The guitarist may be the most prototypical figure in all of rock. Can you imagine Zeppelin without Jimmy Page, the Stones without Keith Richards or Guns n’ Roses sans Slash?
Those guitar heroes may be lofty signposts, but it just goes to show that a band’s guitarist has the ability to make their band's music innovative and memorable. Along those lines, SoundDiego is drawing attention to 14 guitarists who have been proud members of San Diego’s riff heritage (in alphabetical order):
- Andrew Amerding: Amerding helms the guitar duties in two of San Diego’s most original outfits, Hills Like Elephants and River City.
- Jason Cardenas: As the lead guitarist of local breakouts Transfer, he shows how to lay down a lick or two.
- Rob Crow: He solidified himself as an archetype indie rock guitarist as a founder of Pinback and remains one of the most prolific figures in the San Diego music scene.
- Diana De Ath: She rocks. It's no surprise El Vez brought the Chinese Rocks guitarist with him to play South By Southwest.
- Tom DeLonge: Blink 182 still stand as alt rock icons and this is no doubt in part thanks to DeLonge’s signature take on pop punk guitar.
- Nick Hipa: Hardly anyone around shreds as hard as Hipa does as the lead guitarist behind San Diego metalcore titans As I Lay Dying.
- Christy Huber: The Dirty Siren gets grit out of her Gibson and 10 out of her Telecaster.
- Dustin Lothspeich: No stone goes unturned by Lothspeich’s numerous projects, which include Boy King, Old Tiger and,most recently, Chess Wars
- Tim Lowman: This guy stirs up a sensational ruckus whether he is backing whiskey rockers Blackout party or fronting his very own one-man band, Low Volts.
- Brian Reilly: The New Kinetics' ax man gets a bigger sound playing one-handed than most folks get with two.
- John Reis: The sheer amount of output Reis (aka Speedo) has churned out of legendary San Diego groups such as Rocket from the Crypt, Drive Like, Hot Snakes and more is simply astounding.
- Mike McCready: Like Pearl Jam’s frontman Eddie Vedder, McCready made his humble beginnings in San Diego as a child.
- Frank Zappa: One of rock music’s most-loved and accomplished weirdos started making music while he attended Mission Bay High School.
- Jeremiah Zimmerman: Zimmerman strums up a storm as a co-leader (alongside his brother Joshua) of the theatrical folk ensemble the Silent Comedy.
Which San Diego guitarists get your nod? Give us a shout out on Facebook.