I shortlisted four guitarists as the best I've ever seen - David Gilmour, Jimmy Page, Robert Fripp and John Frusciante (22 March) while prevaricating about whether this was even a sensible question. I can explain this by recalling a music journalist's review of a Traffic gig. He noted that he'd never thought Stevie Winwood to be that good a guitarist (and he isn't, though a great musician and songsmith). However, at the gig in question Winwood's solo in Sometimes I Feel So Uninspired dripped with emotion and made the journo's hair stand on end. So it's not just about pure technique. And Rolling Stone magazine's list of 100 greatest guitarists clearly allows for innovation and influence as well as playing ability.
Which guitarist was I most excited about seeing for the first time? None of the above, actually: Mick Jones of The Clash. I know, punk guitarist, three chords and all that but I've just been listening to the guitar runs on Complete Control from the eponymous first Clash album and I can understand exactly why watching Jonesy gave me such a buzz. I may return to that thought with an account of the 1981 gig some time. I'd claim Jones was a great musician but no way was he one of the world's best guitarists.