The Top 10 Hard Rock and Metal Guitarists of the '80s

Yes, yes, shred until you bleed!
Yes, yes, shred until you bleed!

Well, it's the day after Christmas and many of you probably have some holiday blues. Maybe you had a rough Christmas. Maybe your family is making you crazy. Maybe you didn't get that brand new navel ring you wanted or perhaps you filled up on so much food and egg nog, you can't seem to walk.

I feel your pain and in an effort to ease your suffering and give you back some of the energy you lost chasing your twin five-year-old nephews around the Christmas tree while they screamed "WE HATE YOU!" (was that just me?), I would like to offer you this belated Christmas gift. If Santa was ever going to stuff your stocking (ahem) with anything, wouldn't it be cool if it was shredder guitar players from the 1980's? I thought so. Happy head banging!

10. Warren Demartini

The dextrous lead guitarist from RATT was one of a cadre of brilliant young guitar players to emerge from Los Angeles in the 1980's.

9. Kirk Hammett

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It's hard to argue that Hammett, while not widely considered one of the most influential guitarists during that era, has emerged as one of the true founders of really heavy guitar playing.

8. Steve Vai

Vai, who began his career at the age of 19 with Frank Zappa, is arguably the most technically gifted guitarist of his generation. His playing is so fluid and effortless, it's really kind of sick. I saw him several years ago and his technical skills are almost hard to believe.

7. Paul Gilbert

A true guitar players' guitarist, Gilbert made a lot of players in the '80s want to give up when they heard his solos with Racer X and Mr. Big. Gilbert also happens to be brilliant at "stump the band" (he has an almost encyclopedic knowledge of music) and is hilariously funny.

6. George Lynch

Playing in Dokken couldn't have been the easiest thing in the world for anyone. The much maligned band was extremely popular in the mid-80s, but seemed oddly comical later. Lynch, however, was brilliant from day one and despite a brief stint with bodybuilding he now calls "the silliest thing" he ever did, he still can shred like crazy.

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