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VOLUME 1 • ISSUE 5   |   Release date: October 15, 2003

In This Issue
Manna Appearing Again
Baseball Curses
Harvest Party Tips
Where are the Christians?
Amish Radio Station Folds
European Christian Confused
Motion-Activated Sprinkler System
Survey Results
October Church Sign of the Month

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Where are the Christian Guitarists?
by Jerry Jones

Originally printed in Christian Guitarist – Sept., 2003

I can't recall ever seeing more of a secular bias than I did when I read Rolling Stone Magazine's September 2003 issue—listing the so-called top 100 guitarists of all time. Sure, I'll give them Hendrix, King, Cobain, and Clapton, but where are the Christians?!? Couldn't they even think of one Christian guitarist who is better than #100, Kim Thayil of Soundgarden. Who can't do that?! Off the top of my head I can think of 20 Christian guitarists better than the majority of these top-100 no-namers! Who's Lightnin' Hopkins (#71), for heaven's sake?!

Maybe the editors of RSM need to get out more. Haven't they ever heard of Steve Mason from Jars of Clay? He plays a B-minor diminished 11th chord like it's a G-major. Or take Matt Hoopes of Relient K. I saw him play in the rain at Cornerstone Festival this past summer. Whoa! So he's younger than most of the people on the list, but the talent is there!

It just shows what a bunch of corporate sell-outs our "reliable" sources for information are these days. I wonder how much Pepsi paid RSM to get Ray Charles on the list?! Think about it. It leaves quality musicians like Steven Curtis Chapman and Jennifer Knapp (both of whom should've been top 25, easy) playing Vacation Bible School gigs in Nebraska while producer Dr. Dre soaks up the revenue because he can pay to get his artists on the list!

This list is more reminiscent of a high school class president vote than it is a real assessment the world's best guitarists. It looks like the most popular or familiar wins. Christian guitarists can't help it if their audience is slightly smaller. The writers at RSM probably haven't even heard John Rubin's latest album. This one song has the coolest guitar riff in the background! Although I don't know who the guitarist is in that song, I do know that he's probably a Christian and that Jerry Garcia (#13) couldn't play that riff in a million years! It seems that if he wants any recognition from RSM he had better ditch John Rubin, sell his identity to a corporation, and start doing plenty of drugs. A couple of "close call" suicide attempts might increase his chances of being considered a better guitarist by them.

I realize that many of the guitarists that made the list were innovators of some sort or started a new trend. Well then lets not forget Larry Norman, who, as they have apparently overlooked, STARTED CHRISTIAN ROCK! If it weren't for Larry Norman we would be without groups like Audio Adrenaline and Petra. Then what would we do at Cornerstone Festival?

I guess all that is left for us to do is support Christian guitarists the best we can. Maybe someday these amazing musicians will reach the ears of RSM, but until then we'll have to savor the brilliant sounds of MXPX and Delirious on our own.

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