During a recent conversation with Sweetwater, Zakk Wylde singled out what he sees as Top 3 greatest guitar players of all time. He started with Mr. Frank Marino of Mahogany Rush, saying:
“Whenever I listen to his [Frank’s] playing, I still get inspired. As far as I’m concerned, he’s just one of the best guitar players ever. Because if you listen to his technique, his feel – it’s all there.”
His tone in ’79 was ridiculous.
“Oh, totally. People back then were just like, ‘Wow!’. And his improvisational skills… I mean, he’s based on improv. Just give him any chord progression and he’ll just destroy it.
“I have to say, he’s probably one of my top three. And John McLaughlin.
Who were your biggest guitar influences?
“I always… Even down to Jimmy Page, he would always say, ‘I got it from Muddy Waters’ or, ‘I got it from Howlin’ Wolf.’ You know, like this lick or that lick. Even when I was like, 16 years old, I went back and listened to it to see who they were talking about. Otherwise, I would have never found out about any of these artists.
“Or whoever Clapton said he really liked, or Jeff Beck, or Jimi Hendrix. Obviously, he didn’t invent playing with his teeth and behind his back and over his head and everything. No, he got it from the guys that came before him, whether it was Buddy Guy or…
“So yeah, from all the guys that come before you. Even with Randy Rhoads. With St. Rhoads, I remember in the guitar magazines with him talking about all the guys that he dug. Because he said he was such a [Mountain guitarist] Leslie West fan. And then you check out who their influences are.
“And then, obviously, you can kind of put two and two together and go, ‘Oh, I see where he got those licks from.’ And obviously put his stamp on. He tweaked them. So that’s the beautiful thing about it.”