While there's absolutely no way you can argue with the genuine greatness of the always obvious Top Ten list makers (Hendrix, Page, Beck, Clapton, SRV, etc., etc.), the players listed below are fantastic talents as well and strike us as some of the most taken-for-granted in all of classic rock...

 

1.) Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick) - It's likely his own fault (as he has admitted over the years) that he's not been taken seriously because of the cartoonish swagger he's built his career upon, but Rick is a masterful player. Melodic when called for, superbly destructive when needed. Evidence: "Mandecello" or...

2.) Elliott Easton (The Cars) - While the swirly synths and squirrely new wave vocals make The Cars stuff pretty distinct (you always know a Cars song when you hear it), the band's long list of classic hits would be relegated to second-tier status if those fantastic guitar solos weren't on those songs. Evidence: "My Best Friend's Girl" or....

3.) Earl Slick (David Bowie) - Though he's played and recorded with John Lennon, David Coverdale, Robert Smith of The Cure and many more, it's Earl's licks for The Thin White Duke's catalog that have our jaws on the floor. Live sets "David Live" (1974) and "A Reality Tour" (2004) showcase his versatility. Hey, you wanna play Bowie stuff, you sure as hell better know what you're doing. Earl's more than got it down. Evidence: "Station To Station" or...

4.) Nancy Wilson (Heart) - Whatever sister Ann can do vocally (which is amazing), Nancy can more than keep up with, whether it's acoustic or electric. For cryin' out loud, she even played "Stairway To Heaven" live in front of Led Zeppelin. Seriously under-appreciated. Evidence: "Love Alive" or...

5.) Patrick Simmons (The Doobie Brothers) - Check out any one of the short instrumental pieces that are scattered amongst the Doobies albums: Simmons' picking is always tasteful and to the point, always melodic with a beautiful tone that most axe-men would love to emulate if they could. A fantastic musician. Evidence: "Dark-Eyed Cajun Woman" or...

 

 

Classic Maine TV Commercial From the 80's