(August 6, 1946-April 16, 2017)
Born in Bradford, England, United Kingdom
Progressive rock/jazz fusion guitarist
Member of the bands Igginbottom (1969), Sunship (1971), Nucleus (1972), Tempest (1973), Soft Machine (1974-75), Tony Williams Lifetime (1975-76), Gong (1976-78), U.K. (1978) and Bruford (1978-79)
Recorded the albums ‘Velvet Darkness’ (1977), ‘I.O.U.’ (1982), ‘Metal Fatigue’ (1985), ‘Secrets’ (1989), ‘Truth in Shredding’ (with Frank Gambale, 1990) ‘Hard Hat Area’ (1992), ‘None Too Soon’ (1996), ‘The Sixteen Men of Tain’ (2000) and ‘Flat Tire: Music for a Non-Existent Movie’ (2004)
Why he might be annoying
He began playing guitar only because he could not afford his first choice of instrument, a saxophone.
He is sometimes erroneously credited with playing the fuzz guitar on Donovan’s ‘Hurdy Gurdy Man’ – including by Donovan himself. (It was actually played by session guitarist Alan Parker.)
He had frequent conflicts with record labels, with one owner complaining that his music was ‘completely directionless.’
He was a self-critical perfectionist who said about his reputation as a great guitarist, ‘It makes me cringe.’
Guitarist and teacher Guthrie Govan said, ‘I think it's potentially dangerous when a rock type player hears a bit of Allan Holdsworth… and then dives straight into that style of playing…. It’s really hard to absorb all those aspects at once without your playing just starting to sound worse.’
Why he might not be annoying
He brewed his own beer and invented a specialized pump, ‘the Fizzbuster,’ to produce ‘a beautiful creamy head.’
He designed signature guitar models with Ibanez and Steinberger.
He had a distinctive style that incorporated complex chord progressions and intricate solos.
Fellow guitarists who praised him included Eddie Van Halen (‘To me, Allan Holdwsorth is number one’), Frank Zappa (‘One of the most interesting guys on guitar on the planet’) and Tom Morello (‘It was the first time I heard someone go outside of the expected melodic parameters, and that sounded fantastic to me’).
Credit: C. Fishel
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Year In Review:
For 2017, as of last week, Out of 12 Votes: 41.67% Annoying
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