Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time: Harrison (11th), Lennon (55th)
George Harrison (11)
as told by Tom Pettyhttp://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists ... n-19691231
"George Harrison and I were once in a car and the Beatles song "You Can't Do That" came on, with that great riff in the beginning on the 12-string. He goes, "I came up with that." And I said, "Really? How?" He said, "I was just standing there and thought, 'I've got to do something!' " That pretty much sums him up. He just had a way of getting right to the business, of finding the right thing to play. That was part of that Beatles magic – they all seemed to find the right thing to play.
George knew every obscure Elvis solo; his initial influences were rockabilly – Carl Perkins, Eddie Cochran, Chet Atkins, Scotty Moore – but he always added something to it. Even going way back, I used to just swoon over that solo in "I Saw Her Standing There." You just can't imagine anything else there. He had that knack. And how many Rickenbacker 12-strings did that guy sell? That was a whole new sound too – Roger McGuinn got the idea from George, and then Roger took it to his own place with the Byrds.
When he moved over to the slide guitar later in the Beatles' career, it was a really beautiful thing to hear him play that. He once said to me, "I think modern guitar players are forgetting about pitch," and that was something he really cared about. He was very in tune when he played, the slide was very precise, and just a beautiful vibrato on it. It really sounded like a voice, like a very distinct, signature voice that came out of him. Just listen to those records. They're so immaculate, so inventive. He was a guy who could just add so much."
John Lennon (55)http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists ... n-19691231
When Rolling Stone founder Jann S. Wenner asked John Lennon how he rated himself as a guitarist, Lennon replied, "I'm not technically good, but I can make it ***censored*** howl and move. I was rhythm guitarist. It's an important job. I can make a band drive." It is, and he did: Lennon was the Beatles' spark plug and bloodletter, often adding rawness to pristine pop songs. Listen to the airborne strums that power "Help!," the circular riffage of "Day Tripper" or the deceptively sloppy "The Ballad of John and Yoko" – where, with George Harrison away on holiday, Lennon turned rudimentary lead and rhythm lines into sharptoothed magic. He was also capable of generating a truly ferocious tone: In the live promo clip for "Revolution," Lennon makes his hollow-body Epiphone Casino screech like a very angry lawn mower. Still, he didn't get his due as a guitarist in the Beatles' heyday. "They call George the invisible singer," Lennon said. "I am the invisible guitar player."