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Guaranteed Great Moments in Rock Guitar History

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There are so many greats moments throughout the history of rock guitar. Definitely far too many to fit into any sort of written recollection. Nevertheless, there are a few times in rock guitar history that are remembered more often than others as being amongst the greatest. So without further adieu, and in no specific order (how could you?), here's a few classic myths and moments in the pages of rock guitar history.


The Real Reason for Robert Johnson’s Success?


Robert Johnson was one of the greatest American blues musicians from the early 20th century to ever pick up a guitar. But was there a more sinister secret behind his hypnotic playing?

Thanks to his mastery of the Delta blues style (a prototype to rock and rock), he is often considered to be one of the most important musicians of all time. Rumor has it, however, that Johnson’s success was due to a trip to the crossroads where he allegedly sold his soul to the Devil. But you know the thing about rumours - you never know what the real story is.

Smashing, Isn't It?

As the ‘60s and ‘70s rolled around, merely being able to master the guitar wasn’t enough. Some musicians had to destroy their guitar to set themselves apart. In 1964, Pete Townshend became the first guitar smasher of the century when he accidentally smashed the headstock of a guitar into a low ceiling, breaking the headstock. After realizing he had broken it, he rolled with it and continued to smash his guitar into the ceiling, creating an intense and exciting moment for the crowd. It wasn’t until a few years later though that Townshend made this a part of his act with The Who.

Burn Baby Burn

While destroying instruments became a trend in rock and roll, smashing them wasn’t the only way to stand out. In 1967, Jimi Hendrix — arguably one of the best guitar players of all time — set his guitar on fire at the end of his set at the Monterey Pop Festival. Hendrix claimed that his destruction was a sacrifice. There’s no doubt that this act helped to bring Hendrix further into the spotlight as one of the most iconic rock stars from the 60s era - if not all time.


It's Electric

While guitar bashing and burning was a thing for some, other musicians favored other destructive methods. In 1974, Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple was so displeased with a decision to go on stage hours earlier than planned that he decided to soak his amps with gasoline, and smash a few guitars and amps. Little did he know that the amps would actually explode shortly afterwards, causing the stage to be set on fire. Deep Purple continued with the act and ended the set, despite the fire, however.



Reunited (And It Feels So Good)


Although legendary guitarist and songwriter Peter Frampton wasn’t known for smashing or burning guitars, his Gibson Les Paul was famously believed to have been burned in a cargo plane crash in 1980. According to Frampton, this guitar was the best one he had ever played; it was used on one of his most successful records, which became one of the best-selling live albums of all time. Turns out, the guitar was never actually destroyed. In 2011, after 31 years had passed, the guitar resurfaced, and Frampton was finally reunited with his beloved and iconic Gibson Les Paul.


rock guitar peter frampton


Pretty great yeah? Speaking of greatness, how about the time Paul Gilbert jammed with a bunch of his online guitar students from around the world? If you've never seen that one, check out the video below. Credit in part due to the ArtistWorks video editor to synched all these individual videos together to formulate this epic rock guitar jam:


ATTENTION GUITARISTS: Paul Gilbert wants to take your playing to the next level!

Click here for free sample lessons! 




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