John was voted the best guitarist of last 30 years in The Axe Factor!

John Frusciante at Green Fest, 2007One month ago, John was included in BBC Radio 6’s poll titled The Axe Factor, with the goal to determine who is the best guitarist of the last 30 years (1980-2010). 40 guitarists were considered for this title and amongst them, there were many of them from UK, which could have been one of the determining factors for picking the winner, given that the poll was mainly targeted at the UK citizens and that the most of the 6 Music’s favorites were from their homeland as well.

The results of the poll were announced on the evening of 09th April in a special show presented by Steve Lamacq and the top five is:

  1. John Frusciante – 13,9% of overall votes
  2. Slash – 10,3%
  3. Matt Bellamy – 8,6%
  4. Johnny Marr – 6,8%
  5. Tom Morello – 5%

For the whole list, with all 40 guitarists, click here.

It is no secret that the person who brought us all together on this website has earned the respect of many, even though they might not be extreme and loud about expressing that like some people who are regulars here. It is not secret that quality doesn’t necessarily need to be force-fed to people who can recognise it. It is no secret that Sometimes, when you listen to a lot of today’s popular music, you recognise the influence of John’s riffs, patterns and you normally get hordes of young, aspiring guitarists trying to copy his settings right, achieve the same tone and follow his practice patterns. One and half year ago, when the neglected blog was started, there were so many happy people who hurried to use An Exercise For The Hands and the Brain as a part of their routine.

Many people all over the world grew up to John’s melodies and got to know him through his constantly improving and constantly innovative work with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. A good deal of them got into his solo albums as well and opened their minds to a whole new dimension of music and whole new flow of words and thoughts. To some, that meant the end to their own lack of inspiration and, for something of that kind to happen, they didn’t even need to copy what they’re hearing and seeing, they only need the right wind to move the rusty clogs in their own machinery.

On this note, many thanks to everyone who recognised John’s talents over the years and who realised that he was, he is and he will always be walking ten steps ahead of what’s the norm, what’s commonly accepted and what’s modern. It takes a lot of hard work to earn respect, but it takes a truly extraordinary person with a whole solar system of talents to retain that respect, regardless of what the society might want from them.

6 Music breakfast host Shaun Keaveny said of John:
“His range, from minimalist melody lines, through choppy Hendrixian chord voicings all the way up to 11 with wailing metal tinged blues, gives him the edge over many in the list. For that I salute him.”

The following media have already reported on the poll’s results:
MSN UK: Frusciante tops ‘axe factor’ poll
Belfast telegraph: Frusciante tops ‘axe factor’ poll
The Sun: Chilis have the greatest guitarist
The Mirror: Chilis’ Star is hottest axe legend
The Daily Telehraph: Chili Peppers’ John Frusciante named best guitarist
Yorkshire Evening Post: Frusciante tops guitar great poll
Digital Spy: Frusciante tops greatest guitarists poll Former Chili Peppers star Frusciante is top guitarist
New Kerala: Chili Peppers’ John Frusciante crowned greatest guitarist of past 30 years Gitarski Γ…Β‘ampion John Frusciante
Chili Pepper is the hottest guitarist

BBC have also issued an official press release on this poll.

Now, what do you think about the poll? Let’s hear it in comments, be brief, yet articulate and the best comments will be added to this news item! Also, do monitor it for new links, opinions et cetera. Who knows what might happen, so watch this space.

A special shout-out goes to our wonderful community’s outlets on Twitter, Facebook, Myspace,, Livejournal and the message board. Many thanks to Colin and his Facebook group that urged everyone to vote for John, regardless of how bad the internal communication was.

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  • Colin Campbell

    Just for the record, I take no credit for this. The voting public made their own mind up.

    I started that group just as a wee harmless project. Where I could submit a few youtube links of his performances and find other people who were inspired but the musician that brought us all here. I'm a full time masters student at uni so this literally was squeezed into the busy busy schedule that is my life (so any internal communication problems, I hear it – though I did do my best with the time I had set aside). Plus it was an enriching exercise composing the info/description part of the group page as it gave me a chance to express in words how I felt about John's music (much like the author of the above post here).

    Nonetheless, it was a harmless poll just to get some opinions (over 30,000 in the end up) of who qualifies as a great guitarist nowadays. The public spoke… John came out on top! End of…

    It just says so much about the man that he's still having such a profound effect on people even after leaving the band that got him noticed.

    The Fru love will never die…ascending endlessly and he don't even have to try!


  • TDKshorty

    It's great to see that he won, because it was actually hard to vote, there were so many well-deserving guitarists on the list, but it's great to see such talent recognized and honored.

    I'm glad Jonny Greenwood, Jeff Buckley and Omar Rodriguez Lopez were well received

  • ben

    feels so good he got justly recognised..i remember seeing rolling stone all time greatest guitarists list and he was 18 or something and kurt cobain was like 12 i mean seriously ffs…as if anyone plays better that john…a million miles ahead

  • Doug Nunnally

    Facebook campaign or not, it's great to see Frusciante finally get recognized. Sure, Rolling Stone put him in their top 20, but do they really pay that much attention to him as they do other modern guitarists like Slash (not on their list) and Jack White (ranked a slot higher than him)? The answer is a big fat no. So yes, it's great to see John get some love and appreciation for his melodies and riffs, both of which have influenced countless bands and generations. Some bands were flashes in the band or maybe more detrimental than good, but for the countless others, Frusciante's work has inspired a whole wealth of new, great music.

  • Choochoo

    Honestly, it was hard for me to vote, too, since there were so many great guitarists have been listed. But IMHO, John’s dedication to make music, beautiful music that comes from heart is what makes him special. Not to mention he’s a great talented artist. He’s the one who always has ‘something’ to say.
    Well, it’s so great that he made it. Great job, John. Great job, everyone! πŸ™‚

  • Oceansunsetskies Lori

    Today was a special day for me, but it makes me smile and be proud that John is being recognized for his talent, skills and beautiful soul that he has graciously shared with all the world! Congratulations and thank you, John for sharing a part of you with all of us, much love out to you! πŸ™‚

  • Phil

    Can someone post the „An Exercise For The Hands and the Brain “ again. Can’t find it anymore.

    • Nicola Gaunt

      I found a copy of "An Exercise for the Hands and the Brain" here:

      And I'm surprised and pleased by the results- I saw so much uncertainty with who to vote for even on this website because there were so many great guitarists that I didn't think John would get much recognition- but he definitely deserves it! It doesn't really matter though; we all know he's the greatest and we don't need a poll to prove it!

  • Nemi

    In my opinion this shows that John's fans are much more devoted…that he actually attracts his fans more than the others. And he does that by playing incredibly good on his guitar…so I think it's fair.

  • M1NU5

    agree that there were a lof of decent guitarists like Greenwood and Marr, but John is smth above it, thx John!

  • Schniefelus

    Hm, i'm not a huge fan of rankings like this. I mean, you wouldn't rank Van Gogh against Picasso either – just misses the point. Anyway, i was somehow positively surprised that the great music Mr.Frusciante created is actually recognized by so many people πŸ™‚

  • Xpld

    Quite strange, I mean, Kurt Cobain #12 and some real great people missing, but that's always the problem with such a ranking.
    Anyway, glad to see Johnny Greenwood, Omar R.-L. and of course John as #1! Like the comment on this result, too…:D

  • Bernard

    I'm so happy. We should'nt look at this as a ranking. I love many of the names on that list and probably some are more technical, some are more soulful, some are more innovative, some are more clever with tones and effects. Some have also left a bigger cultural impact, like Cobain. This poll just says that John's guitar has touched more people than anyone else's, and that is just beautiful. As time passes, and new generations tap into John's repertiore, a growing number of people are coming to recognise the beauty of his work. I am certain that time will consacrate him as one of the all-time greats.

  • RachelJMac

    Hehe i voted 20 times… (yeh i have a lot of time on my hands) Anyways, the best man/musician/guitarist won πŸ˜€

  • Petra

    I voted only once, but for the right man πŸ˜‰ He deserves it on so many levels, for his talent, his diversity, his passion for music and for the influence he has as an guitarist. It's actually just another poll, but the result makes me happy.

    • CMD313

      So, it should not been published just because it not ideal for your rituals? Every human like award.

      I thought there was only love in hippy town, looks like I am wrong. Your kind of human have no love for any other kind of human. You rank by styles. =/

      • Pat

        while i don't get ur engrish (sorry) i have2 agree w/this. eugene never has anything good 2 say unless when it comes to saying sexist things about cheap girls and when something is really obscure (i assume he thinks obscure=good). this mightve been cute 40 y.ago but now its totally obsolete.

        [sorry for crappy typing, on mobile] back 2 the topic. really happy 4 john. i doubted hed win given how muse are popular now, but this was a very nice surprise!!!

    • Lucy

      Why does is 'reinforce everything that John is against'? Seem to recall he's attended his share of award shows, ie Grammys and Brits in 2007 and accepted (usually with grace) lots of awards. Seem to recall he stood on his head for one a few years ago. It goes with the territory. As Colin said earlier, it's a harmless poll and as it's well documented that he does appreciate British music more than most others, and could be called somewhat of an Anglophile, the fact that it's a British would probably be equally appreciated. Not a huge fan of any sort of reward/accolade as they don't particularly mean a huge amount in the majority of cases but this is just recognition. So why the negativity?

    • Iva

      I assume that only John himself could respond to that. It's not like people who voted for him should feel bad because they admire his playing, it's not like people here disrespect him because they're happy for his triumph and it's not that this news shouldn't be published. Please, refrain from comments like this one.

      CMD313 & Pat: please, refrain from having such sharp tongues. Thank you.
      My recent post Jedinstven / One Of A Kind

  • eugene

    never once posted anything remotely sexist. please see johns extensive interview for the heart is a drum machine where he articulates his views on the “star factor” of musicians. I just agree we shouldn’t be ranking musicians. otherwise, keep up the great work Iva and sorry to provoke.

  • Oliver

    I love you John.

    It gives me the greatest pleasure to see his talent recognized.
    And it's extremely awesome since it was a British hosted poll, and he beat Slash and Bellamy and the others! There are raging disagreements on Youtube, 'cause of people whining about Malmsteem, Vai and even James Hetfield. I mean… Come on, there was a vote, 30 000 people voted, he Won, so… That makes him the Greatest guitarist of the last three decades. He is certainly not the most technical, and those 30 000 all made their own reasons for their choices. But it still proves something! If you still say he's not the greatest, then you get it all wrong, and you think it's all about the technical stuff.


  • Bernard

    This was not a ranking exercise, or at least, it should'nt be viewed as such. It's not like some panel of expert judges came together to reach a verdict. It's a popular vote. It does'nt make John the greatest guitarist of the last three decades, but the most appreciated, definitely. I'm sure John welcomes appreciation and recognition.
    But I see Eugene's point. John is a humble person on an endless quest to learn more about music. He spends all his time experimenting and absorbing ideas from the most disparate of artists. He would be the first to admit he has plenty to learn from every single guy on that list. Hence why he might be partial to seeing his name at the top of a ranking of some sort.

  • Andrei

    *I just feel I need to express this.*

    Although I am not a member here, John is the one person in this whole universe who has influenced me more than anything, both as a person and and as an aspiring guitarist. I owe to him the fact that I have discovered great music, and I have learned that music cannot be without the soul.

    Although I voted for him in that poll, I feel very strange that so many people think he is the best guitarist out there. Don't get me wrong, I do think that. But… you know… it's kind of like that feeling when something really personal and precious was stolen from you, but you also know that the purpose for it being out there is truly noble and pure.

    I can't stop beating myself up for feeling like this, because I know it's not right.

    I'm sorry.

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