Lovers Lane
In The Flesh

Cover Story: The 20 All-Time Greatest Chicago Guitarists

| March 31, 2008


Perpetually under siege by synthesizers, jealous bandmates, “Guitar Hero,” and its own practitioners, it’s almost as if the guitar can’t exist without more tension than what’s going on between the neck and the bridge. So at IE we figured why not spray some gasoline on the fire and, for our annual Guitar Month, debate who Chicago’s greats have been. “You mean like Terry Kath and Peter Cetera?” Kath = yes. Cetera’s just the man who’ll fight for our honor.


You, our critic, are bound to pin us to the wall by the ass-end of your Flying V and demand “What does greatest mean?” (At least, that’s what our writers did when we posed the idea.) We didn’t weigh much other than gut reaction, though in truth there was some element of popularity involved. My neighbor blasted such a sick power chord the other day it blistered paint in my kitchen; suffice it to say, Tony still isn’t on this list.

But here, in its imminently denounced glory, is Illinois Entertainer‘s list of The 20 All-Time Greatest Chicago Guitarists.

20 – 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Category: Features, Monthly

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  1. Kath says:

    Umm, shouldn’t this article be titled “20 All-Time Greatest Guitarists Who Made It Big In Chicago”–considering that 10 of 20 of the players on there aren’t FROM Chicago?

    And BTW–you need to switch TERRY KATH and RICK NEILSON’S placement on this list.


  2. Rob says:

    Nice list — but how could Chicago-born-and-trained Roger McGuinn not make this list??

  3. Jimi says:

    To not have Terry Kath on this list (and frankly at or near the top), completely invalidates the list altogether. How could you omit such a monster player in a band NAMED Chicago?

    Keep Rockin!

  4. IE Reply says:

    Terry Kath is #19 on the list, Jimi
    Thanks for reading….

  5. Karen says:

    I can not believe Terry is # 19!! Rick Nielson? Are they joking?? Terry should be #1!! RIP TERRY!