Top 10 Douchiest Guitarists of All Time

Categories: Lists


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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265 comments
celtics187
celtics187

All that jealousy is making you look ugly

Progprincess
Progprincess

Paul Bielatowicz is the worst guitarist in the world, and you can email him and tell him I said that too.

david1880
david1880

Rick Nielsen is significantly more self-aware about the hilarity of his guitar choices than you are about the perils of superficial editorial judgments.

Jenn Ward
Jenn Ward

How many times are you going to post this?

ericfcrow
ericfcrow

Is it that slow a news day that you have to write an article about who's the douchiest drummer? SERIOUSLY???

ososa422
ososa422

This is the most IDIOTIC list I've ever wasted time viewing...most of these players are really great guys!  God forbid they get into their music as they perform, or even make 'faces'... Oh NO....  Grow Up People

yonjuro
yonjuro topcommenter

#1-Devadip Carlos Santana, doing the same warmed over flamenco riffs since 1967, as well as being #2--John Mclaughlin's little Mexican fuckboy.

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?


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 topcommenter

@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.

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