Top 10 Douchiest Guitarists of All Time

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8. Esteban
If you've ever come home drunk at 4 a.m. and stared at infomercials for a half hour, chances are you've seen this guy. Your first thought: "Who is that mysterious man in black and how did he learn to play guitar like that?" Turns out that dashing axe man in the bolero hat and shades is none other than Esteban, lord of the Spanish guitar who is about as overly suave and mystical as they come. So suave he doesn't even need a last name. Aside from the overwhelming cheese factor in each of his videos, there's the fact that a white guy from Pittsburgh (real name: Stephen Paul) would commandeer a Spanish name and go parading around like a wannabe Zorro. Fail.


7. Rick Nielsen
Remember the days when one neck on a guitar seemed sufficient? Well, if you're Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen, apparently the art of 80s FM power pop requires a lot more. Known more for his wacky guitars than his actual ability to play them, the most famous images of Nielson are of him holding his five-neck behemoth custom built by Hamer. At age 66, we're a little worried he's gonna throw his back out trying to play this thing if he hasn't already. And c'mon, what does it really add to anything he plays in the band? Can you say "over compensating"?

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207 comments
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.  

John Robert Hector
John Robert Hector

Whatta stupid story and to have to reopen ten different times to read the same angle and the selfsame ideas as if your all better guitarists, complaining bout the faces they make while playing, well then you go up there and do it to it like i did in nine inch nails and see how hot and sweaty it really is, whilst all you critics to is complain that you got to get paid for making funny faces at us authentic musicians ! LOL!

Carolina Tejo
Carolina Tejo

You judged his guitar playing... We both judged the fact he was wearing Uggs!

Carolina Tejo
Carolina Tejo

I read the headline and wholeheartedly laughed Les De, as I remember you making a similar statement about John Mayer while we watched him play in Central Park before Stevie Wonder took the stage LOL

Eric Lachmiller
Eric Lachmiller

This list has been around so long I'm surprised someone hasn't rewritten it to make Mayer 1-10.

Ted Cantu
Ted Cantu

You already did this story zzzzzzzzzzzzz

xanataph
xanataph

This is the most pathetic article I have read in a while. Possibly the only thing on the money here is the paragraph on John Mayer. haha 


This was linked from an article on what sound engineers hate. So I thought it was gonna be a general thing about how annoying local guitarists with big egos can be. Not some ignoramus trashing what are clearly eminent players! 

wilkinsdavid93
wilkinsdavid93

I think the guy who wrote this article is a fan of music like coldplay so his opinion is invalid

fred_j_calabrese
fred_j_calabrese

"By now, there are a lot of little boys walking around with the name Yngwie, or maybe spelled Yngve, without a clue where that name really comes from. My son also has Yngwie as one of his names, and he knows what it means.
It means he's a Viking, a Swedish king, like his father."

Relentless: The Memoir (P3)
Yngwie J. Malmsteen


followcar
followcar

THE VILLAGE VOICE LOSES ALL CREDIBILITY WITH THIS WRITER!!!!


What CHILD wrote this article?   I sure hope the rest of my day improves after wasting my time reading this immature piece of garbage.   Like many others I question just what made some of these guitarists 'Douchebags' in the first place.   


GuitarDefender
GuitarDefender

This list makes NO SENSE ???

What is your definition of a Douche?

Too much talent?

Making funny faces?

Dressing the part (sadly) back in the 80's?

Yeah ... some of these guys were more show than go ...

but even the biggest ass-clown on this list has a thousand times

more talent than every freak'n Rap/HipHop "artist" on the planet combined !!!


ljharmon2011
ljharmon2011

Top Gun wasn't played by Joe Satriani, so why make the reference?

MikalCG
MikalCG

John Mayer is a "jazz shredder"? Whoever wrote this tripe can't tell the difference between blues and jazz, and should therefore be fired from ever writing about music again.

matthank
matthank

Where is the list of douchiest writers?


If I had written crap like this, I'd be ashamed to sign my actual name to it *TOO*.

autumndavey
autumndavey

...frank gambale,god bless him: with a mullet and pink spandex  ...

Vcrip
Vcrip

Words cannot explain the fail for leaving out Ted Nuggent

unclep1971
unclep1971

Why isn't Aldo Nova on this list?

nashvillebassist
nashvillebassist

Sorry dude. The moment you cracked on Rick Nielsen, you lost all credibility.


Steve
Steve

"Both parties settled out of court."  Well, yeah....


Also, that's Derek Trucks next to John Mayer.  He doesn't look much like B.B.

Carmage
Carmage

This is written by the "dushiest" one of them all, which BTW  isn't even a word. It's not about the person at all. Most of the people on this list are pretty nice people. Trying to be a good showman is not acting like a douche. 


It seems there is more jealousy than anything in this garbage. 

icarus57
icarus57

What I want to know is what douche bag produced this list. Granted I'll give you CC Deville when he was practicing "better living through chemistry." Even the late Stevie Ray Vaughn played like sh7t when he was cruising on cocaine and Jack Daniels.

ppelkonen
ppelkonen

Agree on Michael Angelo Batio and Yngwie. Joe Satch is a good musician and a nice guy. 

boswald143
boswald143

This is like calling Einstein and Newtown the douchiest scientists because they were quirky. Absolute nonsense. 

michellerose3
michellerose3

They missed the douchiest guitarist to ever mishandle a Les Paul Special and that would be Pat Travers, he of the ginormous ego and loud, self-promoting mouth. I've never read or seen an interview with the guy where he wasn't bragging about something. On the other hand, he's released thirty albums. Then again, I suppose anyone with enough pocket change could do that.


Yeah, Malmsteen makes me grind my teeth, but Eddie, Rick, Vai and Satch do NOT belong on this list. I think the kid that wrote this was aiming to piss off as many people as possible and thereby impress the boss with all the responses. That's not journalism, it's douchy behavior. 

spencer12201969
spencer12201969

#3. MAB- I finally stopped laughing long enough to write this. I seriously thought I was watching a clip from "This is Spinal Tap". I'll give him an "A" for technical difficulty, but damn that was funny to watch.


Also, I saw Yngwie back in the day. Total ego trip douche. Guy was a complete dick to his own band AND crew. He's amazing to watch, but his head is so big I'm surprised he stand upright without a kickstand. My vote (which doesn't count for crap) makes him #1 douche.

jpcogan
jpcogan

No Ritchie Blackmore? Notoriously douchey personality.

Rico
Rico

The first few picks were decent, and I agreed entirely.  But Rick Nielsen? Satriani? Eddie f'n Van Halen?  You're on crack.


As for Vai... I used to worship the guy.  My high school locker was literally covered in magazine clippings of him.  He does come off particularly corny in live situations, but he's really, really good too.  So they balance out.  Certainly shouldn't be #1 on this list.  That honor should to to Malmsteen, Batio, or Mayer.

longdongsilver15
longdongsilver15

Eddie Van Halen on this list is very questionable, especially when it's in regard to "Eruption". Maybe how the whole Sammy Hagar/ David Lee Roth thing was handled would qualify, but definitely not for his playing and music. 


Sorry, Vai does come off a douche. It's not his playing, which can be construed as over the top, it's probably more his theatrics when playing. I'm not surprised he's number 1. Yngwie with his over inflated ego should be number 2.

RonnieHeaven
RonnieHeaven

Malmsteen is definitely numero uno douche. No contest. 

Also, pulling faces during a solo doesn't automatically make a douche. Jimi Hendrix did it all the time, so did Jimmy Page. Rick Nielsen is being ironic (as otherwise stated) and Steve Vai is maybe mildly douchey, but although the article was funny (and eyes, everyone knows Mayer is a complete joke), the author seems to miss the point that what they call "douche" is actually charisma, passion and downright talent. I don't give a fuck if Eddie Van Halen raped kittens, I would still enjoy his axe mastery.

But still, I chuckled.

konajinx
konajinx

Rick Nielsen? Really? Did some kid who just turned 20 write this?

zarkon33
zarkon33

You need to do a little research on Cheap Trick. Nielsen's whole schtick was meant to take the piss out of all the earnest guitar heroes of the time.

Thomas Lepo
Thomas Lepo

I have to say that steve vai vid was one of the douchiest things I've ever seen and the solo was pretty terrible

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.

mikebril
mikebril

@GuitarDefender  Exactly.  Everyone on this list is incredibly talented.  It's more like a list of this guy's least favorite "accomplished" guitarists.  Similar to when the folks at Blender Magazine list their Top 10 worst songs ever and Motley Crue is on there.  Not the greatest, but definitely NOT the worst.  We now know who wasn't getting laid in the 80's!!  

this.fire.is.family
this.fire.is.family

@GuitarDefender talent and skills with your fingers are not the same thing...  a technically skilled player does not a musician make....   i figure you also buy into all the guitar center bullshit about how and why these men are great, because of flashy capitalism and things needing to be flashy to be good....   but let me tell you something.  a gold painted turd is still a turd


wilkinsdavid93
wilkinsdavid93

@Carmage I don't agree with everything on the list but Ynwie Is a douche for sure, very talented  but definitely a douche

tcelikel
tcelikel

@Carmage  Completely agree. I've met John Mayer, Vai, Satriani and Batio at various NAMM shows and the latter three were all incredibly nice and humble people. Stood and talked with all three of them and they seemed like normal dudes. Saw Malmsteen on a G3 tour and he seemed a little douchey. Same with Mayer. Lame list for sure

coronariasa200
coronariasa200

@jpcogan

Blackmore was the first to integrate classical (and jazz for that matter) music into hard rock. In 1968 there was no one else (save for Hendrix) who was as skilled and ahead of his time as Ritchie! As far as personality... if being honest is douchey then ok!

mcmullen4
mcmullen4

@zarkon33  Apparently the author is irony deaf. Rick is the polar opposite of douche 

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