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Chilis star wins Axe Factor

John Frusciante beats Slash and Johnny Marr to be crowned modern guitar hero

  • 09/04/2010
John Frusciante

Former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante has topped 6 Music's Axe Factor poll to find the best guitarist of the last 30 years.

Frusciante, who left the group in 2008, beat Guns n' Roses star Slash, Muse's Matt Bellamy and Johnny Marr of The Smiths to the top spot.

Prince, Jack White, Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood and REM's Peter Buck were also near the top. But Noel Gallagher, The Edge and Kurt Cobain did not make the top 10.

Some 30,000 people voted for their modern guitar hero from a list of 40 contenders.

See the full Axe Factor results

6 Music breakfast host Shaun Keaveny said of Frusciante: "His range, from minimalist melody lines, through choppy Hendrixian chord voicings all the way up to 11 with wailing metal tinged blues, gives him the edge over many in the list. For that I salute him."

And 6's Steve Lamacq said the list proved that "you have to be a little unhinged to be a true guitar hero".

"There's an underlying madness about their work, but with the renewed interest in these guitarists, thanks to various computer games, this is a very timely and revealing litmus test of who our audience really admire," he said.

Frusciante released his 10th solo album last year and is also part of the band Swahili Blonde with Duran Duran bassist John Taylor and vocalist Nicole Turley.

"I'm just very grateful and try not to screw up."

Johnny Marr

Slash, who came second, is releasing his debut solo album, featuring contributions from Ozzy Osbourne, Iggy Pop, Dave Grohl, Kid Rock and Fergie from Black Eyed Peas.

"All the guys who I consider guitar legends are the pioneers of electric guitar, rock 'n' roll guitar and blues guitar as well," he said recently.

"So I'm still struggling to keep up. I definitely don't put myself in the legend category."

Suede guitarist Bernard Butler, who was also on the list of 40 contenders, said his vote went to Johnny Marr.

"I used to just sit in front of the TV and video everything - whenever he was on Top of the Pops or The Tube," he told 6 Music.

"Whatever he was on, I just freeze framed it and saw, well, his hand's there. There are a million different tricks he used to do - it was a massive education for me."

Marr came fourth and said it was "incredible" to be considered one of the greats. "The greatest accolade is for people you respect to respect you and to influence you," he said.

"But I can't think about it too much because you would need to have some gargantuan ego to analyse it. I'm just very grateful and try not to screw up."

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