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[UPDATED] Speaking (as we were) of guitars, here’s The Greatest 6 Minutes in the History of Electric Guitars aka The Coda to Dire Straits’ Sultans Of Swing (Live At Hammersmith Odeon, London/1983)

No? You think not, Sirrah? Whata ya got that’s better? Show your work with a link and I’ll make it an embed. Ready? Steady. Go.


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  • RJL November 10, 2021, 1:00 PM

    Here’s one better. Check out the 4 minute solo starting at 1:55 — greatest solo ever. And for Zappa to be wearing that outfit!! He is the definition of an Alpha Male.


    • Mike Austin November 10, 2021, 1:13 PM

      “Don’t go where the huskies go, and don’t you eat that yellow snow.” And: “Leavin’ for Montana soon. Gonna be a dental floss tycoon.”

      Zappa was…strange. His knowledge of chords and music theory is second only to that of John McLaughlin.

      • gwbnyc November 10, 2021, 4:05 PM

        played a bicycle on the steve allen show.
        wore a continental suit.

      • Dirk November 10, 2021, 8:10 PM

        Zappa, cult classic, back in the late 70s/80s, Bobby Brown. “ hey their people I’m Bobby brown, I’m the most popular guy in town, I can take and hour on the tower of power!!!,!.

        We would play this tune on the beach’s of Athens Greece, or the Beaches south of Tanger Morocco, very near casa Blanca. HUGE Boom Box. We though it was hilarious, all the gay Brit’s. Easy to spot Borat bathing suits, translucent skin, dudes are deathly pale,,,,,,to fire engine red sunburns.

        I happily recall those fags were deep in the closet. Now apparently we owe them. NOT


  • JDE November 10, 2021, 1:04 PM

    Stevie Ray Vaughn
    Tin Pan Alley

  • RJL November 10, 2021, 1:08 PM

    Here’s a better, shorter clip of Zappa in Stockholm:

    There’s also clips of the full concert on Youtube

  • JDE November 10, 2021, 1:21 PM

    Stevie Ray Vaughn Tin Pan Alley with Johnny Copeland

  • Mike Austin November 10, 2021, 1:23 PM

    “Sirrah”? Haven’t read that word since Boswell’s “Life of Johnson”.

    As for guitarists…well, Danny Gatton. The finest guitarist ever to wrap himself around a Telecaster. If your taste runs to fat, blind Southern boys, well then Johnny Hiland is your man.

    If your taste runs to English chicks playing classical guitar, well then you’re in luck. Here is Nicola Hall playing Mertz’ “Hungarian Fantasy”.

    • gwbnyc November 10, 2021, 4:21 PM

      To rise from that chair and stand but once in my life.

      • Terry November 10, 2021, 9:11 PM

        Johnny Hiland-

        Wow! Those dudes are fantasmo ! Such an easy jam to get into.

        Thanks for the post Mike A

  • Old Surfer November 10, 2021, 1:44 PM

    I like this version, as the duet with the sax is pretty outrageous and they are all really having a good time.

    • Old Surfer November 10, 2021, 1:48 PM

      Instrumental starts at 4;46

      • Vanderleun November 10, 2021, 1:50 PM


    • Terry November 10, 2021, 8:17 PM

      Me being an old sax player, that guy in the duet with Mark is a true horn blower. Super sax operator. They were all having fun and the gigantic crowd was going crazy.

      • Ed in upstate NY November 11, 2021, 9:37 AM

        Chris White

  • Gary Hartman November 10, 2021, 2:02 PM

    Some Asian guitar

  • Mike Anderson November 10, 2021, 2:23 PM

    Very nice. But don’t forget these maniacs:

    • Mike Austin November 10, 2021, 2:55 PM

      I grew up with that song!

      • Terry November 10, 2021, 8:44 PM

        “I grew up with that song”

        So did I. Saw them in 63 on the Boardwalk at Santa Cruz, CA. Cannot forget any of the fun we had at Santa Cruz. Special place . . . then.

  • El Polacko November 10, 2021, 3:58 PM

    Eric Clapton (Cream)-Crossroads-1968

    No video from this live show recording, but this is the solo that had me almost throw my guitar away at the time. Rock guitar wasn’t the same after this.

    • Mike Austin November 10, 2021, 5:26 PM

      Listened to “The Best of Cream” the other day. “Crossroads”: What a solo! Clapton had just left John Mayall and formed Cream. He said later that he left Mayall a blues guitarist, and left Cream a rock guitarist.

  • brinster November 10, 2021, 4:02 PM

    Can’t argue with any of the choices, though David Gilmour’s Live at Pompeii solo on Comfortably numb also ranks with the best.

  • JDE November 10, 2021, 4:06 PM

    Stevie Ray Vaughn with Johnny Copeland Look At Little Sister

  • rabbit tobacco November 10, 2021, 4:11 PM

    ain’t too shabby/ the ventures/ runaway

  • D S Craft November 10, 2021, 4:39 PM

    Oh darn, you would say *electric* guitar. I was gonna put up ‘Mediterranean Sundance’ with Al DiMeola and Paco de Lucia. It’s well worth a listen.

    • Mike Austin November 10, 2021, 5:28 PM

      Anything by DiMeola. Check out his earlier stuff with Chick Corea.

  • H (science denier) November 10, 2021, 5:27 PM

    Yeah, OK, I likes all them guys. Especially Knopfler. But this guy had two working fingers on his left hand, and crappy equipment. Liked to have seen what he could have done with modern equipment and all his fingers.

  • Ed November 10, 2021, 5:37 PM

    Some fine choices here. Hard to consider great performances without the late Roy Buchanan:

    Hey Joe:

    The Messiah Will Come Again:

    or this version instead:


    Or Sweet Dreams: [Only viewable at the link.]


    • Mike Austin November 11, 2021, 2:25 PM

      Saw Buchanan live in Portland, Oregon many moons ago. He started the set with “When a Guitar Plays the Blues”. He and Danny Gatton shared an apartment in Washington DC for a spell. Buchanan took his own life in 1988; Gatton took his own in 1994.

  • Rob Muir November 10, 2021, 6:14 PM

    I love all these suggested videos. While I dearly love to hear Mr. Knopfler playing anything, my very favorite guitar track is Mr. Jeff Beck playing “Where Were You”.

  • Dave Bagwill November 10, 2021, 7:14 PM

    Here ya go. Tasteful, with fire, and with Emmylou to boot.

    • ghostsniper November 10, 2021, 7:29 PM

      That’s unusual, he’s playing an LP.

      • Dave Bagwill November 11, 2021, 12:28 PM

        He found this ’59 (I think) LP and has never looked back. He actually kissed it during an interview. 🙂

  • edaddy November 10, 2021, 7:26 PM

    I refer to Sultans of Swing as The Palate Cleanser. No matter what my playlist or radio channel, they all eventually cloy by the end of the day. It’s the song one that resolves an entire musical day.

  • Terry November 10, 2021, 9:41 PM

    For some true wake up the dead and watch ’em dance go here:

    These guys are a unit-

  • Jim November 10, 2021, 11:32 PM

    While this might not be the best American Digest link, ever.

    I do think it’ll be the best American Digest MUSIC link, ever. HUGE appreciation to Gerard for the initial post, and the links in the comments have been engaging on a Tectonic Plate scale.

    400,000 bikers in Galveston last weekend, for the Lone Star Rally. 2nd largest bike rally behind Sturgis, now, and larger than Daytona. If there were any deaths, it wasn’t much reported that I know of.

    Same weekend, 50,000 at a “rap” concert up in Houston. Eight dead right now, two more are brain-unresponsive, on full life support. 300 injured.

    The biker crowd would surely have loved a full-on Dire Straits concert, and there’d still be no deaths. The rap crowd? The culture there was a self-fulfilling prophecy. What is the takeaway here?

    Teach your kids to appreciate Dire Straits, Creem, Pink Floyd, and Vaughn. They get that in their soul, and the first tuneless two bars of “rap” will cause nausea and repulsion faster than any anti-alcohol drug ever imagined.


    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

  • Callmelennie November 11, 2021, 4:38 AM

    @Mike Austin

    Hey there, Austin (baroomp CHING)
    Who you jivin with that Zappa decree

  • Callmelennie November 11, 2021, 5:29 AM

    This is a little known fact, Mike (and RJL and Dirk but “Moving to Montana” may in fact be based on a song by Muslim avant garde genius, Furanq Abdul Zappar (and the Mullahs of Invective) called “Moving to Medina” .. which is, itself based on Surah “Al Muhajeroon al Mediniyah” — The Mediniyan Traveler.

    I might be moving to Medina soon
    Just to appraise me up of a Jewish plot
    Appraising it up … Whacking them down
    In a blood soaked pit that I can dig uptown
    By myself, I would be the Big Boss
    Cause Id be crushing the ONLY Jewish plots

    Well, I might start me a faith
    But keep the turn the cheek stuff for somebody else
    But then, on the on the other hand, I would
    Keep the old laws … and stone folks down
    Speak some hadeeth .. and spread em around
    Id start me a sect .. and Id get respect
    That’s why Im moving to Medina

    • RJL November 11, 2021, 5:44 AM

      That’s very clever!!

  • jwm November 11, 2021, 6:08 AM

    This thread has grown into tonight’s entertainment. Soon as all the doings of the day are done I’m gonna’ twist me up a B-52, and give these little computer speakers a workout.
    Thanks everyone!


  • Mac Siccar November 11, 2021, 6:51 AM

    Magic fingers.

  • Jack November 11, 2021, 6:59 AM

    For whatever reason my interest in guitar never inspired me to pursue folks like Hendrix or Zappa, et al. I just never could never feel what they were playing. Listening to that kind of thing with flashy riffs, played through cranked up guitars, monster amps and equally loud backing ensembles in over crowded venues was an audio nightmare, but don’t get me wrong. I love the work of guys like Mark Knopfler and Stevie R. Vaughn, Clapton and the Allman Brothers; rock with a slathering of blues.
    And I’ll admit it, I can’t play a note of that stuff.

    When I started playing I leaned toward acoustic instruments and finger style playing. That interest led me to becoming friends with John Fahey and then on to a few years of classical instruction and then into acoustic blues and learning a little about playing slide on resonators. They’re a lot of fun and even without any talent at all, which I truly do not have, you can spend a lot of enjoyable time riffing and learning while sitting on your butt doing nothing that is particularly insightful but which is a load of fun. Fun without an objective.

    Years ago though I came to enjoy flamenco guitar. Without the cantor or the dancer. Unfortunately there are not a lot of people in the music forefront in this country who have any idea of what it is or entails but based upon what little I know, and that mostly through playing, I believe that on a level playing field it is probably the most difficult of all styles and it takes a lot of work and study.

    Paco de Lucia. The world knows about him and most Americans would ask if it comes with extra sauce. But there are others. Here is a vid by an American, Ben Woods, who actually began playing in Death Metal bands in Seattle. My, my, my, and he ain’t even flashy! See, there is a God.

    • Anonymous November 15, 2021, 2:03 PM

      @ Jack

      I don’t know if your taste runs to the style, but look up guitarist Richard Smith on You Tube. Smith is one of the handful of the finest fingerstyle guitarists alive today on his classical-style nylon-string six-string guitar. Smith can play Scott Joplin piano rags as if they were written for the instrument and not piano – which is an extremely difficult task. Joplin is difficult on piano, but on guitar, his ragtime compositions are knuckle-busters. The late Chet Atkins did a few Joplin numbers over the years and the great Guy Van Duser could probably handle the job, but apart from them, no one is even in the same ballpark as Smith. I’ve never heard anyone do Joplin ragtime on a guitar anywhere near as well as Smith does. He makes it seem so easy anyone could do it, but trust me – it is a bear to realize those compositions on a six-string. I was once a pretty high-level fingerstyle player myself, and on my best day, I couldn’t even get close to what Smith does with a guitar in his hands.

  • NorcoBob November 11, 2021, 8:11 AM

    In honor of Veterans Day: Guitarist Doug Smith, Stars and Stripes Forever
    An amazing performance on an acoustic guitar, the whole band is there.

    • Dave Bagwill November 11, 2021, 12:26 PM

      Wow. Long-time fan of Doug, but didn’t know he had this in him.

  • Warren November 11, 2021, 1:04 PM

    Thanks Ed, I didn’t know much about Roy Buchanan.
    Holy cow, on this one he was just showing off, who needs two hands on the guitar to play like a genius maniac?


  • DAN November 11, 2021, 2:13 PM

    GEE not one word about the late great GEOFFERS 47 look him up on you tube just recently discovered him damn shame he died in 2015. some kind of guitar genius.

  • tim November 11, 2021, 2:17 PM

    I’ll see your 6 minutes and raise ya’ 19 of pure, unadulterated, cord ripping mind melt-

    Don’t hate, you know you like some James Patrick Page.

    Can’t forget the master, Jimi going all Machine Gun –

    Turn it the fuck up!!!

  • Lance de Boyle November 11, 2021, 3:54 PM

    A nation of deplorables (now a class—middle and working) made conscious of what is really going on by two decades of attack, armed to the teeth, blood pressure pushing rage at 160/120, heart banging 100 to the minute in anticipation, waiting for the last straw, the last abuse, the last taunt, the final threat, whose music is catalogued above, will one day burn, impale, cut down, and bury those who would destroy what they had no hand in creating. We are in stage 2 of Besmenov’s 4-stages of marxist revolution. demoralization, destabilization, crisis, normalization (the reset, the new normal, building back).

    God help them.



  • veeze November 11, 2021, 4:59 PM

    Sorry to get to the party so late, but I brought… Junior Brown!


  • Bob November 11, 2021, 7:55 PM

    Eric Johnson can play a little.

  • Keith East November 11, 2021, 8:55 PM
  • El Polacko November 12, 2021, 6:59 AM

    Can’t forget this guy.

    Joe Pass does a solo version of “Ain’t Misbehavin'” introduced by Oscar Peterson.


  • Uncle Mark November 12, 2021, 8:16 AM

    No discussion of Great Guitar Players is complete without looking at Steve Morse, who is a guitar player’s guitar player.

    This Dixie Dregs song: Hereafter was written after the band witnessed their road manager Twiggs Lyndon (of Allman Brother’s fame) death during a skydiving accident. The combination of technique and emotive expression during the outro solo is astounding. The whole song is a masterpiece (IMHO) Enjoy!



  • Desdinova November 12, 2021, 10:03 AM

    Donald Roeser and Blue Öyster Cult. Solo starts at 2:37.


  • BroKen November 13, 2021, 8:56 AM

    I’m a little late to the party. But what do yall think of this?


    Solo starts around 2 minutes in.

  • Klaus November 13, 2021, 4:53 PM
  • Anonymous November 15, 2021, 1:51 PM

    @ Mike Austin

    Re: “As for guitarists…well, Danny Gatton. The finest guitarist ever to wrap himself around a Telecaster. If your taste runs to fat, blind Southern boys, well then Johnny Hiland is your man.”

    Hi Mike… I love me some DG and Johnny Hiland, too, but don’t forget about the last word in Telecaster hotness, namely the genius known as Scotty Anderson. Scotty does things that no one else on this planet – maybe no one else in this solar system – can do with a Telecaster in his hands. As great as Danny G. was, he couldn’t do what Scotty did and still does. Oh, and Hiland is from Maine, he’s not a southerner, at least not by birth.

    Johnny Hiland is an extremely versatile player, and one of the few guys around who can cover Danny Gatton’s music convincingly. He is also a great humorist and singer, too. He’s one of the handful of the very best electric guitarists around, and can play darned near anything. Rock, country-rock, country shred, western swing, blues, roots rock, rockabilly, even metal if you want – complete to two-handed tapping like Eddie Van Halen.

    Regarding Nicola Hall, thanks for the tip. She’s a very talented player of which I had not yet heard. To return the favor, if you have not yet already done so, look into Julian Bream. The late Maestro Bream was not only one of the most-important and accomplished of half dozen or so classical guitarists of the 20th century, he was acknowledged as perhaps the foremost lutenist in the world and the single person most-responsible for reviving early (Elizabethan era) music and its performance on lute as a going concern within the classical music world. As much as I love his classical guitar work, his lute recordings for RCA in the 1960s and 1970s are simply sublime. In my view, there was no better interpreter of John Dowland’s works than Bream.

    @ El Polacko

    The finest jazz guitarist ever to live was the incomparable Wes Montgomery, and Joe Pass – if he was here today – would have agreed. Joe was in his own right a genius on the instrument but no one could do what Wes did. He raised the bar so high that no one may ever equal his accomplishments as a jazz guitarist or for that matter, as a jazz performer. That’s not hyperbole, either. I know – knew (one of these individuals is no longer alive) – two people who saw Wes live back in the mid-1960s, and both recalled how stunned they were at his virtuosity and casual mastery of this most-difficult of instruments upon which to play jazz at a high level. Rumor had it that during the short time he performed with John Coltrane’s group, he blew everyone off stage some nights, even ‘Trane himself.

    Getting back to Joe Pass, he was one of Wes’ fellow musicians of course, and one of the last to see him alive. They had dinner together at Wes’ home in Indianapolis only a short time before Wes passed away. I was all set to go see Pass live at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago in 1994 – he was on their schedule – when he died suddenly. I have always regretted missing that show.