Posted in music on January 22, 2014

Lee Ranaldo and his guitar (more by Kenneth Bachor)
Lee Ranaldo

Thurston Moore recently listed his favorite songs of all time and now his Sonic Youth bandmate Lee Ranaldo has offered a list of his five favorite guitarists of all time via Red Bull (who recently offered their own favorite guitarists list). It's a cool list, some choices more predictable than others, and you can check out the whole thing below.

Lee and his band The Dust (which includes SY drummer Steve Shelley) will play their next hometown show on February 13 at Union Pool with Steve Gunn. Tickets for the show are still available.

Lee Ranaldo's favorite guitarists list below...

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Lee Ranaldo's Favorite Guitarists of All Time
Glenn Branca
Tom Verlaine
Joni Mitchell
Django Reinhardt
Carrie Brownstein

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Comments (63)

joni Mitchell shreds

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2014 5:34 PM

Lee is kewl.

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2014 5:36 PM

Glenn Branca sucks.

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2014 5:43 PM

Hendrix must be pissed.

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2014 5:50 PM

carrie brownstein hahah

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2014 5:59 PM

Hendrix is clearly influential, but if you paid attention, the list is "favorite" so it's likely to, and does, include Lee's selection of those who play the same instrument that he does and derives enjoyment from said playing.

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2014 6:01 PM

Why isn't Thurston Moore on this list?

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2014 6:04 PM

get bent

Posted by blayne | January 22, 2014 6:05 PM

Carrie Brownstein? really?

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2014 6:13 PM

Lee of all people ought to know that Richard Lloyd played at least 75% of the cool guitar shit in Television, not Tom Verlaine.

Posted by Skippy | January 22, 2014 6:29 PM

Lee needs to get his guitar out of his ass. The guys in Korn had 7 strings on their guitars

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2014 6:42 PM

Assuming the people LOLing about Carrie have never seen S-K live before.

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2014 6:48 PM

Sleater Kinney were great when I saw them. So sure, I can see why the guy would pick Carrie.

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2014 6:55 PM

@5:43 you have no clue

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2014 6:56 PM

Jamie Foxx plays guitar?

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2014 7:11 PM

Robert Quine!!!

His solo alone on Richard Hell's 'Blank Generation' (not to mention his work with, ahem, Lou Reed, Tom Waits, John Zorn, Brian Eno, Marianne Faithful, etc.) should earn him a spot on Lee's list!

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2014 7:13 PM

Was it really Richard who did most of that solo work and not Tom? Damn. I always thought that it was split down the middle for the most part. Those two wrote the book for guitarists working and around each other. They gave Sonic Youth the template for sure.

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2014 7:14 PM

What, no Jerry Garcia? Lee loves the Dead. Though I know most of you hate them.

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2014 7:22 PM

Verlaine has the better solo on Marquee Moon, that's what counts.

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2014 7:23 PM

Carrie B is so much fun to watch play guitar.

Posted by A man with eyes(!) | January 22, 2014 7:41 PM

No Frohawk?

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2014 7:54 PM

Da Sonic Yoots don't listen to one Eddie Van Halen, my frents. Dis is a TRAGEDDDY

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2014 8:12 PM

@6:29 But maybe Lee really likes that other 25%

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2014 8:26 PM

I kinda forgot about Jerry not being on there. Lee and Thurston, I think, are big Dead fans.

Does anyone know what that image is on the back of his guitar?

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2014 8:29 PM

Django Reinhardt = REAL
Thankfully in College my roommate schooled me.

|third and fourth fingers were paralyzed when he suffered burns in a fire|

Right up there with Jimmi muthafuckin Hendrix.

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2014 9:20 PM

Poor Kim. Abandoned by her babies' father and left to go poor. Eva Prinz is a home wrecker.

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2014 10:02 PM

7:14 - Verlaine played a few more guitar solos than Lloyd, but Lloyd played almost every great fiddly, memorable riff during the actual songs while Verlaine sang and strummed basic chords.

Watch the "Live in Brazil" videos on YouTube and you will be amazed at how many of those classic guitar parts were played by Lloyd, like the melodic arpeggios in the chorus of "Venus" to name just one example.

Obviously Verlaine is an incredibly talented guy. It just bugs me when people fall over themselves in him praising him as a sublime genius and they act like Richard Lloyd was just some anonymous hired rhythm guitarist or something.

Posted by Skippy | January 22, 2014 10:31 PM

Ribot smokes them all, end of story

Posted by Anonymous | January 22, 2014 11:33 PM

The pic on the back of the guitar is a popular image of two people kissing in the middle of a riot. I forget where the riot occurred, but the story is the girl was crying hysterically so the guy thought the best thing to do to calm her down would be to kiss her. Kinda rapey if you ask me.

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 12:01 AM

They're his favorites. Nobody said they're supposed to be good

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 12:04 AM

"The pic on the back of the guitar is a popular image of two people kissing in the middle of a riot. I forget where the riot occurred, but the story is the girl was crying hysterically so the guy thought the best thing to do to calm her down would be to kiss her. Kinda rapey if you ask me."

Dear Fucking Moron,

That picture, taken in Vancouver, is of a man, AND HIS GIRLFRIEND, lying on the ground after getting beat down by SWAT police. She is in shock, he is trying to console her. There is no making out, nothing rapey, and you have to be one of the stupidest, most ill informed pieces of garbage... actually, par for the course here. Do you ever bother to get to the bottom of things before you open you fucking yapper? Do you just hear a vague rumor and take it as the gospel truth and spend your entire life bullshitting yourself to death?

Fuck you, eat a dick, grow a brain.

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 12:08 AM

"They're his favorites. Nobody said they're supposed to be good"

Thank you. It is not just about being good. Johnny Ramone is one of my all time favorite guitarists and a huge influence, yet I do not play 3-chord punk or use only downstrokes.

Besides that, I agree with Lloyd > Verlaine. His melodies (and tone) on Venus are amazing.

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 12:41 AM

12:08 Mad bro

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 12:48 AM

So much to comment on here so let me get to it all.

10:31. Thank you. I'm one to always, by default, associate TV with Television's brilliance, and it's good to know that RL played a huge and equal part in all of that.

9:20. Fuck. Yes. Django all the way. Listening to his work, and to think he did all that with TWO FUCKING FINGERS blows my mind every single time.

11:33. Hahaha. Yesssss. You won my heart. I have always and will always be a Ribot man. I saw him play with Tom Waits in Seattle at the only gig Waits did that whole year back in, I think, '05-ish. Brain from Primus was on drums. Sick, sick, sick. Ribot is the fucking man ten times over.

12:41. Thank you. I said that in the beginning. It's not what Lee thinks is the list of the greatest and most influential, it's the list of what he finds the most enjoyable. It's like the Velvet Underground's first album. Is it the best rock album of all time? Probably not. Is it one of the most influential rock albums of all time? Fuck yes. Two different things.

And, have I had a lot to eat and drink tonight at a French winemakers wine and food pairing evening? Yes. That's beside the point.

Thank you all for listening. RIP V Girls. Bahahaha. I don't care. However. I do wanna see KK. Soon.

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 1:10 AM

***IMPORTANT*** What?? No OutKast?

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 2:20 AM

***LOOKITMEEEE*** look at MEEE look at MEEEEEEE lookitMEEEEEEEEE

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 6:36 AM

No Max Horwich?? This list is invalid

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 7:46 AM

Dear 12:08,

This is the "f-ing moron" you replied to from 12:01. Thanks for your reply, although a little harsh, I appreciate you getting back to me with the full story.

I saw Lee play at Maxwells recently and he told the story of that pic, and I didn't hear him say anything about the man and woman being romantically linked. I must have missed that part. Unless Lee missed that part, too.

You are correct, they are boyfriend/girlfriend (so says a recent google search), but you are wrong about them not "making out". They are absolutely kissing in the picture. Maybe the term "making out" wasn't appropriate for the situation they were in?

As for all your other comments, I think they were excessively mean. My recollection of the story wasn't too far off. Definitely not wrong enough to "eat a dick".

Anyways, I apologize for getting you so fired up with my post and I wish you all the best in the future.

Best,
F. Moron

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 8:14 AM

^classy, and the best retort I've ever read on this site. You're right, the asshole who "set you straight" was excessively mean and should go fuck himself
for being a Nazi.

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 8:30 AM

That "riot" was because of a hockey game!!! A hockey game!!!! They were not smashing the system. They were angry that their team won/did not win a game. Eff that. I hope the cops cracked a ton of skulls that night in 2011. Hockey game!!

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 8:34 AM

guy obviously knows very little about his own instrument and who knows how to play.

always thought sonic youth was WAY overrated. only decent album was daydream nation and it was only decent at best.

get over it people.

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 8:51 AM

I am over it.

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 8:53 AM

I saw Television both nights at Rough Trade earlier this year. Tom Verlaine absolutely blew me away with his guitar playing and I decided to get tickets to night two. And on night two, he and the "new Richard Lloyd" switched lead and rhythm. It was still a decent show, but far from the wow of the night before. Point is, selection of Tom not at all surprising, though I wish I'd gotten to see them live when Richard was still in the band.

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 8:56 AM

If I post something, then wait a few minutes and then pretend to be someone else and applaud what I (actually) had posted a few minutes earlier, does that make me cool too?

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 9:45 AM

Ron Asheton and Wayne Kramer are the only two guitarists that ever mattered

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 9:47 AM

What? No John Petrucci?

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 9:50 AM

F. Moron rules.

Also, F. Jackie.

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 10:38 AM

^ Agreed. Also F Timmy and F Penelope Chiusano.

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 11:14 AM

Richard Sherman's Favorite Cornerbacks

- Lee Ranaldo
- Darrell Green
- Fred Armisen
- Champ Bailey
- Glenn Danzig

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 11:26 AM

My favorite cringe-worthy Lee Ranaldo vocals:
Mote
Eric's Trip
Hey Joni

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 11:28 AM

11:14 - that's too inside for most of these readers.

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 11:31 AM

Pathetic list but not surprising given how mediocre solo Lee-- live and studio-- has been. Maybe if he listened to Freddie King or peak John Lee Hooker he'd have a better idea of how to put himself over. Then again, he hired Alan Licht as 2nd guitar and basically doesn't let him DO anything so fuck the old hippy twice, even Bob Weir >>>

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 11:57 AM

Hey Joni is an amazing song, and the vocals are perfect for the mood and message. One of my all time SY faves actually. Otherwise, yes 11:28 Lee is not really the singer of the band, and his solo stuff does leave so much out on the table. A pity, since with Thurston they created some real amazing stuff for a while.

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 12:23 PM

Needs more King/Hanneman.

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 1:07 PM

This is the couple discussing what happened. She got knocked over, her boyfriend was consoling her, as stated above. A nice photo, but nothing revolutionary.

http://www.cbc.ca/m/news/#!/content/1.983560

And yeah, it was because of the stanley cup. Sigh.

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 1:34 PM

***** Thats hilarious! He wants to be all revolutionary with that image on his guitar, and its just some drunken hockey hooligans! Way to go dude!

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 6:48 PM

8:14 is gettin' a little rapey, if you ask me.

But in all seriousness, no Grimes?

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 7:52 PM

F. Martinez and F. Navarro, while you're at it.

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 7:54 PM

>>> What, no Tom Verlaine??

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 8:08 PM

good to know this guy hasn't listened to current music in 15-20 years...

Posted by Anonymous | January 23, 2014 8:11 PM

Rick Springfield man.

Where are all of you at?

Posted by Anonymous | January 25, 2014 1:40 PM

this is some really experimental shit

Posted by Camarena | February 26, 2014 5:21 AM

Why does this have to be more than a month out!! Argh! I want this album now. This, Angles and Xtina are as good as anything on the last 2 sonic records if not better.

Posted by Kavelin | November 3, 2014 10:51 AM

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