Top 10 Douchiest Guitarists of All Time
Michael Angelo Batio
Hey, we can all appreciate a quality guitar god. Anyone who considers themselves a fan of music knows the joy of watching their favorite axe man/woman go on a tear and destroy the crowd with their fast-fingered prowess, signature style and lush mane of flowing hair. It's the textbook rock-n-roll sexy factor that has been selling concert tickets, signature guitars, and posters for decades. But when you're a world-class guitar player and you know it, there's a fine line between sexy and, well, douchey. You know, that rocker who poses on his knees for just a little too long, gives us just a little too much "O" face during every solo and is hell bent to show us all how many guitars he/she can play at once. History (namely the 80s) is full of these guys, but Douchey Guitar Player Disease (aka DGPD) is still a scourge on the music industry today. With that in mind, we'd like to present our list of the Top 10 Douchiest Guitar Players of All Time.
If there's one current artist who revolutionized the art of the sour lemon face while playing even the simplest of riffs, it's our boy John Mayer. Despite his destiny to supply us with music suitable for dentists offices and local pharmacies the world over, dude is an undeniably accomplished jazz shredder. But for the love of god, when your face alone is able to upstage your playing (and B.B. King who is sitting right next to him in this clip), it's time to settle the fuck down. Check the tape at 6:20. Did he just come in his pants?
9. Yngwie Malmsteen
This guy was the most technically accomplished guitarist to come out of the 80s. Period. He also gave us the runs. No, not those runs. We mean the lightning-fast, neo-classical wankery that had this guy thinking he was the second coming of Bach, only with guyliner and better hair. While Sweden has turned out its share of douchey metal madmen in tight leather pants, that guy is arguably the most extreme caricature of the Euro guitar god.
If you've ever come home drunk at 2 a.m. and stared at infomercials for a half hour, chances are you've seen this guy. Your first thought: "Who is that mysterious man in black and how did he learn to play guitar like that?" Turns out that dashing axe man in the bolero hat and shades is none other than Esteban, lord of the Spanish guitar who is about as overly suave and mystical as they come. So suave he doesn't even need a last name. Aside from the overwhelming cheese factor in each of his videos, there's the fact that a white guy from Pittsburgh (real name: Stephen Paul) would commandeer a Spanish name and go parading around like a wannabe Zorro. Fail.
Remember the days when one neck on a guitar seemed sufficient? Well, if you're Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen, apparently the art of 80s FM power pop requires a lot more. Known more for his wacky guitars than his actual ability to play them, the most famous images of Nielson are of him holding his five-neck behemoth custom built by Hamer. At age 66, we're a little worried that he's gonna throw his back out trying to play this thing if he hasn't already. And c'mon, what does itreally
add to anything he plays in the band? Can you say "over compensating"?
6. Wes Borland
Of all the 90s alt-rock bands to be forgotten in the 21st Century, Limp Bizkit is definitely one of the most heinous. But let's skip all the nookie jokes and questions about what Fred Durst is doing nowadays and move straight to weirdo guitarist Wes Borland. You may remember the guy who spent more energy covering himself in paint and affixing weird lighting apparatuses to his head than he he did actually playing anything cool. And while we definitely have a respect for showmanship and want eccentric minds have their place in the spotlight, it's hard to pretend to be original when you're entire set is centered on meat head riffs in drop B tuning. The lesson: cool costumes are not a remedy for lame music.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.