How Could The Man Who Brought Us Neil Schon Be So Evil?

I periodically throw shots out against guitar solos, mainly because it is rare that they add anything to a song and people seem to think that a pentatonic scale is all they need to pull one off. That being said, there are some fantastic guitar solos out there, the two on "Stormy Monday" of the Allman Brothers' "Live at the Fillmore East" are prime examples.

I think that my distaste for guitar solos began when I was playing bass in a band in high school. I felt at the time that I was a better guitarist than anyone in the band, but I was replacing a bassist and the guitarists were there before me, so I didn't mind that much. Well, at the high school talent show my senior year, a band got up and recreated "Freebird," including the guitar solo. People in the audience went nuts, mainly because people are idiots. All of a sudden the guitarist who executed the solo was now in my band, which resulted in an Eaglesesque total of three guitarists. The funny thing about this new guitarist was that he could only solo. He didn't know any chords, or how to read music, or really anything. He would just stand on stage soloing constantly. I hated him.

Over time my hatred for this guitarist decreased, mostly because I didn't have to play with him anymore. The problem is that my hatred for guitarists who only solo has remained constant, most of it was just transferred to another, more popular individual.

Carlos Santana is the most overrated, useless figure in the history of rock music. The only thing that Carlos does is solo. Name a single Santana hit, Carlos didn't write it, sing it, or do anything other than solo on it. That is it.

What makes his career even more absurd is that his solos are not even that great. A good guitar solo should have clear parts and phrases. It should almost feel like a story. If you get a chance, listen to the solos on "Stormy Monday." They are fantastic, and illustrate what a solo should be. Duane, or Dickey, will introduce a phrase, and then invert it or respond to it. They use space effectively implying periods in a sentence, and build in a logical way. Both solos sound like a conversation. A solo should make sense as a unit, rather than just be an excuse to show how quickly ones fingers can move.

Carlos doesn't use any of these devises. His solos are brief licks that lead to a long bent note, or he just forgets the buildup and hits the note. They lack any structure or coherence. They are just crap. He is probably known more for the tone of his guitar than any particular melodic achievement. Which is fine, but at least give Paul Reed Smith the Grammy.

How did this man become one of the icons of rock music? I can't even understand how he got his name on the cover of the record. I look at "Santana with Michelle Branch" and actually feel that Michelle Branch is getting the short end of the stick. Does any one else realize how crazy that is? Seriously, this has to stop. Supernatural sold 15 million copies for God's sake. What is wrong with you people?

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