Eddie Van Halen
Eddie Van Halen turns 50 today. Eddie is one of the pre-eminent guitarists of all time (at least in this guitar player's humble opinion), but doesn't make the top 50 in some lists these days (he's number 70 here). Not only was Eddie a great guitar player, he invented many of the techniques still used today (by those guitarists gutsy enough to actually play lead guitar - or is it a demand phenomenon?). In my mind, his closest rivals in terms of greatness from that era and in that style of music would be the late Randy Rhodes and Michael Schenker - one of the signs of greatnes: his work still reverberates today.