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Who invented the 'smashing your guitar ' technique?
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Default Who invented the 'smashing your guitar ' technique? - 06-15-2008, 02:34 PM

Smashing a $3000 guitar is fun and healthy for everyone! It's the ultimate solution for the pissed off rocker with an attitude, this is how one manages his anger... it thrills the audience and puts a smile on everyone's face, with the crowd chanting "Destroy!" "Destroy!".

Well, not really. I actually feel sick when I see such a beautiful and expensive instrument destroyed onstage (my avatar actually mocks this deed), it gives me this ill feeling like "why didn't he just give the guitar to me". Which just consumes me more with hopelessness. Okay, maybe I am being a bit melodramatic. But who enjoys watching a $3000 piece of art (precision guitar) getting shredded to pieces like string cheese on a hot day? Yeah, yeah, it's the onstage show biz, right? For me, and for show biz, I'd rather see Gene Simmons spit blood and shoot fire out of his ass... but that's just me.

With that said, Pete Townshend is the Godfather of smashing guitars! He made an art of it.. and this leads me to the question as to how can he afford this? Okay, professional musicians (The Who) make a damn good income. But even at a couple grand a pop, that adds up, right? Well My guess is 'maybe' Fender and Gibson sponsor the guitars? Or maybe the guitar is actually worth more reformed into fine shreds of toothpicks? Well, this could be the case. I have found some photos of some of these 'useless' slabs of wood [guitars] in glass cases. A Pete Townshend autographed smashed guitar could sell for upper thousands! Who would have thunk it? A smashed to bits, what was, a beautiful and playable instrument is now worth more than brand new....





And here is a Video of The Godfather (Pete Townshend) smashing his last Fender on 07.24.2004 at Tokyo, Yokahama Stadium. I believe this was the last guitar he destroyed on stage. He now only destroys guitars for charity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e8mdm7JKcQ




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Re: Who invented the 'smashing your guitar ' technique?
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Default Re: Who invented the 'smashing your guitar ' technique? - 06-15-2008, 03:45 PM

Despite being a punk rocker and a huge Pete/Who fan, this whole smashing business has always bugged me. Reportedly it began with Pete actually really pissed off at a guitar for some reason or other, then people began to expect it as part of the show.

Culminating in the infamous Smothers Brothers TV show pyro incident in the US, where several different people, all unbeknownst to each other, put extra explosives in Keith's kit for a planned blow-up at the end of the song. Result: band members bloodied from shrapnel and Pete deaf in one ear for a time.

God I love rock and roll.
  
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Default Re: Who invented the 'smashing your guitar ' technique? - 06-15-2008, 04:03 PM

Is that what this photo is about?
Damn, Rock and Roll is great, isn't it. =)



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Default Re: Who invented the 'smashing your guitar ' technique? - 06-15-2008, 04:16 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSandMan
Is that what this photo is about?

I don't think so, but this is:

  
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Default Re: Who invented the 'smashing your guitar ' technique? - 06-16-2008, 01:12 AM

Quote:
Reportedly it began with Pete actually really pissed off at a guitar for some reason or other
not entirely accurate :-O i know i'm being an ass here, but the first guitar to die at the hands of pete was a fender telecaster and it was because he was pissed off at roger not the guitar ;-)

i don't think anyone has ever really destroyed a 3k guitar, most of the destructo guitars are cheapies, and get glued back together to get destroyed later.... keep in mind that in teh 60's a gibson SG could be had for 200 dollars


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Default Re: Who invented the 'smashing your guitar ' technique? - 06-16-2008, 01:58 AM

c'mon floyd, in 1935 one could buy a brand new Ford hot off the assembly line for $550 bucks (my grandpa paid $446 for his car).

In 1960 a brand new car was $2000. A gallon of gas was .30 cents and minimum wage was $1.00. That $200 Fender Strat could buy 667 gallons of gas. Today 667 gallons of gas @ $4.14 per gallon = $2761.38.

With that said, minimum wage in Michigan is $7.15 per hour (going up to $7.75 per hour soon) will take a minimum wage worker 5.76 pay checks @ 40 hrs to buy a USA Fender. In 1960 it would have taken a minimum wage worker 5 weeks.

So I wasn't really that far off, fucker!


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Default Re: Who invented the 'smashing your guitar ' technique? - 06-16-2008, 07:56 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by floydmoline
Quote:
Reportedly it began with Pete actually really pissed off at a guitar for some reason or other
not entirely accurate :-O i know i'm being an ass here, but the first guitar to die at the hands of pete was a fender telecaster and it was because he was pissed off at roger not the guitar ;-)
You're not being an ass!

But you are wrong. The first time Pete destroyed a guitar onstage was because they were playing a venue with an extremely low ceiling and he accidently hit the headstock into the celing, cracking the neck/headstock. He got so pissed off he then smashed the guitar. You could look it up. Wikipedia:

The first incident of guitar-smashing was brought about because Townshend accidentally smashed his guitar on the low roof of an early concert venue. He was so enraged at cracking the neck of his guitar that he systematically destroyed the rest of his kit, bringing the already uneasy show to an abrupt end.

Same story on thewho.net, which is pretty fanatical about accuracy, dated as ~ Sept. 8 1964:

His first public guitar smashing, where he cracked the headstock of his guitar on a low ceiling, pulling it out and realizing the damage, he smashed the remainder in disgust, then turned to pick up his Rick 12 and continued playing. The next gig at the Railway, the crowd expected him to smash a guitar again.

Pete: (After cracking the headstock) I was expecting everybody to go, “Wow, he’s broken his guitar, he’s broken his guitar,” but nobody did anything, which made me kind of angry in a way. And determined to get this precious event noticed by the audience. I proceeded to make a big thing of breaking the guitar. I bounced all over the stage with it and I threw the bits on the stage and I picked up my spare guitar and carried on as though I really had meant to do it.


And Chaz beat me to it about taking inflation of guitar prices into account.
  
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Default Re: Who invented the 'smashing your guitar ' technique? - 06-16-2008, 07:56 PM

as far as inflation goes, the guitar destroyed in 1960 was only worth what it was worth in 1960...... a comparision would be like worrying about someone smashing a squire stratocaster today...... i doubt you'd think twice about the value of a squire as someone was smashing it, you'd be like ehh it's a squire who cares, same was true to cheap guitars, in 1967 a 1967 strat wasn't worth a whole lot you could get them all day long at any guitar shop they were common and cheap, they didn't become worth a significant amount until they got older, and i seriously doubt that pete for example thought his SGs would be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars today, or that a generic 1967 used fender strat would be worth 30K...... i will garuntee you will NOT see a modern player destroy a 3k Les paul on stage..... i dare anyone to find me a youtube video that shows someone destroying a expensive guitar on purpose..... squires, epiphone, off branders, etc maybe, but nothing worth more than 1k is getting purpousely destroyed i'm certain of that...... even rich people know the value of a dollar


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Default Re: Who invented the 'smashing your guitar ' technique? - 06-16-2008, 08:59 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by floydmoline
as far as inflation goes, the guitar destroyed in 1960 was only worth what it was worth in 1960...... a comparision would be like worrying about someone smashing a squire stratocaster today...... i doubt you'd think twice about the value of a squire as someone was smashing it, you'd be like ehh it's a squire who cares, same was true to cheap guitars, in 1967 a 1967 strat wasn't worth a whole lot you could get them all day long at any guitar shop they were common and cheap
Wow. This is totally wrong.

Of course Pete didn't know his guitars would become collectable. But the value of the dollar is only meaningful in comparison to what it will buy. People made a lot less back then. The guitars Pete was smashing were top of the line guitars, some of the best available. In fact, some, like his Rose-Morrises, were already somewhat rare (Rose-Morris was the UK distributor for Ric, which were very difficult to obtain in the UK).

Chaz's analysis of this was right.

  
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Re: Who invented the 'smashing your guitar ' technique?
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Default Re: Who invented the 'smashing your guitar ' technique? - 06-21-2008, 05:13 AM

Your all wrong. I invented it ! Smashed a Jackson USA Rhoads, Gibby Les Paul Black Beauty, and a few other "cheapos' in my time. Really regretted smashing the Jackson, not so with the Gibby, I thought it sucked at the time.


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