Although a contemporary and friend of Dylan and the Stones, Roger McGuinn doesn't have their stature, despite being almost as influential. His chiming 12-string Rickenbacker is indelibly imprinted upon rock's psyche, influencing an array of artists, including Big Star, Tom Petty, R.E.M., the Smiths, and the Wedding Present. His band, the Byrds, created folk-rock and presaged the alt-country movement. In the late '60s, he brought on Gram Parsons and forged, on Sweetheart of the Rodeo, an early blueprint of the seminal country-rock style Parsons would create with the Flying Burrito Brothers.
The Byrds petered out in the early '70s, after a series of departures left McGuinn with a band that was better onstage than on record. After taking the '80s off, McGuinn made a successful solo comeback with Back to Rio. Of late, he's gone DIY, releasing a four-CD set of acoustic folk standards that he's been recording and posting on his website since the mid-'90s, as well as a new album, Limited Edition, which takes his electric guitar out of the closet and reaches back to his folk-rock roots.