The panel included some of rock’s finest-ever players, including Brian May, Kirk Hammett and Ritchie Blackmore, among others. In praising Hendrix, Tom Morello cited “Purple Haze” and Hendrix’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” as key tracks.
“Hendrix exploded our idea of what rock music could be,” Morello said. “He manipulated the guitar, the whammy bar, the studio and the stage.” Rounding out the top 10 selections were Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Jeff Beck, B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Eddie Van Halen, Duane Allman and Pete Townshend.
Members of the panel contributed comments about their choices. Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready praised Eddie Van Halen as “a master of riffs,” while Joe Perry hailed Jimmy Page for his “vision of how to transcend the stereotypes of what the guitar can do.” The full list will be featured in a special issue, hitting stores on Friday, that’s available in four different covers. The artists featured on the covers are Van Halen, Clapton, Hendrix and Page.