Or at least, that’s what I hear from a lot of the men I meet at shows as a lady in a punk rock band. The new Rolling Stone Top 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time demonstrates just how wrong their attitude is.
First off, let’s look at the voters who selected the players on the list. Out of the 58 voters Rolling Stone lists, only 4 are women (Melissa Etheridge, Marnie Stern, Susan Tedeschi, and Nancy Wilson). That is only around 7% of their voters.
Second is their list itself. Out of the 100 guitarists listed, only 2 of them are women. Even more astounding is that those women were both in the bottom 25.
Bonnie Raitt clocked in at number 89 out of 100, and Joni Mitchell came in at 75 out of 100. None of the women who were voters ended up on the list, but several of their male counterparts did.
Now, I don’t think that anyone is saying that the top 100 guitarists of all time should be judged on anything but their talent and innovation as axe-wielders, but even in the face of longstanding and historical sexism in rock & roll, there are plenty of women who can shred and who can shred better, harder, faster, and with more innovation and creativity than some of the men on this new Rolling Stone list. What about women like Carrie Brownstein, Kaki King, Joan Jett, Jennifer Batten, Donita Sparks, Kat Thomas, Memphis Minnie, Deborah Coleman, and Lori Linstruth – did Rolling Stone even consider any of these women as contenders?
There are TONS of women out there who shred, but apparently rock & roll is still an old boy’s club at Rolling Stone. What ladies do you think should have made the top 100?