100 Greatest Guitarists: David Fricke's Picks

From Jerry Garcia and Joan Jett to B.B. King and Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stone critic chooses the best and most influential guitarists in rock

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John Cipollina
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32. John Cipollina

Cipollina was half of the twin-guitar team — with Gary Duncan — that drove San Francisco's Quicksilver Messenger Service, the best acid-rock dance band of the 1960s. Cipollina's spires of tremolo, enriched with the erotica of flamenco, in "The Fool," from the band's 1968 debut, and his ravishing improvisations in Bo Diddley's "Mona" and "Who Do You Love" on '69's Happy Trails, are supreme psychedelia, authentic evidence of what it was like to be at the Fillmore in the Summer of Love. The classic quartet lineup of 1967-69 made only two albums, though Quicksilver re-formed with various players over the years. Cipollina, who suffered from severe emphysema, died in 1989.

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