Buzz Osborne’s Favorite Guitarists

Recently at The Dowsers, we had Dale Crover of sludge-rock titans The Melvins make us a playlist of his favorite drummers to coincide with the release of the band’s double-album opus A Walk with Love & Death. Now, it’s bandmate Buzz “King Buzzo” Osborne’s turn to salute his six-string heroes:

Of course, I could fill countless playlists with the likes of Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Billy Gibbons, and Jimmy Page but that would be too easy. Everyone likes those guys. Here are a few guitar players that are interesting to me and not necessarily in a “traditional” guitar-hero sense. As a thinking and working guitar player, I find all of these guys extremely inspirational.—Buzz Osborne, The Melvins

James Honeyman-Scott, The Pretenders: “Tattooed Love Boys”
Love the solos on this and his cool use of harmonics. It’s a pity he ODed. Lord knows where he could have taken his guitar.

Dave Shepherd, Weedeater: “Weed Monkey”
Shep has a way of dragging out the riff that I love. Weedeater to me are what Flipper would sound like if they played heavy metal. Shep’s a huge part of that. It’s in his hands and attitude and I’m a big fan.

Jon Spencer and Neil Hagerty, Pussy Galore: “Dick Johnson”
I think Jon Spencer is the most underrated guitar player out there. Once again, it’s all in the attitude. This song is perfect. (I included Neil Hagerty on this because I don’t know who plays what.)

Dave Davies, The Kinks: “Attitude” (One for the Road live version)
Dave’s guitar makes this song. What a great riff! No one ever talks about Dave’s guitar playing and they never talk about this song, which is one of their best.

David Hidalgo, Los Lobos: “Viking”
Los Lobos are the most eclectic band from L.A. and David’s guitar playing is an essential part of this. Also, his work with the Latin Playboys is some of the best music ever made. I’ve seen Los Lobos countless times and I’ve never seen them play a bad show. It doesn’t get any better.

Eddie Hazel, Funkadelic: “Hit it and Quit it”
Eddie’s solo at the end of this song buries me every time. One of my all time favorites ever. Tragic early death of a supersonic talent.

Ron Emory, T.S.O.L.: “Weathered Statues”
This stuff was very refreshing when it came out in the early ’80s. I’ve always thought Ron’s playing on this song was electric, and a nice change from the “hardcore” that seemed to boringly dominate everything at the time. Huge inspiration.

Ted Falconi, Flipper: “I Saw You Shine”
I have no idea what Ted’s playing most of the time and it doesn’t matter. Without Ted, Flipper it wouldn’t work. Flipper is one of the best bands ever.

Andy Gill, Gang of Four: “Paralysed”
This is the first song I ever heard by these guys and Andy Gill’s guitar playing worked its way into my brain and never came out.

Robin Trower: “Bridge of Sighs”
Yes, he sounds like Hendrix—but who cares? This is one of the most soulful songs ever, and it’s the right tempo! I saw him once in the early ’80s and he toasted two Fender Twin reverbs during the last song. Smoke and fire.

Jeffrey Lee Pierce and Ward Dotson, The Gun Club: “Ghost on the Highway”
I listed both of these guys because I have no idea who plays what on this and I love it either way. An amazing song on one of my favorite albums. I’ve listened to this at least once a week for well over 20 years.

Captain Sensible, The Damned: “Smash it Up Parts 1 & 2”
Severely underrated guitar player. Don’t skip the first part of this song. Saw them in the early ’80s and it remains one of my favorite memories of live music. I never tire of The Damned.

Greg Sage, Wipers: “When It’s Over”
My God… nothing describes the hopelessness that was and probably is the Northwest better than this guy. I still get chills every time I hear this song. The Wipers aren’t given the attention they deserve and Greg Sage is one of the best guitarists ever.