The worst guitar solo in the world

Late last year I asked you all to name ONE guitar solo that you placed above others. We got a pretty good list happening (even if most of you couldn't quite limit yourselves to just one selection).

I know Friday tends to be the easy-going, form-a-list sort of day. But after posting this yesterday (about Will Hodgkinson's book Guitar Man) I heard a snatch of the Tina Turner song Private Dancer. And that triggered a fairly recent memory...so, stick with me...

The song Private Dancer, as many of you will know, was written by Mark Knopfler - and when I interviewed him last year he told me the song was ruined due to "them drafting in Jeff Beck to play the world's second ugliest guitar solo".

I didn't include that bit in the finished piece but I liked the line. I assumed that there was probably some sour grapes from Knopfler there; he had missed out on playing on that track but most of Dire Straits worked on the Turner album.

Telling a friend about the Knopfler interview, a week later, he wondered why I didn't ask Mark what he thought the world's worst guitar solo was.

It would have derailed the interview - and, more important, I kinda liked not knowing. In a way I thought Mark Knopfler captured it by calling the solo the "second worst". It leaves room for a new worst to be decided. Or for the worst to be so bad that it is never replaced. Either way, it suggests the worst is unspeakably bad (you don't even want to know!) and it possibly is better not knowing. It also seems somehow crueller calling something the second worst. I think?

I figure you can take this phrase and make it your own. Calling something the "second worst" is basically the new worst thing. So, to use it in a sentence - and this is just an example off the top of my head - I might say that Midnight Youth is the second worst band currently working in New Zealand.

It leaves room...

Jeff Beck is all class - or very nearly all class - as far as I am concerned. But you know what? Listening to Private Dancer on the radio yesterday I realised that Mr Knopfler was quite valid in what he was saying. Beck's solo on that song is pretty disgusting; it doesn't go anywhere and when you finally recognise the, erm, Beck-isms, the solo is done. It suffers too for the recording techniques of the time. It doesn't stand up well in this day and age.

I'm not saying it's the second worst guitar I've heard - that would probably be Zakk Wylde playing with Ozzy Osbourne at the failure that was Rock 2 Wgtn a couple of years ago.

But I'm not telling you what the worst guitar solo I have ever heard is. Maybe New Zealand's second worst band is guilty of the worst guitar solo? Or maybe I am bluffing and haven't thought of a worst solo...

Well, you must have all had a reaction to a song where you have noticed that one thing ruins it? One component is out of step or overly indulgent? We won't count drum solos - they're a whole other beast. But guitar solos can often ruin a song...so, with that - it's your turn to do the work; your turn to pick for me.

What do you reckon is the worst guitar solo in the world? And why do you consider it the worst?

(All right, I will just add that I am expecting to hear some mention of Lenny Kravitz, Eric Clapton, Bon Jovi, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and - yes! - Peter Frampton...)

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