Top 10 Douchiest Guitarists of All Time

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Michael Angelo Batio

By Nate Jackson

Hey, we can all appreciate a quality guitar god. Anyone who considers themselves a fan of music knows the joy of watching their favorite axe man/woman go on a tear and destroy the crowd with their fast-fingered prowess, signature style and lush mane of flowing hair. It's the textbook rock-n-roll sexy factor that has been selling concert tickets, signature guitars, and posters for decades. But when you're a world-class guitar player and you know it, there's a fine line between sexy and, well, douchey. You know, that rocker who poses on his knees for just a little too long, gives us just a little too much "O" face during every solo and is hell bent to show us all how many guitars he/she can play at once. History (namely the 80s) is full of these guys, but Douchey Guitar Player Disease (a/k/a DGPD) is still a scourge on the music industry today. With that in mind, we'd like to present our list of the Top 10 Douchiest Guitar Players of All Time.


10. John Mayer
If there's one current artist who revolutionized the art of the sour face while playing even the simplest of riffs, it's John Mayer. Despite his destiny to supply us with music suitable for dentists offices and local pharmacies the world over, dude is an undeniably accomplished jazz shredder. But for the love of god, when your face alone is able to upstage your playing (and B.B. King who is sitting right next to him in this clip), it's time to settle the fuck down. Check the tape at 6:20. Did he just jizz in his pants?

See also: John Mayer: "My Dick Is Sort Of Like A White Supremacist"


9. Yngwie Malmsteen
This guy was the most technically accomplished guitarist to come out of the 80s. Period. He also gave us the runs. No, not those runs. We mean the lightning-fast, neo-classical wankery that had this guy thinking he was the second coming of Bach, only with guyliner and better hair. While Sweden has turned out its share of douchey metal madmen in tight leather pants, Malmsteen is arguably the most extreme caricature of the Euro guitar god.

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252 comments
jburtonprod
jburtonprod

Zakk Wylde is #1 without a doubt. Not only is he douche for spelling his first name with 2 k's and his last name with a y and ruining every single Experience Hendrix concert with his soulless, anti-musical, posing like a jick, cramming every square second of his stage time with empty, meaningless, speed freak notes, it's also for his f#cking wallet chain.

longdongsilver15
longdongsilver15

Vai definitely comes off a douche when he's playing, but you can't deny he's brilliant. 


Fuck that - EVH was never a douche as a guitarist. It wasn't until all the in band fighting happened again in the late 90s that he became a douche. 


Malmsteen is definitely the douchiest and I heard he was a dick.


I met Satriani in the mid 90's when I was in HS, super nice guy. 


Nick Neilson? Dude is having fun and doesn't take himself serious. Thats the difference. Its more of a gimmick than it is douchey.

Atcha John
Atcha John

If I'd a known what a Douche was in 1978 it'd have saved my Eruption gyrations and head banging since, trying to work out how to describe the van Hallen effect. Thanks Village Voice...

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

Where is right wing nut and pedophile ted nugent, the feces fiend draft dodger? 

freakyrandy
freakyrandy

i can see why you put Eddie on just for shock value and to get a jerk outta your readers but Rick Neilsen. just shows you have no cred in this department.

richard.marcum
richard.marcum

While there are some bonafide douchebags on the list, they are eclipsed by the douche who wrote the blog. The problem with these blogs are they are usually written by wankers, in this case one who knows more how to turn a phrase than tune a guitar. He should leave writing about music to people who know something about it, and who have a sense of taste.

professorbedlam2872
professorbedlam2872

And the writer of this shitty ass piece of soulless blog is the biggest Douch of all because who ever the shitty sound of city is wishes they could even play like Eddie Van Halen or anyone on here! Douchbag!!!!!

Jon Brian Peterson
Jon Brian Peterson

WORKING FOR THE CLAMPDOWN at HERSHEYPARK or "How to remain a relevant contemporary artist while also growing old and not becoming ridiculous." You produce the best CD in over a decade before starting your tour. You remain hip and current enough in rock music to know that TOM MORELLO is like a younger version of yourself in spirit.. but not aping your style... and you ask him to add his touches to the album. You luck out in that your old sidekick Steven Van Zandt is filming the 3rd season of Lillyhammer and you ask Tom to go on tour with you. You open with a kickass song from "The Only Band That Mattered" You are secure enough in your legacy and don;t try to hog every guitar solo... and you give him and Nils plenty of leads (and that wasn't the case just a few years ago.). You luck out that the Big Man's nephew is also sax player and looks cool as shit... You (for whatever reason) don;t have your wife go on stage with you anymore... You play 4 or 5 cuts from The Rising and a few from your new CD and show you are a contemporary artist too... and not just an oldies act... but still, aren't afraid to end your show with "Shout" by The Isley Brothers. You choreograph and rehearse every major move... but "sell it" with such conviction because you still embrace the magical, mystical healing powers of rock n' roll... and it seems totally natural and spontaneous. Yes, we are starting to see his old man "chicken neck".. but this is a NEW Bruce Springsteen and still looks great.. even with penciled in eyebrows and "The Hair Club for Men." Has he toned it down just a tad? Perhaps, but that's a good thing. He's not a cat walking, peacock strutting dinosaur looking ridiculous... although, Holy Fuck.. he still crowd surfs!! This is the next phase... with Clarence and Danny dead... and Steven out (at least for now)... this is a multi-generational band and audience... and the show is fuckin fun and fresh. Bruce is still the greatest rock and roll all around live performer ever. Period. He remains not only relevant... but also... a force of nature! He still can "Prove It All Night"... Or at least for 3 1/2 amazing hours!!!

Mary Eleazar
Mary Eleazar

I totally thought that was Nigel Tufnel.

Kevin Brady
Kevin Brady

I don't like any of these guitarists except for Rick Neilson but when did the Village voice start doing douche bag Buzzfeed lists. Nate Jackson is the douche here.

Ted Cantu
Ted Cantu

You still talking about this ?

Merauder
Merauder

It's obvious the author of this article is a raging cunt.

Robert Rex Jackson
Robert Rex Jackson

Eddie Van Halen talks about "throwing shapes" when he performs. Basically all the poses he strikes and facial expressions he makes. I remember he was sick one night in Tasmania and told me he was just gonna go out and throw some shapes. As odd as it may seem, he seems to get more of a reaction from fans when he does that than he gets when he plays something genuinely interesting. Which is kind of the feedback loop of rock douchebagery; if it wasn't working for them they wouldn't learn to do it. At some point Ed leaned back, pointed his guitar's neck at the ceiling and an audience got very loud in response to it so he kept doing it. Now it's as consciously part of the act as the riffs of the songs.

Richard Locke
Richard Locke

Rick Nielsen is the king of midwestern smartass and it's obvious you don't get it.

David Hellman
David Hellman

The only douche is the composer of this blog... and btw, Jimmy Page should be #1...

Robert Rex Jackson
Robert Rex Jackson

Yeah, the five-neck guitar is him making fun of all the 70's dual-neck and three-neck guitars. "Hey, I've got five necks!"

Lisa Criss Mueller
Lisa Criss Mueller

I remember seeing Stevie Ray Vaughan in Texas of all places. He opened for Bon Jovi and was booed. Huh? Some of these boys are just flamboyant.. Give em a break....

Steven Hlavac
Steven Hlavac

Now c'mon. Rick Nielsen has never pretended to be a serious "virtuoso". He's been camp from day one. That alone should save him from this list...

SavageFred
SavageFred

Ha, fun stuff except for one misstep. Rick Nielsen's entire persona is a mockery of the guitar douche stereotype. He's been lampooning the six-string god thing and making self deprecating quips since day one.

sejrec56
sejrec56

Obviously this so called journalist, writer, commentator, critic, wants to be the LESTER BANGS of the millennium! Of course all the younger people will not know who LESTER BANGS was, He was a music writer in the 60s and 70s, for Cream magazine or TEEN BEAT magazine or something...but he is portrayed in ALMOST FAMOUS, which this writer wishes he was. So lets get this straight, these VERY accomplished guitarists,are supposed to be douches because this writer is offended? by how good they are? so who are his music Heros? KC and THE SUNSHINE BAND ?, or TONY ORLANDO and DAWN? The Partridge Family? I mean WTF are your credentials NATE? put your money where your mouth is NATE! someone should put together a list of the biggest Douche music writers! YOU'D GET OUR VOTE NATE!    Scott Jensen

sue_nokomis
sue_nokomis

I LOVE it! John Mayer,Eddie Van Halen and OMG Steve Vai!!! He does deserve number one! What a arrogant doucher!!! HAHA! Yeah I agree with some comments on here about self professed pedophile Ted Nugent,he needs to be on here too! 

bookfraud
bookfraud

Where's Nigel Tufnel? The epitome of douchebag guitarists, the ORIGINAL man who turned it up to 11, who played guitar with a violin, wrote "Lick My Love Pump" and made the douchiest, orgasmitastic faces ever?


Ryan
Ryan

Ted Nugent

kaboodleboo
kaboodleboo

I didn't see Dave Mustaine on here.., even though he kicks Metallica's asses, megadeth or no megadeth, he still a douchebag. 

musicfan
musicfan

This has to be a young writer...I can sort of see his bewilderment...when your weened on shoe gazing kids who never move and hold two finger drone notes for 5 minutes, this can all seem a little overwhelming. Lets support this writer with positive vibes as he  gains a more thorough understanding of musicianship and especially showmanship. Good luck my friend!

chatter
chatter

Ahhh, the age of internet 'dorks-as-journalists', embarrassingly typing up there hilarious attempts to transfer their own frustrations  as wannabe guitarists onto the reader. So cute :).

lusciousthecat
lusciousthecat

The article is not nearly as funny as reading the arguements about who is and who isn't a douche below in the thread. 

femonanon
femonanon

Steve Vai?  apparently, the author has never met this guy....professional, highly intelligent, blessed beyond most, humble and a giver

kitty1209
kitty1209

This is the douchiest list of douchey guitarists.

tweck72
tweck72

Also:  Steve Vai SUCKS.

tweck72
tweck72

Is it possible to even play the bottom guitar on Rick Nielsen's 5-neck?  It doesn't look physically possible to hold the guitar in a way that would allow one to play that neck.  Maybe even the 4th too.  

ZooterToo
ZooterToo

Jesus, Jensen, if you're gonna caps-lock damn near every other word while name-dropping Lester Bangs (as if reading two pages of Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung gives you an ounce of cred), the least you can do is give the Partridge Family the all-caps treatment as well.

andreihp42
andreihp42

@sejrec56  what are YOUR credentials old man? this list is spot on. self-mastubatory guitar explosions are just that - the right of the douche guitarist. nobody wants to listen to this junk anymore and these guys have ZERO self-awareness- kinda like you.

sue_nokomis
sue_nokomis

@femonanon  not by the way he performs.He does appear very arrogant.Who plays guitar with his leg crossed and his facial expressions are "I know I'm great".

carterjla
carterjla

@tweck72  It was also a joke. He had the guitar made for shits and giggles.


kitty1209
kitty1209

@tweck72 my friend was his guitar tech for a year. No, he cannot reach the fifth. And the thing weighs about 75 lbs. But one the nicest guys in rock n roll. That eradicates all the other stuff.

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