the Library of Congress. Musicologist Alan Lomax and John Work were responsible for the recording.

● The British superband, The Rolling Stones and David Bowie’s The Mannish Boys were both named after the Muddy Water songs.

● He recorded ‘Mean Red Spider’ for the 20th Century record label using a pseudonym to avoid contractual complications. Officially, it is credited to James “Sweet Lucy” Carter.

● Eric Clapton was Muddy’s best man when he got married to 19­year old, Marva Jean Brooks in 1979.

● ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons took a piece of lumber from Muddy’s lawn and with the help of the Pyramid Guitar Co. designed the famous Muddywood Guitar as a tribute to the legend. The guitar is in display at the Delta Blues Museum in Mississippi.

Buddy Guy ­

Described by Eric Clapton as the best guitar player alive, Buddy Guy is a stalwart of the Chicago Blues. With a musical career spanning over 50 years, he is not only an inspiration for the fans, but also the masters of the art. Pioneering the Blue­Rock sound, Buddy Guy is a living legend. But did you know?

● It wasn’t until 1991, that he won his first Grammy award for his album, Damn Right I’ve

Got the Blues. Since then, he has won five more.

● He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2003, by then­President, George W. Bush.

● The legendary Muddy Waters recommended him as a sessions guitarist for Chess Records after hearing him play at the 708 Club.

● While Rolling Stones lists him at No.30 in the ‘Greatest Guitarist of All Time’ list, Billboard Magazine bestowed upon him, the distinguished title of ‘Greatest Living Electric Blues Guitarist.’

● His iconic polka­dotted guitar is actually an homage to his mother. Before she died, Buddy Guy promised to buy her a polka­dotted Cadillac.

Chuck Berry


If anyone can be attributed to being the inventor of Rock ‘n’ Roll, it has to be Chuck Berry. The master’s iconic sound is widely regarded as one of the first of its kind, thus ushering the age of Blues­Rock music. His illustrious life has been an inspiration for generations, but did you know ?

● He was arrested on multiple occasions on charges ranging from misdemeanor marijuana possession to armed robbery.

● He studied to be a beautician and specialised in hair­dressing from Poro College of Cosmetology.

● Chuck Berry is credited as the co­writer of The Beach Boys classic, Surfin’ USA as the band found out that the song’s melody is horribly similar his track, Sweet Little Sixteen.

● He fought under the name, ‘Wild Man Berry’ after he took up boxing in prison.

● He regularly left for tours all alone, hiring different bands at different locations.

B.B. King ­

Probably the greatest Blues guitarist of all time, ‘Blues Boy’ King is an institution in himself. While his technique has been the bedrock of almost all the future guitarists, the emotions he extracted from his beloved ‘Lucille’ is something that every musician desire. But did you know?

● His second marriage was presided over by Reverend C.L. Franklin, the father of legendary Gospel and R&B singer, Aretha Franklin.

● King bought his first guitar from a Sear & Roebuck catalog. It cost him 30 dollars, which he allegedly borrowed.

● While it is a well fact that King personified his guitar as a woman named Lucille, there were over 40 of them throughout his lifetime, the most famous being the Gibson ES­355 model.

● King obtained a pilot’s license in 1963 and continued flying till his early 70’s. It is alleged that his family, as well as his insurance company asked him to stop.

● In 1956, the legend performed for a jaw­dropping 342 nights. He continued performing regularly till his demise. It is estimated that in his career, he did over 15,000 shows.

Jimi Hendrix ­

Undoubtedly, the last word in the world of guitars Since Jimi Hendrix, playing the guitars has never been the same. Hendrix revolutionised the instrument itself, pioneering the distorted electric sound and the use of various devices. But did you know?

● His first guitar was a second ­hand acoustic that cost 5 dollars in 1958. His first electric guitar was a Supro Ozark 1560S.

● Hendrix considered music to be his religion and called his sound as Electric Church music.

● His 1968 album, Electric Ladyland, was named after his Electric Lady Studios. But due to an error by the sound engineer, it was almost released as Electric Landlady. Thankfully, Hendrix spotted the mistake.

● Born as Johnny Allen Hendrix, the legend’s genealogy is very interesting. He was part Irish, part African­American and part Cherokee.

● Jazz legend, Miles Davis agreed to collaborate with the guitar maestro, thus shedding his long standing puritanical stance and embracing rock ‘n’ roll. But the project never took off due to Hendrix’s untimely death on September 18th, 1970.