“Guitar” (1991) is the ultimate love letter to the instrument, hosted by Jeffrey “Skunk” Baxter of Fleetwood Mac and Doobie Brothers fame.

It’s the best documentary on guitar I’ve seen…by far!

Jeff Baxter interviews nearly 30 guitar legends about their relationship to the guitar.

There’s even a 500-man jam session of “Johnny B. Goode” that’s pure magic.

I currently rank it #1 in my list of Best Guitar Documentaries (I’m up to 10 and counting!).

Watch “Guitar”

You can watch “Guitar” for free on YouTube by clicking the video embed above or here:

A backup link to watch it for free is (it’s lower quality).

I don’t see any other streaming options for the doc.

I do see 2 places that periodically sell the VHS version of “Guitar”:


  • My Rating: 97/100
  • IMDB Rating: 8.4/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Ratings: na

Release Date: 1991 (through Warner Brothers VHS)

My Review of “Guitar”

The first 3 minutes & 45 seconds is a general overview of “what is the guitar?”

But it’s what comes next that’s the real juice.

Skunk visits legendary guitarists around the globe.

Here ‘s a break down with time stamps:

  • At 3:49, Skunk visits Brian Setzer for an interview and duet.
  • Steve Lukather (Toto) at 6:04 talks about the solo of “I Saw Her Standing There”. He played it at 11 years old and the girls started screaming.
  • Comedian Sam Kinison at 7:34 mark (I had no idea he could play guitar that well!)
  • Bert Weedon (9:23) — he wrote the book “Play in a Day” which was read by British guitarists like Pete Townsend, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Mark Knopfler (cost 4 shillings and 6 pence back in the day). Then, Skunk tricks Weedon into teaching a new guitar student (who turns out to be Knopfler!). Knopfler plays his steel guitar and an acoustic. Great Knopfler quote: “Great quote: “I know what Fender catalogs smell like it…I used to smell the paper” — Mark Knopfler.”
  • At 18:30, they pay a visit to Tony Iomi of Black Sabbath. He shares how the ends of 3 of his fingers got cut off in a metal working job. He was going to give up playing guitar until one of the managers gave him an album of Django Reinhardt and said “he’s only got two fingers”.
  • David Gilmour at 20:50 in Abbey Road Studios. It’s so refreshing to hear his unique sound.
  • Thomas McRockland at 22:42. Stevie Vai calls this then-11 year old “The Mozart of Guitar”
  • At 24:40 — Skunk visits 48th street between 6th and 7th Avenue for top music shops like Sam Ash, Rudy’s Guitars (used to be Jimmy’s Music Shop) and We Buy Guitars.
  • Les Paul’s unique harmonic sound at 25:20 at Fat Tuesdays in New York City.
  • Brian May of Queen visits Les Paul’s club at 27:45 for a nice jam of a slow tune. May says “I’m very obsessed with sound. My nightmare is to go on stage and…if it doesn’t sound right…I’ve lost my voice.”
  • Al Dimeola’s acoustic playing at 30:32 (playing with Skunk Baxter)
  • Chet Atkin’s at 35 min. mark at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville (he’s playing “Train Train” with Steve Krop)
  • At 37 min., you get a tour of the Gibson guitar factory in Nashville, TN.
  • At 38 min. mark, they visit Eric Johnson in Austin, TX where Johnson plays acoustic with Skunk (this might be the best duet of the entire documentary).
  • The jam between Skunk Baxter and Joe Satriani at 40:32 is tight
  • At 45:11, Joe Walsh says “I can’t stand not playing guitar…it’s as good as sex, if not better”
  • B.B. King — At 43:27, Skunk rehearses with B.B. at a telethon audition. The Thrill is Gone!
  • At 44:52, Jan Kuehnemund is interviewed.
  • Lindsey Buckingham plays at 46 min. mark. Wow, what a cool sound Buckingham creates.
  • At 46:55, Stephen Stills tells the story of how playing lead guitar meant you could show up late to practice and walk away with chicks.
  • Great Sam Kinison quote at 47:28: “You’re going to get laid a lot more playing the guitar than the piano, you know what I mean?”
  • At 50 min, Jennifer Batten says the guitar is her “pacifier”
  • The 500 Man jam at 50:43 (Jonny B. Goode!) — I love how the unique guitarists stand out in this. Like Brian Setzer (doesn’t have to be the fastest — he’s just himself. And Tommy Todesco’s mandolin jam is unique too. And then the bass solo by John Entwistle. This was at the Musicians Institute of Technology in Hollywood.
  • Baxter wraps up trying to answer ‘what a guitar is’. Then he plays a little ditty at 58:20.

Director: Clark Santee

“Guitar” was directed by Clark Santee. Check out his other cool directorial credits:

Frank Zappa’s legendary Halloween Concert at the New York Palladium and Lou Reed at the Bottom Line. At CBS, he directed The Song Writers, a mini-series on the work of Broadway composers, and for NBC directed Kenny Rogers Classic Weekend special; PBS’ The Great Performances’, A Beatles Songbook concertand Jazz at the Smithsonian series.

He also was responsible for the TV portions of Martin Scorsese’s feature film, The King of Comedy; America’s Jr. Miss Pageant, Farm Aid, and both the Dove Awards and the W. C. Handy Blues Awards; Graffiti Rock, Austin City Limits, Mr Roger’s Neighborhood and the Barney TV show).

Thanks for reading!

Rob Kelly, Chief Maniac, Daily Doc