Jimi Hendrix named world's greatest guitarist

Jimi Hendrix has been named the world's greatest guitarist in a new poll. Photo / Supplied
Jimi Hendrix has been named the world's greatest guitarist in a new poll. Photo / Supplied

Jimi Hendrix has seen off competition from a string of Brits to top a new Greatest Guitarists poll.

The rock legend landed at No. 1 on the Rolling Stone list ahead of Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards and Jeff Beck, who make up the top five.

Guitar greats like Pete Townshend, who comes in at No. 10 on the top 100 countdown, Tom Petty, Carlos Santana and Eddie Van Halen offer their tributes.

In an essay about Hendrix, The Who star Townshend writes: "I feel sad for people who have to judge Jimi Hendrix on the basis of recordings and film alone, because in the flesh he was so extraordinary ... He had a power that almost sobered you up if you were on an acid trip.

"He was shy and kind and sweet, and he was f***ed up and insecure ... There was also something quite sad about watching him ... Toward the end of his life, he seemed to be having fun, but maybe a little too much.

"It was happening to a lot of people but it was sad to see it happen to him."

Townshend also admits he gave up trying to become the world's greatest guitarist after seeing Hendrix onstage: "I didn't have any envy; I never had any sense that I could ever come close.

"I remember feeling quite sorry for Eric (Clapton), who thought that he might actually be able to emulate Jimi ... because I thought Eric was wonderful anyway.

"Once, I think it was at a gig Jimi played ... (in London), Eric and I found ourselves holding hands. You know, what we were watching was so profoundly powerful."

The experts who voted for the top 100 guitarists included Phish star Trey Anastasio, Metallica's Kirk Hammett, Albert Hammond Jr, of The Strokes, Joe Walsh, Joe Perry and Lenny Kravitz.

The Top 10 list:

1. Jimi Hendrix
2. Eric Clapton
3. Jimmy Page
4. Keith Richards
5. Jeff Beck
6. BB King
7. Chuck Berry
8. Eddie Van Halen
9. Duane Allman
10. Pete Townshend

- WENN

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