The Women Rolling Stone ForgotPosted: November 27, 2011
By Sophie Rae
This week, Rolling Stone magazine published a list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time– and only two of them are women. With Bonnie Raitt at #89 and Joni Mitchell at #75, I can’t help but feel that some serious oversights have been made, not only by the voters (made up of mostly famous male guitarists), but by the music-world at large. So, without further ado, here are just some of the many fabulous ladies who I think should have been on Rolling Stone’s list and who should be recognized and respected as the incredible guitarists that they are. Comment with your favorite female guitarists!
To put it simply, Carrie Brownstein is a goddess. Best known as the guitarist and vocalist in Portland-based Riot Grrrl band, Sleater-Kinney, Brownstein also played in Excuse 17 and Heavens to Betsy in the early 90s. Now playing in the band Wild Flag, Carrie continues to blow me away with her incredible riffs and solos. She is my ultimate guitar inspiration! And if all that weren’t enough, she also has a hilarious sketch comedy show called Portlandia, which began airing in January 2011.
Easily one of the most bad-ass girl guitarists around, Lita Ford was the lead guitarist of the Runaways from the band’s formation in 1975 to their split in 1979. After the Runaways, Lita took her super-shredder powers solo and has proven time and time again that you don’t need a penis to rock!
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
I first heard about Sister Rosetta Tharpe this past summer, while working at Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls, and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard of her before! A pioneering gospel singer and songwriter, Tharpe gained popularity in the 1930s and 1940s and came to be known as the “original soul sister” of recorded music. She was a truly incredible blues guitarist and has so much ‘tude (see 2:15)!
I’ve loved the Donnas ever since I saw their hilarious music video for “Get Rid of that Girl” which they made when they were all still in high school. While I love pretty much everything about the Donnas, Allison Robertson’s guitar playing is definitely my favorite part of the band. Her solos are sooooo great and she’s such an intense performer!