The 5 Best Guitarists Who Are Also Men
Any man can play guitar—but here are five men who are actually pretty good.
For as long as the genre has existed, men have played a huge role in rock’s development. From its earliest days in the 1950s, many of the key players in blues and folk were men—and today, since the genre’s immersion into electronic and hip-hop influences, rock, believe it or not, continues to prominently feature men. As the instrument most commonly associated with rock music, the guitar is frequently seen as the focal point of any group, and, in many cases, is played by the vocalist, songwriter, and leader of the band. It’s a pretty tall task for anyone, and, against all odds, some of the greatest axe-wielders of all time happen to have been men.
To celebrate a gender which comprises approximately half of the world’s population, we’re counting down the five best guitarists of all time who are men.
Ah, yes. We all know and love Guns N’ Roses’ mad hatter, who’s made a name for himself emerging from the underworld at your favorite Super Bowl halftime show—but did you know that he’s a man? Born Saul Hudson, the guitar idol has lacerated his way into the best male guitarists conversation with his epic riffs and iconic male outfits. Gender’s clearly no obstacle for this male guitarist!
4. The Edge
Judging by that sweet, sweet six-string dangling from the musician’s shoulder, it’s no big secret that the U2 member is a guitarist. But if you look a little closer, you may notice a small patch of hair encircling his oral cavity. Yep, he’s a man-guitarist! David Howell Evans is known for his contributions to some of the greatest rock songs of the ’80s, and the fact that he’s a man places him confidently among our list of the best male guitarists.
3. Chris Stein
Since it is a band that famously includes more than zero females, only true Blondie fans may know that the innovative new wave group’s lead guitarist’s gender symbol is the one that looks like an arrow. “Heart of Glass,” “One Way Or Another,” “Picture This”…if you’re really listening, you can almost identify the source of energy behind these tracks as testosterone, which is the primary male sex hormone.
When you listen to the lyrics of Santana’s 1999 smash hit “Smooth,” you may be surprised to learn two things: One, the vocalist is not describing his own body, which is actually a male physiognomy covered head-to-toe with hair; and two, that the person singing this song isn’t Santana, but Matchbox Twenty vocalist Rob Thomas—who, like Carlos Santana, is a man. What amounts to a legendary male team-up is just one of many classic tunes recorded by Carlos, who presumably performs under his surname to avoid being treated differently due to his gender, which is male.
1. Jimi Hendrix
This list obviously wouldn’t be complete without Jimi Hendrix, easily one of the top twenty guitarists of all time. Even though his name isn’t spelled conventionally as “Jimmy,” a man’s name, Jimi was still a man and an excellent shredder. I would go so far as to call him a “guitar god,” since, as a man, the term “god,” as opposed to “goddess,” which refers to a female, applies to him. Excuse me while I touch this guy! FL