Home :: The 2006 Men With Guitars List

Once again it’s time for me to take Clarkson-esque control of the squeeometers and announce the names of the guitar players who have rocked my world during this last 12 months. It has certainly been a great year for squee and, for me, a year of discovering some great music played by the world’s most talented, delicious men.

The list this year is populated by four guitar gods. Three you will know (and can no doubt guess), one you may not be so familiar with. They made the cut because during 2006 I have either discovered some of their material for the first time, have been reacquainted with the classics, or in one special case, has a special meaning to me personally.

On with the list then, in reverse order:

4 – George Harrison

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Two reasons for adding the much-missed George to the list this year. While getting ready for our move to Devon I spent a lot of time watching the Beatles Anthology DVD and it renewed my appreciation for George. The other reason was the new album, Love. Fantastic album, shows off every aspect of the fab four at their best, including George’s guitar.

George and the rest of The Beatles have never really generated any squee in the traditional sense, but their music has been moving enough to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. In fact, Something on Love was so sweet and moving it made me cry.

He’s not the only guitarist on this list to move me to tears… step forward MWG number 3…

3 – Michael Brandenburg

Michael was the creative genius responsible for fusing together the guitar styles of George Harrison and MWG list absentee Kirk Hammett (don’t feel bad Kirk, maybe next year?) in the band Beatallica. But it’s not the classics Got To Get You Trapped Under Ice or I Want To Choke Your Band that sees him on the list this year. He’s here for a very special reason. As regular visitors will know, pigpogm and I tied the knot back in April. We walked down the aisle to a beautiful song composed and played by Michael Brandenburg. Composed just for us. It’s called The Butterfly Meditations and Michael himself described it as:

Think Jimmy Page doing “White Summer/Black Mountain Side”, but by me written for a Ka* album, and you get the picture.

And after hearing that, I decided it was time to find out more about this Page fellow…

* Ka is the band in which Michael concentrates on his own musical styles and influences, and very bloody good it is too.

2 – Jimmy Page

This is almost entirely because this year I had the good fortune to strike up a friendship with a woman who is the biggest Led Zeppelin fan in the world. Her never ending enthusiasm for Jimmy, Robert, JPJ and the much missed Bonzo is so infectious, I found myself buying the first four albums and being absolutely spellbound. Although it was new to me, a lot of it felt familiar. Well, it would since so many bands have been influenced by Zeppelin’s musical legacy.

Much has been written elsewhere about Page’s talent as a musician elsewhere… but what about the squee? Well, while he doesn’t generate as much squee for me as he does with certain esteemed colleagues of mine (and no doubt she’ll be along shortly to have her ten cents worth in the comments), but what guitarpr0n aficionado doesn’t come over all unnecessary when the guy in the dragon suit plays a Les Paul with his bow? That, right there, is pure rock and roll burlesque. Fabulous.

So, who’s the top of the tree this year? Which guitar player has rocked, continues to rock, and will rock until he’s old and grey? Get ready with a big “No sh*t, Sherlock” as I announce this year’s Man With Guitar to be….

1 – Slash

Yes, yes, I know. No big surprise there. But there are many, many good reasons for him being the number one and only a few of them are to do with his tight leather trousers…

December 1988 – young, gifted and drunk

I love guitar music, it’s lively, it’s energetic and the right kind of guitar music can also be a massive turn-on. The right kind of music is Slash’s music. There’s something about the warmth, the sustain, the raw emotion that can bring on “the mood” better than any little blue pill ever could.

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July 2005 – still young, still gifted and most likely still drunk.

Listening to Slash’s music is sexy. Watching Slash play his music (Theme from “The Godfather”, for example) is mind-blowingly sexy. I’m yet to enjoy the experience of hearing Slash play live, but if VR hit the road in 2007, I’ll be there, squeeing like a maniac.

So what Slash tunes have rocked my soul and made my special happy places all warm and delicious this year? Well, I’ve been mostly enjoying the Snakepit albums. Ain’t Life Grand is an absolutely fantastic album – the track Serial Killer includes a solo which is a good example of how this man can turn a guitar into a sex toy. Ooh boy. And before I embarrass myself further, I’ll stop blethering and instead link to some more bits about the man I often feel inclined to call “The Lovely Mr Hudson”.

So that’s this year’s list. Same time next year? Who knows, Kirk Hammett might make a reappearance!

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