Keith Richards’ Favorite Guitarist: “One of the Great Riff Masters”

Many people would likely include Keith Richards on their list of their favorite guitar players. He’s contributed more than his fair share of hits to the rock sphere. Naturally, Richards’ opinion of his fellow guitarists is highly esteemed. But, who has earned Richards’ stamp of approval? Well, Malcolm Young for one. Find out why Richards has an affinity for the AC/DC member, below.

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One of Keith Richards’ Favorite Guitarist

Riffs are an important piece of a truly great rock song. While the guitar solos get all the hype, nothing beats a well-written riff. Richards has said as much on numerous occasions. Moreover, he does not give out compliments liberally. Given all of that, the fact that he called Young “One of the great riff masters” speaks volumes.

After Young’s passing in 2017, Richards shared a heartfelt post on his Facebook: “Malcolm was one of the great riff masters and one of the greatest rhythm guitar players of all time.”

Young’s life was ultimately cut short in 2017 due to the effects of dementia. He left the band in 2014 to battle the degenerative disease. Prior to his passing, Young had a hand in creating timeless anthems like “Back in Black,” “Highway to Hell,” and “Shoot to Thrill.” Each of them have titular riffs that you’d likely know even if you aren’t intimate with AC/DC’s discography.

Another once-in-a-generation guitarist, Slash, commented on Richards’ love of Young (and also mirrored his sentiments) saying, “There is no one like him Young. Put it this way, Keith Richards loves him and Keith Richard hates everything.”

“I can’t think of too many bands from the late 70s and 80s who can boast a guitar player with his unique style, chord variations, but playing within the confines of the 12-bar blues formula,” he continued.

What do you think? Is Young one of the great riff makers of rock? Revisit one of his calling cards, below.

(Photo by MJ Kim/Getty Images)

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