My favorite guitarists:
Daniel Ash - e.g., "Stigmata Martyr" or the live "Bela Lugosi's Dead"
Ron Asheton - e.g., anything off the first two albums
Lindsey Buckingham - e.g., the entire Tusk album
Peter Green - e.g., "Albatross"
George Harrison - e.g., anything he ever did
Kristen Hersh - e.g., "Fish"
Adam Jones - e.g., anything off the first two Tool abums
John Lennon - e.g., solo stuff but also Yoko Ono's "Why"
Johnny Marr - e.g., anything he ever did
Nick McCabe - e.g., first two Verve albums
Joni Mitchell - e.g., her "jazz" phase in the late 1970s
Thurston Moore/Lee Ranaldo - e.g., pretty much anything
Jimmy Page - e.g., guitar God
Prince - e.g., are you kidding me?
Kevin Shields - e.g., anything he ever did
Mick Taylor - e.g., Sticky Fingers
Pete Townshend - e.g. Live at Leeds
Tom Verlaine - e.g., all three Television albums
Neil Young - e.g., "Cortez the Killer" or the Rust Never Sleeps album
I know, I know, it's a very conventional list and omits people I know should be on the list like Bert Jansch or Robert Fripp or Howlin' Wolf or Ry Cooder or Robert Johnson or Richard Thompson or Chuck Berry or Jeff Beck or Dick Dale or John Fahey or Link Ray or Eddie Fucking Van Halen or even Jimi Hendrix or Eric Clapton or Slash or Tony Iommi or yes, even Kim Fucking Thayil.
Which brings me to the most understated guitar solo of all time, from Daniel Ash, on the song "Lions" by Tones On Tail. This was the opening track of the only album Tones On Tail ever released, cleverly titled Pop (from 1984). The solo begins at 1.56 and ends at 2.17. It takes a genius to play something so utterly brilliant. You gotta know when to hold back.
Next up, my favorite drummers.