Important Guitar Players That Are Not As Popular As They Should Be

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
26,400
Tucson
Generally artistic endorsement on instruments was from virtuosos - Chet or Les.

no insult to the Monkees but they are what they are - a production of song writing - marketing, studio musicians etc. and the Monkees - a team.

But players - no way. Tork’s bass 6073 is sweet don’t get me wrong - but Tork ain’t Chet. Nor was he a bass player anyone was following.

I always found it an odd endorsement as they are not inspirational players.
It was about marketing; nothing more, or less. Artist endorsements used to be limited to really great players, but these days some of the artists they choose as endorsers don’t impress me. With regard to the Monkees, I think it came down to Gretsch trying to make lightning strike. They had Chet as their star endorser, then George Harrison appeared on Sullivan playing a Country Gent and, without an endorsement agreement, Harrison gave Gretsch publicity that reached a new generation.

When the Monkees came along, Gretsch would falling all over itself to get their instruments on that show. I don’t know if there was an artist endorsement deal in place, or if it was just aggressive product placement.

The whole thing makes no sense to me now. I can understand wanting to have the same instrument as one of your musical heroes, but these days it‘s all but reversed and I hear people talking about artists endorsed by gear manufacturers. That makes no sense whatsoever. An instrument is a tool, and an artists reputation shouldn’t be dependent upon which instrument they play. Not that I’m in any danger of becoming famous, but I would never desire an endorsement from an instrument maker.
 

Runamok

Country Gent
The hype when the Monkees came out was piled pretty deep. They made a big deal out of having posted an ad saying; “the Wanted, four insane young men“. But whatever the case, they were not intended to do anything more than sing on the recordings. The plan had been to use session musicians for everything else, and songwriters, such as Boyce & Hart, and Neil Diamond were employed to churn out the hits. They were the Pre-Fab Four.

Apparently, there was some tension over the creative control. The Monkees began to act more like musicians than actors and wanted to write their own songs and play a greater role in the creative process. I hate to say this, but they didn’t last long, after that. They were the faces of a hit-making machine, and their only musical contributions were intended to be limited to vocals.

From what I understand, Torkleson was actually the most serious musician of the four, but Nesmith was more effective in marketing his talents. He wrote some respectable Country Rock, and his songs were imaginative, and unique. He was an interesting fellow, and a study in contrasts.
Who was the duet that crafted a lot of their songs?
Boyce & Hart.

What sold it—a TV show full of people who did not craft the music. It was celebrity. Teenybopping. Nearly lip-synced air guitar.

Though I think we have deviated afield of what this thread was meant to be: underappreciated musicians who were influential in their music.

To me—the Monkees were fun, but the antithesis of what I think this thread is about.
 
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blueruins

Country Gent
May 28, 2013
4,804
Savannah, GA
Who was the duet that crafted a lot of their songs?
Boyce & Hart.

What sold it—a TV show full of people who did not craft the music. It was celebrity. Teenybopping. Nearly lip-synced air guitar.

Though I think we have deviated afield of what this thread was meant to be: underappreciated musicians who were influential in their music.

To me—the Monkees were fun, but the antithesis of what I think this thread is about.
…So you’re saying we should quit monkeying around?
 

RagnarHairybreeks

Gretschie
Aug 1, 2022
108
Gloucester England
I have listened to every clip shown in this thread and now want to dig about the twelve gauge and eat the barrel (I won’t in case anyone is worried).

Dammitt, some guys just corner the market on talent.

I will never be better than a journeyman slide blues player.
 

MrWookiee

Country Gent
Jun 17, 2020
1,518
SoCal, USA
I have listened to every clip shown in this thread and now want to dig about the twelve gauge and eat the barrel (I won’t in case anyone is worried).

Dammitt, some guys just corner the market on talent.

I will never be better than a journeyman slide blues player.
That's still better than a lot of us! Well, myself, anyway.
 

Henry

I Bleed Orange
Apr 9, 2014
18,972
Petaluma
I respectfully disagree. Mentioning him is giving props to a guy who should do what is standard as a professional musician..... keep good time and played chords. I will say that it does not make him bad......not my intent at all but just rather "unremarkable".

I love Pink Floyd but am in no rush to call Roger Water a great bassist. He kept time and did not make a mistake. Both are pedestrian at best....Beatles, Pink Floyd, or the weekend warriors at you local bar/music venue... just "run-of-the mill'.

Beatles fan nation want each member of their fab 4 to be more than what they really were at their respective instruments.

Lennon did impress me though at piano.
I agree. I don't think he was particularly important or influential as a guitar player, and even if he was, he could hardly be more popular or famous than he already is.
 

gentlemanbass

Gretschie
Aug 28, 2011
206
mactier
Being a bassist from my back ground, I'm more into the rhythm and hence rhythm guitar playing. I don't care for solos and typically can't wait for them to end. Hence technical solo virtuoso is meaningless to me. I do like Wilco's solo above, it only lasts about 10 secs and is interesting enought to me. Perfect.

I'm in the camp of appreciating more of a talent of being able to write good memorable tunes rather that extreme technical ability.

Don't take me wrong, I do recognize what it takes to get to be somebody like EVH but it doesn't give me any enjoyment to listen to it.

But its just me.
Also a bassist - played with control freak guitarists who play set solos - and with ‘play whatever you like’ guitarist who constantly improvs

When it’s the latter and when faced with 10 plus minute versions of songs … and in a 3 piece - love it - very little road map -

In one song I went to complete off time - avoiding one and all lines are broken lines - guitarist only comment - cool

Other guitarists would have a fit -
a guitarist who plays set solos - I agree nothing more boring for the bassist
 

Wonderland Drive

Gretschie
Nov 29, 2017
235
Durham, NC
Robby KrIeger of The Doors could be considered an important guitarist.

He played widely different styles including blues, flamenco, psychedelic rock , and jazz lines ; and he didn’t use a pick. It seemed uncanny that he could play divergent styles fluidly and naturally. Not many front line guitarists often traveled far from their core base in playing styles.

The single line solos produced by him were a little different than the standard solos of the times because his use of multiple finger picking on leads- it just seemed to flow and phrase differently.

He also wrote hit songs: “ Touch Me” ; “ Light my Fire” and “The Crystal Ship” are a few examples. His hit songs had an originality that stood a little apart from the usual Top Ten fare.
 

Maguchi

Electromatic
Aug 11, 2022
72
Lalaland
I think Louie did the guitar parts in the Monkee song "Valeri".

Mike Nesmith looks so serious on his 12 string Baldwin Gretsch.


Hmm, interesting clip. For that final solo guitar section, they could've had the bass player go up to a Vox organ and play those chords that can be heard but that no one is playing in the vid. Oh well TV watchers probly couldn't tell. Overall it's a good vid though!
 


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