[It's time for a breather from economics.]
Who deserves the title "Best Lead Guitarist Ever"?
Some of my friends and family members hold different opinions from mine, but they're wrong. Some of the names they've come up with are Buddy Guy, Slash, Eddie Van Halen, John Petrucci, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Jimi Hendrix, and Steve Vai. [One friend even picked Chet Atkins, believe it or not... but even though I admit Chet Atkins was pretty good, this is coming from the same guy who flunked art appreciation back in junior high school, and today cannot understand why Hollywood refuses to colorize the first and last ten minutes of The Wizard of Oz.]
Anyway, I'll end the suspense; the correct answer is:
Instead of trying to explain in words why SRV gets the title, I'll just post some evidence. The video below is a 2-fer, and the whole thing is great, but the first 2:36 will prove my point.
Strongly recommended before pressing the "play" button: Put on a good set of headphones.
There. That should take care of any lingering doubts. [With the probable exception of the guy who picked Chet Atkins.]