A while ago SPIN published an article entitled “SPIN’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.” However, there seems to be a misunderstanding between these folks and other sentient human beings on how to use the english language. Mainly because SPIN’s list of “Greatest Guitarists of All Time” refuses to acknowledge the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and West Montgomery. While the article does begin by stating the deliberate lack of the previous mentioned guitarists, nothing can be said in defense for having Skrillex as number 100 on their list.
Why is there no defense?
Because the man has never held a goddamn guitar.
SPIN admits the above statement being true.
They then proceed to compare Scary Monsters & Nice Sprites to “this generation’s version of Smoke On The water.” Call me old fashioned but for someone to be labeled a “guitarist” they’ve got to actually, you know, play a guitar. They also cite Jam Master Jay as number 10 on their list. I know, when I read that my eyes also did a double take.*
Now, to play devil’s advocate, the article clearly says that this list is in response to the million of other “Greatest Guitarist of All Time” lists that recite the same selection of axe wielding people over and over again. It also says how their list is meant to shine light on the unsung heroes of distortion pedals, esoteric lyrics and college rock bands before “College Rock” meant singing your heart out for for a girl who left you drunk and naked at a party.
I applaud that sentiment and if I’m to be honest, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the article to find artists I hadn’t heard before. But this brings me back to my original issue: Their gigantic misnomer of a title. For the piece wasn’t called “99 Great Guitarist and One Dubstepper,” or “100 Good Artists Who We At SPIN.com Really, Really Want You to Know About,” or even “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time (Minus The Guitarists Who Influenced The Guitarists On This List and Without Them There Would Be No List).”
Any of the above options I would have settled for. And hey, it’s a possibility the chosen title was merely used to attract attention and cause discussion. If so, I fell for it. Nevertheless, when two small statured people have a child, would they decide to name the offspring “Mountain?” Unless they are true hipsters, I doubt it. So, come on, use your heads and don’t waste the english language.
*It should be noted that no offense towards Jam Master Jay is intended. I get down with my bad self to “Tricky” just as much as the next person, and the fact that Run DMC made The Knack’s “My Sharona” into something that didn’t make the listener want to stick rusted bits of metal into their ears is a magical feat.