17. Mitch Mitchell and Tobin Sprout—Guided By Voices
The thing about playing guitar in Guided By Voices is you’re going to be doing it more or less constantly, since Robert Pollard writes dozens of songs a day and doesn’t really have any way to accompany himself other than a surrounding rock band. Mitch Mitchell and Tobin Sprout—not the only men to ever play guitar in GBV but surely the most definitive—play as if they know all too well that quantity is the dominant property here. No song sounds like they’re trying too hard, and that’s a big part of the band’s appeal; the casual performance of just another GBV song invites the listener in to define it on his or her own terms. Of course Mitchell and Sprout occasionally rise to a big rock moment like Alien Lanes’ “Motor Away,” but even this is over almost as soon as it begins.