Angus Young is the guitarist of one of the biggest rock bands in the world, AC/DC. While he’s renowned for his blues-rock style, it’s his duck walk – which is a nod to the great Chuck Berry, and the outrageous schoolboy outfits that make him look like a private school kid skipping class! But boy, can the man handle a guitar.
Hits like “Back in Black”, “It’s a Long Way to the Top” and “Highway to Hell” have inspired generations to headbang in their cars. But they also set a foundation for rock, especially in the 70s. His thundering power chords sent a shockwave through rockers around the world – and as such, AC/DC has made history. Did you know that Young has been with the band since he was 18?
With a middle name like “Fidler”, we’re not surprised that Walsh has a knack for string instruments. Born in Wichita, Kansas in 1947, Joe Walsh is a man of many talents and has had success in a number of bands. However, the most famous by far (and one of the most successful of all time) was, of course, The Eagles.
His rhythm-and-bass style with edginess and a touch of the blues has won him fans all over the world. Despite being a later addition to the famous band, he definitely joined at a peak time: their greatest hit, “Hotel California” was made in 1975, the very same year he joined. The solo in the song is one of the most instantly recognizable and iconic solos of all time. Now that’s definitely something to be remembered by!
Led Zeppelin is the epitome of rock and roll, and Jimmy Page was their guitarist. Born in Middlesex England 1944, this double-necked Gibson, guitar-wielding guitar fiend was a man with truly talented fingers. If you check out the image below, you see Page with two guitars and one arm. No, he wasn’t an amputee, he was just ridiculously fast and meticulous with that one hand. But with this guitar, Page created the Led Zeppelin Experience, birthing rhythm and some of the best guitar solos ever written.
With a dark, prophetic, even mythical folkloric sound, Page’s guitar has captivated and will continue to captivate generations of fans. Here's a bit of trivia for you: did you know that Led Zeppelin’s music and sound were partly inspired by J.R.R Tolkien’s works?! As Led Zeppelin’s lead guitarist, Page wrote the music and recorded with a work ethic that was incomparable. He was constantly searching for the perfect sound, the perfect combination of notes and chords. A true perfectionist, he nailed it pretty much every time: just look at “Dazed and Confused”, “Heartbreaker” and “Kashmir.” Epic.
B. B. King
Riley B. King, known professionally as B.B. King, was a blues maestro – singer, electric guitarist, songwriter, and record producer. With an almost incomparable career, King introduced a style of soloing that was based on fluidity, involving a variety of string bending and vibrato techniques. As such, these influenced many later electric blues guitarists, setting a tone for what blues and rock and roll were to become.
Born on a cotton plantation in Itta Bena, Mississippi in 1925, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, and widely recognized as one of the most influential blues musicians ever, earning the prestigious moniker “The King of the Blues.” Being born in the 20s, King was exposed to perhaps the purest form of the blues style of music, truly being able to express feeling and soul through both his singing and his guitar playing. A workhouse and showman, in 1956 alone, it’s estimated that he performed a staggering 342 shows! By the 70s, he was performing 200 shows a year. Incredible.
Thomas Baptist Morello was born in Harlem on May 30, 1964, making waves in the music industry, as the lead guitarist for Rage Against the Machine. In the photo below, he’s actually leading an “Occupy Wall Street” event back in 2011. A strong advocate for social change, he also graduated from Harvard University. Morello has also been part of Audioslave, and more recently, the band Prophets of Rage.
He also toured with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. He’s also got his own solo act, the Nightwatchman and Street Sweeper Social Club. He’s very active in the music world and extremely passionate! His distinctive style comes by the way of different sounds he creates with his guitar, through the use of effect pedals. Making that sound was a crucial turning point in Rage’s almost hip-hop/heavy metal fusion (what you might know as Nu Metal).