The 20 All-Time Greatest Chicago Guitarists
8. Rick Nielsen
Rick Nielsen deserves a spot on this list for his guitar collection alone; he has reportedly owned more than 2,000 sweet axes, including at least one custom five-neck Hamer with 38 strings. (Storage space must be cheap in Rockford.) Equally impressive is his contribution to power pop. Nielsen is a master of sustain (how he stretches those chords on “Surrender”) and showboating (as a white Chuck Berry on “I Want You To Want Me”). So what if he’s self-taught? Without Nielsen, Robin Zander’s vocals wouldn’t have been so dreamy, and rock ‘n’ roll wouldn’t be so fun. At Budokan knows best.
– Mike Meyer
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