Cochran makes list of greatest guitarists

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 5, 2003

He beat out Dave Davies of the Kinks and Robby Krieger of the Doors, and even though Eddie Cochran is only 84th on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, that’s not too shabby for the Albert Lea native, who is celebrated by a momument and festival in town.

The list, released in this month’s issue of Rolling Stone, contains Robert Johnson at number five, Frank Zappa at 44 and Jimi Hendrix at number one, but also Jack White of the White Stripes and Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, both in the top 20.

The list has caused mostly criticism on the Rolling Stone Web site, with posts suggesting that the list should have been called &uot;100 Guys That Play Guitar&uot; and another calling it a dumbing down of culture.

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But this list confirms what some in Albert Lea have said in the 50 years since rock-n-roll pioneer Eddie Cochran left his home of Albert at age 14.

&uot;Some-times people don’t realize someone is genius in his home town. He has to leave,&uot; Said Terry Cole, a childhood friend of Cochran’s and a big fan. He said Cochran’s guitar work had drive and aggression that surpassed many guitarists since. &uot;He was ahead of his time,&uot; Cole said.

He was not surprised that Cochran had made the list. He said Cochran would have gone far had he not died at 21.

&uot;He would have given Elvis a run for his money.&uot;

Elvis Presley, incidentally, did not make the list.

(Contact Tim Sturrock at or 379-3438.)