MTV is a pile of dogshit -- revamped, colorless Headbanger's Ball included -- so it's a rare day that I visit their awful Headbanger's Blog (ugh). Well, today is our lucky day because ... well, because: 

While free-associating about the title of the new Dragonforce record, we mentioned Overkill’s former guitarist Bobby Gustafson, who we feel was one of the band’s greatest strengths [until] 1989, when he left the band.

Sadly, Gustafson is hardly remembered, even among thrash fans. And he’s not alone. Everyone knows Yngwie, Hammett, Dimebag, Rhoads, Tipton, Downing, Murray, Smith, Blackmore, etc… But there are tons of great axemen that are highly underrated, including Voivod’s Denis “Piggy” D’Amour, Testament’s Alex Skolnick and Nile’s Karl Sanders to name a few.

Amen to that. Let's not forget Coroner's Tommy Baron, Realm's tandem of Takis Kinis and Paul Laganowski, and (duh) Marty Fucking Friedman's superlative guitarage with Megadeth. That the Tiptons and Hammetts of the world are celebrated loudly, despite being ho-hum players, reminds me of Rolling Stone's fucking hideous 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time list (not linked because don't fucking read it). Considering the presence of respected songwriters/awful guitarists like Kurt Cobain, Johnny Ramone, and The Edge (fuck that guy x1000), a more fitting title would've been 100 Guitarists From Popular Bands

And the same goes for Metal: Just as Metallica's Master Of Puppets is labelled the band's best, it's probably because it was their first best album. 'First best' isn't an actual term, but humor me: ...And Justice For All is superior to Puppets in the same way that jets rendered prop planes obsolete. Both machines achieve the same function, but the latter is vastly superior though some still like to mess around with the former for nostalgia's sake. Not complicated. 

Now that Metalheads from Metal's golden era (both commercially and artistically) are coming of age, Justice is getting its due and, judging from recent buzz, Testament is finally out of Slayer and Metallica's shadow. And likewise, prop plane guitarists like Tipton and Hammett (really? people think this guy is good?) should step aside in favor of the jet engine roar of the Barons and Skolnicks. Hey, those 'first best' cats are awesome songwriters in (usually) terrific bands, natch. But best guitar players? Don't make me laugh. 

We're getting off-topic. Let's all crank The Years Of Decay and appreciate Bobby Gustafson, guitarist of dubious skill but infinite soul, author of one of Metal's 10 best solos ("Elimination"), and owner of an killer mustache. I love you, Bobby.


Fishface said...

hells yeah. Bobby deserves more credit, I was actually looking for maybe a blog or some information on his current whereabouts. Do you have anything for me?
Elimination is a fine song I suppose but nothing compared to their earlier material. Hell I'll even take "Hello From The Gutter" simply because ELIMINATION was so incredibly overplayed on Headbanger's balls.

A M Orange said...

I remember Bobby. Never forgot! I met him once many moons ago. Phenomenal! Don't kill me, but I have to say he is easy on the eyes too (I'm female).

He is in South Florida now, not sure if he is still playing. I rank him right up there witht the best of the best; Gary Holt, etc.