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“If it had been the top 251 guitar players, I would have been on the list”: George Lynch reacts to omission from Rolling Stone’s top 250 guitarists

“There’s the ego part of my brain. Of course it does react to that, but I try not to care, but of course we all care.”

George Lynch

George Lynch. Credit: Jun Sato/Getty

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George Lynch has responded to his absence from Rolling Stone‘s recently released list of the 250 greatest guitarists of all time.

Although some might be surprised by the Lynch Mob and former Dokken guitarist’s exclusion, Lynch seemed to take it rather well.

“I will say, there’s only 250 guitar players on that list, so it’s a short list,” he said (as transcribed by Blabbermouth). “But apparently, my management got ahold of Rolling Stone, the guitar-list people over there — it’s a big office; a skyscraper in New York City — and the big guy over there, he said, ‘George Lynch was 251.’ So if it had been the top 251 guitar players, I would have been on the list.

He continued: “I’ll tell you what: I think it would be almost cooler to be the last guy than the first guy,” he continued. “‘Cause the first guy’s gotta be Jimi Hendrix, of course, or whoever — those guys, [Jeff] Beck, Eddie [Van Halen], all the big guys. But you’re not gonna be in that group. So you’re gonna be down, like 32 or something. I’d rather be 251 because at least you kind of stand out; you’re not in the middle somewhere.”

Lynch then went on to joke about why he narrowly missed the cut. “You know what I found out, though, about the list — it’s pay for play. So they don’t overtly say, ‘You’ve gotta give us money.’ They just imply it by letting you know that you can make a donation to the Rolling Stone Fund or whatever the fuck it’s called. I don’t know.

“And the bigger the donation, the higher the placement, miraculously, you get. I heard Joe Satriani gave ’em, like — it was, like, 12,000 dollars, and he got on the list. I’m kidding, of course. I sent them a gift certificate. They’re called Lynch Bucks that are redeemable on my web site for George Lynch merchandise. But I guess that didn’t go very far. [Laughs] They could have got a hefty discount on a fucking Mr. Scary t-shirt, but whatever.”

Lynch had previously voiced his opinion on similar major lists during an appearance on an episode of SiriusXM’s Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk, where he said: “I only look at them if my name’s in it. I scour for my name. If I don’t see my name, then I write it off.”

He added: “There’s the ego part of my brain. Of course it does react to that, but I try not to care, but of course we all care. You wanna be recognised for what you do, and you work hard and you love what you do and you think you’re creating something of value that at least some people appreciate. So I’m not looking at it in the context a of a contest, but I do think it’s important to anybody like myself who works hard and hopefully would like to be perceived as having done something of value. So that’s where I think recognition matters.

“But listen, ranking artists is such a ridiculous premise,” Lynch added. “I think it doesn’t make any sense. I mean, everything in an art is subjective. So how can you say one person can be 17 and another person is 18? That doesn’t even make any logical sense.”

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