I had a hard time answering this question myself... Usually I would say E.V.H., Satch or Vai due to the huge influences they had on my playing. But a good people know enough about them on here.
So I am going to direct my attention to John Sykes.
John Sykes is an absolutely incredible player, he could write some very, very tasty solos and tasty riffs! Plus his tone on the 1987 Whitesnake album is MASSIVE!
Plus the man could sing fairly well in his own band (Blue Murder Group).
It's a shame the man never got his credit due to him.
[VIDEO]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrT3XEATurs]Whitesnake - Bad Boys - YouTube[/VIDEO]
(1:38, Gnarly Solo)
[VIDEO]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhcsegzOpAg]Whitesnake - Still Of The Night - YouTube[/VIDEO]
So who is your favorite 80's Guitarist and why?
No fucking competition. None.