100 Greatest Guitarists

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John Fahey
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78. John Fahey

John Fahey, who died in 2001 at age 61, was American folk guitar's master eccentric, a dazzling fingerpicker who transformed traditional blues forms with the advanced harmonies of modern classical music, then mined that beauty with a prankster's wit. "His music speaks of a boundless freedom," says ex-Captain Beefheart guitarist Gary Lucas. In the Nineties, Fahey switched to a spiky minimalism on electric guitar that made him a post-punk icon. "To be validated by John Fahey," says Thurston Moore, "was really special for our scene."

Key Tracks:"Poor Boy," "The Yellow Princess"

Guitarist John Fahey Dead

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