This self-taught guitarist was born in London to his single mom, who was a hairdresser. Jones had a pretty rough childhood and has admitted that he was functionally illiterate until his 40s. That didn’t matter in the world of punk music as Jones, one of the Rolling Stones’s Top 100 Guitarists taught himself guitar a few months before joining the supergroup punk band, The Sex Pistols.
Known for those abrasive, typically British punk chords that matched up perfectly with the rough vocal stylings of Jonny Rotten, Jones leaves a legacy of incredible riffs, particularly on the record 1977’s Never Mind the Bollocks. The guitarist then created the band The Professionals with his former bandmate Paul Cook before moving on to collaborate with greats like Iggy Pop and Bob Dylan. In between that, Jones.
Fleetwood Mac's axeman, Lindsey Buckingham, brought his banjo-strumming vibes into the rock world. In his own words, "you do what you can to get the sound you want." He was doing precisely that, simultaneously making the band the iconic band of the late 60s and 70s. Buckingham's first attempt at guitar was on a Mickey Mouse guitar, strumming along to his brother's records. By 13, he was deep into folk music, influenced by the Kingston Trio.
In 1966, Buckingham found himself in a psychedelic rock band named The Fritz Rabyne Memorial Band as a singer and bassist. With a few modifications and the addition of Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac was born, and so was a legend.
Sonic Youth, the noisy alternative band of rockers, had Thurston Moore to thank for their distinct sound. Ranking at number 34 in Rolling Stone's 2004 edition of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, Moore's style pioneered the indie rock sound of a range of noisy mixups of sounds. The guitarist was initially in the band Even Worse, honing his punk skills. On leaving the band, Moore ventured into some experimental guitar.
In 1980 he met Kim Gordon at a gig he was playing. Anne Demarinis and Dave Keay soon followed, and after some deliberation over names, the initial members became Sonic Youth. Moore also has a lot of credits outside his band and has even composed for a few movies, such as Heavy (1995), Bully (2001), and Manic (2001).
While Bruce Springsteen may not be known for his technical prowess like Stevie Ray Vaughn, he certainly knows how to rip the emotion out of those strings. The Jersey-born musician has had a lengthy and incredibly successful career. Known for being a political poet and giving electric performances, his songs encapsulate the experience of what it means to be a working-class American.
His most critically acclaimed album, Born in the USA from the year 1984, has made him one of the most successful rock musicians in history. To get the best taste of Springsteen's guitar skills, listen to "Kitty's Back" from "Backstreets."
Known for his pioneering guitar stylings in the band The Byrds in the mid-60s', Roger McGuinn combined the "jingle jangle" influences of the Beatles and other traditional folk bands with more free-jazz tones and psychedelic rock. These sounds are most recognizable in their first single, "Eight Miles High," from 1966. The rocker was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his work with the band. Check out the song "Mr. Tambourin" for the full Mcguinn experience.
Post The Byrds, Mcguinn kept up with an active solo career, mostly touring and opening up for fellow rock musicians. His most notable post-Byrds album was his 1977 LP titled Thunderbird.