Huge thanks to everyone who made their nominations yesterday for the singer in NME’s Ultimate Band. If you haven’t voted yet, you can still head over to the blog here. Remember, write a couple of lines about why your pick deserves to make the cut and you could make it into the magazine on the 14th November.
Today we’re turning our attention to the role of axe-shredding guitarist. We want your votes for the man or woman worthy of picking up rock’s defining instrument in our band of bands.
First of all, there’s a huge, tie-dyed, acid-drenched elephant in the room. His name is Jimi Hendrix and he’s topped pretty much every greatest rock guitarist list since human kind first started ordering their preferences into lists. He was a virtuoso, a one-of-a-kind talent, not to mention an extremely well-dressed man. He must start as the favourite, but that doesn’t mean this is a foregone conclusion.
Not when there are performers of the calibre of Jimmy Page, Pete Townshend Eric Clapton still to consider. Or perhaps you’d like your band to benefit from a blues legend like BB King or Buddy Guy? Jonny Greenwood for teaching us that anyone can play guitar (although probably not quite as well as him)? Kurt Cobain, Tom Morello or Graham Coxon for taking the lessons of their elders and transforming the instrument for new generations?
Here in the NME office, Deputy News Editor Jenny Stevens nominates PJ Harvey, Babes in Toyland’s “fucking FIERCE” Kat Bjelland and most of all Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein because: “She ROCKS HARD and can do the helicopter like Pete Townshend.” Meanwhile, for Reviews Editor Tom Howard there can be only one: “Jack White, because his red trousers are sexy and he’s better at riffing than you are.”
For my money, the guitarist in my Ultimate Band shouldn’t be the showiest soloist – because seriously, who wants to listen to someone wanking into their fretboard for two hours? What a great band needs is a relentless rhythm machine propelling them along, but still laidback enough to mix a little roll in with all that rock. There’s only one candidate. The Human Riff himself: Keith Richards.
Leave your nominations, with your reasons why, below and we’ll round up the best contributions for the special Ultimate Band issue of NME on 14th November. Plus, check back here tomorrow when we’ll be looking for your nominations for the fantasy band’s bassist.