The rock world is filled with extremely talented artists who simply didn't get a chance to deliver that distinctive, often compact impact that would launch them into the rockstar stratosphere. But this definitely doesn't mean they should be forgotten. Check out some of the lost axemen we singled out and share your personal favorites in the comments.
Steve Howe (Yes)
Yes are in many way a criminally underrated band, and the same goes for guitarist Steve Howe. The impact these guys made should never be forgotten, especially while praising some of the later prog giants like Rush.
Eric Bell (Thin Lizzy)
Featuring many iconic axemen in its lineup, Gary Moore, Snowy White, John Sykes to name a few, Thin Lizzy kicked off with Mr. Eric Bell, a highly underrated guitarist capable of delivering top-notch efforts. Check out his solo in "The Rocker" to get my drift.
One of the more prominent guitarists on the list, Rory Gallagher isn't exactly fearing from falling to oblivion, but still earns far more kudos than he gets.
Paul Kossoff (Free)
Late Free axeman Paul Kossoff delivered quite a few clever licks back in the day. There's also that inevitable story about Eric Clapton asking young Paul to show him some of his vibrato tricks.
Alvin Lee (Ten Years After)
Another late giant, Alvin Lee of Ten Years After. Not a full-on guitar God like Page, Blackmore or Townsend, Alvin still knew to come up with a stellar riff worthy of the God title. Not to be forgotten by all means.
Tommy Bolin (Deep Purple)
Unfortunately, untimely death prevented Tommy Bolin from reaching the stars. He made it to Deep Purple and started making it, but left us on December 4, 1976 at the age of 25.
The man with an ability to turn a mediocre blues bar into a stellar jam, late great J.J. Cale gets plenty of kudos from fellow guitar greats, but should get far more from the crowd.
Leslie West (Mountain)
Finally, we'll bring up Leslie West of the Mountain. Fuzzy, distorted, wall-crushing.
Got some other guitarists from the past you'd like to see get more exposure? Share them in the comments.