And now, for something completely different; my list of the five best guitar players in rock & roll history. Here they are, at their finest and in no particular order. These are all live shows – no studio riffs here.
First up: The irreplaceable Jerry Garcia, in 1990, playing lead in Eyes of the World. Mrs. Animal and I saw the Grateful Dead in 1991, and this was one of the best tunes in the almost 5-hour show.
Next, the irrepressible Frank Zappa, from a 1977 concert, with his favored show-closer The Muffin Man.
Next, the irreproachable Stevie Ray Vaughan, with a live rip of his Couldn’t Stand the Weather.
And then there’s the irredeemable Jimi Hendrix, with a 1970 performance of his famous Purple Haze.
And finally, the only member on the list still walking the mortal coil; the irresistible Carlos Santana. I didn’t pick one of his usuals for this; instead I chose a more intimate performance, where he met the radiant Faith Hill and accompanied her on her song Breathe.
So. Thoughts? I would have named my top ten, but I was running out of words that began with the ‘irr’ prefix, and besides, after five the choices widen out some. I suppose I’d put Eddie Van Halen in that list, and Jimmy Page, and maybe George Thorogood.