Friday, August 10, 2012

Moore! #99

What ho! So soon we encounter contention!

Thurston Moore clocks in at 99 in Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists. And here we have category confusion. What measure did they use? Technical ability? Influence? Record Sales? Ability to roll off stacked diatonic fourths in every position on the fret board?

It seems to me that Thurston deserves a higher spot, if only because of his expanded use of the instrument. You don't get wailing pentatonic blues, you do get album after album of unique and perfectly executed riffs. And lets not even start on alternate tunings.

Certainly there have been more experimental guitarists, like Fred Frith, but no one more popular, listenable and experimental...perhaps only Lee Ranaldo. And this is the weird thing, Lee Ranaldo doesn't make the list. It is very difficult to work out who is playing what on any Sonic Youth recording so quite how Thurston pipped Lee I do not know. Perhaps he is thrown a bone for being the more prolific songwriter?

Nice to see a guitarist who is influenced by Alban Berg as much as he is by Jimi Hendrix.

Absolutely no qualms with his place in the hundred but in my opinion he should be up around 50. There are an awful lot of pedestrian players ahead of him...and what exactly have they done? His contribution of popularising experimentation seems a huge contribution to me.


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