The NYC blog CityRag linked this week to Guitar World’s 100 Greatest Guitar Solos, and offered links to videos of each of the top 20. For classic rock junkies, there is no better way to procrastinate at work. Their top pick, Jimmy Page on “Stairway to Heaven,” is a given. For some reason I’ve always had a soft spot for No. 19, Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple on “Highway Star.” When I hear solos like this I completely check out and go into a zone. A lot of times I have to close my eyes and imagine I’m sprinting determinedly or otherwise physically exerting myself, so I can sort of (pretend to) match the intensity of the sound, even though I’m deluding myself and nothing ever could. If I opened my eyes, looked down at pizza, and continued to yap inane things about reality television, I wouldn’t be doing the song justice. Just me? What’s your music-reverence ritual?
I wish someone had thought to cut a single mp3 of the top 20 (or all 100, yikes) guitar solos back-to-back, so I could just lie there cloaked in headphones and then ultimately start convulsing. (Thanks for nothing!) Instead, I’ll let you start your day with a high-octane dose of Blackmore’s “Highway Star” shredding. (He goes to work about four minutes into this live clip.)