I always like to give a shout to the unappreciated, so here’s my list of Rock ‘N’ Roll’s most underrated guitarists. All of these guys know their way around the fretboard every bit as much as the big names (Clapton, Van Halen, Hendrix, et al).
1) Davey Johnstone (Elton John Band) Never gets near enough credit for his body of work, esp. on the Yellow Brick Road album.
2) Drake Levin (Paul Revere & The Raiders) Played on all their stuff up through "Hungry" and hardly anyone remembers him. Thank goodness I still do...
3) Dave Edmunds (Rockpile/solo) Rock ‘N’ Roll’s best-kept secret.
4) Neal Schon (Journey) It you look past Steve Perry’s wailing and crooning, Schon’s fretwork is pretty tasty stuff.
5) Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick) Power Pop at its finest. John Lennon once complimented him by saying "I coulda used you on 'Cold Turkey'".
6) Billy Duffy (The Cult) Flexed his muscles on 1989’s Sonic Temple CD and really put on a clinic. Too bad the band’s subsequent albums have been so bland.
7) Craig Chauquico (Jefferson Starship) Similar in melodic style to Neal Schon. He’s ventured into the world of jazz guitar in recent years, and it ain’t too shabby either.
8) Brian Setzer (The Stray Cats) "Guitar Slinger" is a pretty good description of him.
9) Allen Collins (Lynyrd Skynyrd) Played the entire solo on "Free Bird" himself! ‘Nuff said…
10) Alex Lifeson (Rush)/"Fast" Eddie Clarke (Motorhead) [TIE] Two guys you don't think of right away when listing great hard Rock guitarists, but more than worthy.