Top 25 Guitarists of all time: #21 George Harrison

20 Aug

Hello everyone. As the summer sun begins to fade, allow me to introduce a man whose impact has no sunset: George Harrison.

Born in 1943, Harrison rose to become an amazing English rock guitarist, singer-songwriter, and of course, the lead guitarist of The Beatles. On this rare occasion, both myself and Rolling Stone magazine place Mr. Harrison in the #21 spot. With his innovative guitar work with The Beatles, it is no wonder that George finds himself on this list. Harrison favored Gretsch guitars during early recordings, usually with a Vox amplifier.

In 1965, Harrison got his first Fender Strat, which was used on the Rubber Soul album. Harrison did quite well for himself, and even had quite the desirable wife: Pattie Boyd. Some may recognize this name as the subject of “Layla,” a song by Eric Clapton. Clapton was in love with Harrison’s wife at the time, a situation that tested their friendship. I wish I were a fly on the wall when Clapton told Harrison this. Anyway, in 1997 Harrison was diagnosed with throat cancer, which he attributed to his smoking in the ’60s.

He eventually died from metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, the official cause of death written on his death certificate. On the first anniversary of his death, Royal Albert Hall hosted the Concert for George. The concert benefited Harrison’s charity, the Material World Charitable Foundation.

So, overall, Harrison finds himself on this list not because of his good intentions, but because of his pure skill and ability with a guitar. He has influenced countless musicians through his own work as well as his work with The Beatles.

Check out this video at the Concert for George, as his friends cover his song “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

Here is another version from when George was still able to play with his friends.

3 Responses to “Top 25 Guitarists of all time: #21 George Harrison”

  1. saltynutz4u January 12, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

    My hunch is that my favorites will not be listed..
    So I say any list that does not have James Burton..or..Scotty Moore..or..Sonny Curtis at least given their respective nods as the guys who really invented the Rock (Telecaster) lead guitar..and i say this with full understanding that in the sordid world of Rock and Roll…any person who does not techno hype their axe to an absurd level..just ain’t wid it…I stand guilty as charged

  2. Matt Coleman January 12, 2011 at 11:49 pm #

    I am not sure what the rest of the list holds. It has been compiled by our writer Josh and I am looking forward to reading his posts when he writes them.

    That being said, what an excellent point with Scotty Moore. He is such a widely under-appreciated guitarist whose contribution to rock n’ roll often goes unnoticed. This is just wrong. The guy accompanied Presley during his Sun cut of “That’s All Right.” His lead was so influential.

    I must also say that James Burton’s solo on “Susie Q” is one of my favorites.

    • saltynutz4u February 24, 2011 at 2:47 am #

      Hello Matt..May all of your days be a work of Rock and Roll mania…BTW..If folks have a wonder as to whom James Burton was/is..He was the little sawed off kid who played lead guitar for all of Rick Nelsons Career…and I would say one of the Founding Father’s of what place am amped up Strat or Gibson would serve in this here Music that done spoiled the American Teenagers..Amen!
      I wanted to share a story that probably has not been discussed ..ever that I am aware of..but I think you will get a kick out of it..I have a video that outlines the many lives of one Jery Lee Lewis,,It is a really good and spot on telling of the truth instaed of so much crap..Anyway..towards the end of it Jerry Lee is talking about the long stange trip he has been a part of..And suddenly ..A light goes on in his head..and he share this..Oh..And I have never shared this story until now..But several years ago and about 6 months before his death ..Elvis made a “midnight holler at me..said he was coming by .Which he had done often over the years..So he comes by and we just had us a good time reliving what we had been a part of all these years..Elvis was in good spirits..Come day break ..He said his adios ..and he is walking out the door..and I call him back..I said..”After all this time ..Do you really think ..our music was evil and devil like.”.?..AND In a rare show of outright fairly pissed off..The ol boy came up to where i was standing…poked his finger in my chest..and with eyes looking like a spook had goosed him saiD..LISTEN TO ME REAL GOOD JERRY LEE..DO NOT EVER..I MEAN NEVER BRING UP THAT OLD SORRY ASS REPORT TO ME AGAIN..YOU HEAR ME..?
      I said i have heard you…with that he did an about face..banged out of the door..and I never spoke to him again…”

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