100 for 100

Part 3

Posted: 30th May 2023

Our history is built on alternative music created by artists. Without these genre-defining guitarists pushing the boundaries of what can be done, welding a wall of Marshall amps behind them, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

As we celebrate Jim Marshall's 100th birthday we’re showcasing 100 artists, 10 a month for the rest of the year. Artists, who have made the music scene what it is today, breaking through defiantly into the industry that Jim helped shape.

Read time: 10 mins

Dave Mustaine

Dave Mustaine first started playing guitar when he was 13 years old as a way to express himself and he soon began playing in bands. Dave formed his first band Panic before a brief stint in Metallica, and finally Fallen Angels before founding thrash metal giant Megadeth.

In 1985, Megadeth released their first album ‘Killing Is My Business… and Business Is Good!’ via independent label Combat Records. The album caught the attention of bigger record labels, including Capitol Records who signed the band the following year and obtained the rights to their second studio album ‘Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?’. Their second album is considered to be a thrash metal classic and an album that contributed to the rise in popularity of extreme metal.

Dave became known for popularising the ‘spider chord’ technique for playing power chords. This was a way to reduce string noise when playing riffs that require chords across several strings. This technique can be heard in the band’s songs ‘Wake Up Dead’, ‘Holy Wars… The Punishment Due’, and ‘Ride the Lightning’. 

In 2009, Dave Mustaine became the first artist to ever have a signature series of Marshall cabinets which consisted of the angled 1960A-DM and the straight 1906B-DM, and features both Dave and Jim Marshall’s signatures.

Dave Mustaine is as close to metal royalty as is physically possible, and one of the earliest driving forces of heavy distorted guitar.

Sophie Lloyd

Sophie Lloyd is one of the most prolific guitarists on the internet. Sophie graduated from the prestigious BIMM in 2018 with a first in Popular Music Performance, a course that helped her refine a talent she has nurtured since picking up the guitar at 10 years old. 

Sophie is most known for her presence on YouTube and social media, playing guitar covers and showcasing her original material in the last five years she has accumulated a huge following across multiple platforms, totaling 2.5 million, and most recently becoming a member of Machine Gun Kelly's live touring band. 

In 2022 she was also crowned best Rock Guitarist of the year, by the readers of Music Radar beating the likes of John Frusciante, Joe Satriani, and Muse frontman Matt Bellamy. Sophie's music inspirations stem from classic metal, bands like Iron Maiden, Black Label Society and Pantera, their influence can be heard through her lead playing style. 

She has also learned to play multiple different styles and different genres which are noticeable in her sound - including elements of jazz and country. Influenced by a combination of these genres, Sophie has developed her own unique and creative style of playing and composing, which has cemented her future as a guitar hero.


Born into a family of musicians in the late 50’s, he was given his father’s stage name ‘Prince Rogers’.  From a young age, Prince was encouraged by his parents to explore his interest in music and by the age of seven, he had written his first song ‘Funk Machine’ on his fathers piano. Following this, his father soon bought him his first guitar.

Prince began playing in bands and after graduating high school, he recorded a demo tape with producer Chris Moon who showed Prince’s demo to businessman Owen Husney, who signed Prince aged 19 and helped him record other demos at Sound 80 Studios. These demos quickly reached the ears of Warner Bros and Columbia Records, creating demand that led to him signing one of the largest contracts ever for a brand-new act. 

Aged 21, Prince’s debut album ‘For You’ was released - within the record deal Prince was named ‘producer’. This was important for him as it enabled him to have creative control of the album - he ended up writing, producing and playing all 27 instruments on the album.

In 1979 Prince founded his band ‘The Revolution’ and recruited Doctor Fink, André Cymone, Bobby Z, and Dez Dickerson to join. Later that year his self-titled album, ‘Prince’, was released. This album went on to sell over one million copies and featured the tracks ‘Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad’ and ‘I Wanna Be Your Lover’. However, 1984 saw the release of the album and film ‘Purple Rain’ which cemented Prince’s music legacy. The album featured hit songs including ‘Purple Rain’, ‘When Doves Cry’ and ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ and went 13x Platinum with over 25 million copies sold, it is considered to be one of the greatest albums of all time and has won two Grammy Awards.

With a relentless work ethic, Prince’s success didn’t stop there. He often wrote music using pseudonyms such as The Kid, Joey Coco, Alexander Nevermind, and Camille. However, his instantly recognisable guitar style and song structures meant that it usually wasn’t long before his fans discovered that Prince was the artist behind the music.


Image credit: Prince in concert at  Sziget Festival in Budapest, Hungary. Mark Milstein/ Northfoto via Dreamstime

Rabea Massaad

If you are into your guitar gear you have most likely come across Rebea Massaad in recent years, as he has gained himself a huge following in the online guitar world over the last decade. Rabea didn’t originally start playing the guitars but took it up after he injured himself skateboarding and couldn't play the drums anymore. 

Since then he has made a name for himself, by not only demonstrating popular gear for a huge YouTube audience but by also having his own signature guitars built by Chapman. He has also shown the world that he's more than capable of putting that gear to use with his multiple bands and musical projects such as Frog Leap, Dorje, Toska and The Totemist. He was even approached to play guitar for Stormzy at Reading and Leeds festival in 2021 after music director Kojo Samuel discovered his Instagram and offered him the opportunity. 

Rabea also has multiple online music courses through Musicisum teaching various techniques to guitarists of all capabilities. 

Eddie Clarke

Eddie Clarke began playing guitar as a teenager and by the time he was 15, he had been in many local bands. In 1973, Eddie stopped local gigging and turned professional when he joined Curtis Knight’s band Zeus as lead guitarist. However, it wasn’t long until Eddie secured a deal with Anchor Records alongside Allan Callan, Nicky Hogarth and Chris Perry after a jam session at Command Studios.

Despite this, Eddie didn’t stay in the band for long and formed a new band called Continuous Performance, but after failing to secure a record deal the band disbanded. Eddie even temporarily gave up trying to make it in the music industry.

It wasn’t until 1976 that Eddie found fame with English heavy metal band Motörhead as part of the classic trio line-up one year after the band's formation. Not only did Eddie play the guitar and sing backing vocals, but he also performed lead vocals on several Motörhead songs including ‘Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers’, ‘Step Down’ and ‘Emergency’. Eddie’s guitar playing earned him the nickname ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke as a reference to his expert tremolo picking. The albums ‘Ace of Spades’ and ‘No Sleep ‘til Hammersmith’ solidified Motörhead’s reputation as a metal giant and the band were ranked at No.26 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.

After leaving Motörhead, Eddie founded the heavy metal band Fastway with Pete Way, who achieved commercial success and toured with AC/DC. Eddie also released two solo albums ‘It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over’ and ‘Make My Day: Back To Blues’ which saw Eddie go back to his blues roots on the latter as part of a collaboration with Shakatak keyboardist Bill Sharpe.

Eddie, alongside Motörhead, have been credited with having been precursors to the new wave of heavy metal during the late 70’s and early 80’s.


Image credit: Eddie Clarke Motorhead 1982, CC BY-SA 2.0, Andrew King, via Wikimedia Commons

Tom Searle

Tom Searle was one of the founding members and the original guitarist of the British metalcore band Architects. 

Architects have made a huge impact in British metal selling out arenas around the UK and Europe, and helped bring the subgenre of metalcore mainstream attention. Architects and Tom’s signature low-tuned riffs on a seven-string guitar have helped to define the metalcore genre and take metal music to new heights in the modern era. Tom took influence from bands like Meshuggah, Converge, and The Dillinger Escape Plan which reflected in the bands growing and ever-changing sound which still reflects to this day.

Tom Searle unfortunately passed away on August 21st, 2016 after a three-year battle with cancer,  his death shocked the music industry.  However, his influence with the first, six Architects albums and their continuing rise means that his legacy will live on as one of the best British metal guitarists of the 21st century.

Pete Townshend

Surrounded by musicians as a child, Pete Townshend’s interest in rock and roll came from a love of the 1956 film ‘Rock Around the Clock’.  It was later that year, aged 11, that his grandmother bought him his first guitar and he taught himself how to play. 

During Pete’s time at Ealing Art College studying graphic design, he joined a skiffle/rock and roll band called the Detours. The band managed to obtain a contract with local promoter Robert Druce through Pete’s mother, who booked the band as support acts for bands including Screaming Lord Sutch and Shane Fenton and the Fentones. In 1964, the band were made aware of another group of the same name forcing them to choose a new band name, eventually landing on The Who. The same year, Pete dropped out of college to pursue music full-time.

While performing at the Railway Hotel, Pete accidentally broke his guitar neck on the low ceiling. This accident led to The Who regularly destroying their instruments on-stage during their live shows. Alongside this, Pete also developed a guitar stunt where he would swing his right arm against the guitar strings - which went on to become his iconic windmill move. 

The following year, the band released the song ‘I Can’t Explain’, written by Pete, which reached No. 8 on the British charts followed by ‘Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere’ which reached No. 10. However, the band’s third single ‘My Generation’, cemented the band’s reputation as a group that reflected how young people felt at the time. This single reached No. 2 in the charts and became the band’s biggest song with Pete leading as the band’s primary songwriter. The Who is still regarded as one of the best live bands and continue to perform renowned sets.

Alongside being a part of The Who, Pete was also active as a solo artist and released several albums featuring the tracks ‘Let My Love Open the Door’ and ‘Slit Skirts’.

Other rock guitarists such as Slash and Steve Jones have cited Pete as one of their influences. Jimmy Page and Ritchie Blackmore have also quoted Pete as being one of the first guitarists to develop guitar feedback.

Sam Fender 

Sam Fender is a singer, songwriter and guitarist from North Shields, in the North East of England. Sam’s sound and his playing relies primarily on his traditional American style combined with a classic British rock sensibility and attitude. 

At 18, Sam’s career began when he was spotted performing by Ben Howard's manager Owain Davies in the Low Lights Tavern, where he worked. Owian then took Sam on as a client and throughout 2013, he played a series of gigs across the country supporting a number of artists including Ben Howard and Willy Mason.

Sam went on to sign for Polydor Records and released his debut EP, Dead Boys, in November 2018. He won the Critics' Choice Award at the 39th Brit Awards and released his debut album in 2019, Hypersonic Missiles, which entered the UK Albums Chart at number one.

Nita Strauss

Ranked No. 1 on Guitar World’s ‘10 Female Guitar Players You Should Know’ list, Nita Strauss began playing guitar as a teenager with her own band Lia-Fail, before eventually leaving high school during her junior year to pursue music full time.

She first gained notoriety after working with Jermaine Jackson, Femme Fatale and The Iron Maidens, her all-female Iron Maiden tribute band. However, it wasn’t until 2014 that Nita was catapulted to fame when she started touring with Alice Cooper.

The prestige that comes with the gig has given Nita the platform to run sold-out guitar master classes and work on her own solo projects. Nita’s debut record ‘Controlled Chaos’, which was released in 2018, debuted on the Billboard charts at No.1 Top New Artist. Nita has also made appearances performing live at WWE events in 2018 and performed with Lzzy Hale at WWE Evolution.

In 2022 Nita became the first female rock solo artist in 32 years to reach No.1 on Billboard’s mainstream Rock chart with her song ‘Dead Inside’ which featured David Draiman of Disturbed. 

There’s no doubt that Nita will continue to shake up the rock scene with her new solo album ‘The Call of the Void’ which is due to be released on 7th July 2023.

Tim Henson

Tim Henson and his instrumental band Polyphia have risen to fame in the last decade with their takes on classical and progressive styles of playing and combining them with modern elements such as hip hop and trap. This creative formula became a viral hit online with Tim’s guitar playthrough of their track ‘Impassion’ made an impact on the guitar world.

Tims's story goes even deeper than viral success. After being rejected from Berklee School of Music, he focused all his efforts on his music and Polyphia. In a recent interview with Guitar World, Tim revealed during this time that his parents thought he was attending community college, he was going to sit in Starbucks with a laptop to promote Polyphia’s music.

From there, Tim sought to raise funds for Muse – the band’s debut studio album. The band set a  $15,000 target and smashed this and ended up raising a total of $33,000, thanks to heavy promotion and loyal online following.

To this date, the band have now gone on to create four full length albums, and two EPs, with Polyphia and Tim’s influence and success only growing in the guitar world.