The dust has settled, tens of thousands of votes have been counted and the last peals of feedback have faded into the distance. After sifting through 25 of the greatest guitarists in the storied history of alternative rock, you, the listener, have chosen your Number One guitar hero of them all.
First, you whittled the field of 25 down to the Top 11, eliminating such sonic luminaries as Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction), Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins) and Adam Jones (Tool) for the likes of Jack White, Mike Ness (Social Distortion) and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (Mars Volta/At The Drive-In).
When it came down to selecting Number One, there was little question who the fans supported the most. The runaway winner of the riff-off, garnering a staggering 45 percent of the vote in a landslide victor: Mike Einziger of Incubus.
Out of more than 34,000 votes, Einziger pulled a whopping 15,726 nods, thanks to Incubus fans mobilizing online and supporting their favorite guitarist. Einziger generated more than double the votes than the second-place finisher, former Red Hot Chili Peppers axe-slinger John Frusciante (6,378, or 19 percent).
“Thank you so much to all of the people out there who support me. Incubus fans are certainly a loyal and motivated group, and I am extremely grateful to them,” a humbled Mike Einziger told CBS Local. “I grew up listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against the Machine. I can say with certainty that Tom Morello and John Frusciante inspired me to start a band in the first place, so to be in this position is totally surreal.”
Tom Morello (Nightwatchman/Rage Against The Machine) came in fifth, followed by Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), who just outpaced Matt Bellamy (Muse) by a mere 18 votes. Kurt Cobain, Jack White, Billie Joe Armstrong and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez rounded out the top 11 guitarists.
–Scott T. Sterling, CBS Local