Steve Vai answered the good ole question of “Who is the greatest guitarist of all time?”, telling Music Radar:
“I very rarely agree with the term best guitar player. It just seems so obscene to put something so subjective into a best category.
“But if I had to say there was one, I would pick Allan Holdsworth.
“He was unique in ways that I don’t think have been discovered yet. Many musicians can be considered ahead of their time, but usually – they’re not. They’re mainly ahead of everyone else at that time.
“For example, Jimi Hendrix wasn’t ahead of his time; he was perfect for his time and ahead of everyone else.
“Allan Holdsworth was definitely ahead of his time because it’s hard to realize how great he is – not many people actually understand. It takes time for us to catch up with those that are ahead of their time.
“I would not be surprised if in 100 years from now, if people are still even listening to guitar – which I suspect they will be – he’ll be singled out as ‘the one’ alone, so to speak.
“The way he uses the whole tone scale is like his own baby shoes – it’s so easy for him. His thought process was phenomenal.
“I can hear any guitar player and I know what they’re doing – I might not be able to play it – but I can see it in my mind’s eye.
“But I do not know what the fuck Holdsworth was doing at all…”