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Gilliangirl

Smashing guitars for attention


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Okay' date=' in response to the recent 'smashing guitars' issue, what are your thoughts, once and for all![/quote']

 

Well, to be truthful, I thought it was a very disrespectful thing to do. I know It is all part of Rocking Roll and the attitude of the artist smashing his/her guitar. It is their guitar. So they should be able to do what every they want too. Whether we like it or not, that being said, I would never smash any of my guitars. Also, why would anybody want too smash a prefect good guitar in the first place.

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A few years back I smashed a Chinese classical. Didn't MEAN to, I just whacked it against the floor to emphasize whatever rant I was on and it exploded.

 

Back in '85 I pumped a whole bunch of lead into a Greco hollow body that was hanging on the wall. That was a bad night. Elvis shot TVs, I shot Japanese electrics. There may have been alcohol involved, I don't recall.

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I said I wouldn't smash any guitar' date=' but than again, I have never owned an Estaban! '](*,)

 

you may be in luck. i think estaban just released an instructional video on this very topic.

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you may be in luck. i think esaban just released an instructional video on this very topic.

 

I'll bet they run it on late night TV soon then, hosted by the Man who would be Zorro!

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Most of the guitars smashed on stage are old wrecks bought for the show. The crowd, not knowing that, is set a bad example regardless. The rare occasions when a good guitar is trashed are just a real shame. Some poor player someplace could have benefited more, and what an insult to the craftsmen and women who built it.

 

Whenever I see a guitar smashed in to pieces I am reminded of Victor Jara, Chilean folk-singer guitarist and University teacher, who was coming up to his 41st birthday in 1973.

 

Shortly after the U.S. backed Chilean coup of September 11 1973 which overthrew the democratically ellected Allende government, he was arrested, held prisoner with several thousand others in the Chile Stadium, Santiago, tortured and ultimately machine gunned to death (34 bullets) - his body was later thrown out into the street of a shanty town in Santiago. His fingers had been methodically broken.

 

Fellow prisoners who survived have testified that his captors, having broken his fingers, mockingly suggested that he play guitar for them as he lay on the ground. In response, he sang them a song, through the pain of his broken ribs, about freedom.

 

I always think that today it's a guitar, tomorrow - who knows?

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Smashing a guitar for attention might be understandable for a ****** kid who doesn't know the value of anything, or as a symptom of his/her own terminal self-absorption. It becomes a really grotesque and vacuous parody, when the person smashing the guitar is in their mid 60s. It's never too late to grow up. So grow up.

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Townsend is a rank amateur compared to my five year old daughter.

 

BTW, anyone see the story that a guitar Hendrix set on fire during one of his gigs in England is going to hit the auction block. It is expected to fetch over 1 million.

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Townsend is a rank amateur compared to my five year old daughter.

 

BTW' date=' anyone see the story that a guitar Hendrix set on fire during one of his gigs in England is going to hit the auction block. It is expected to fetch over 1 million. [/quote']

 

yes, i did read that ....and apparently, steven stills just happened to find master tapes for an album just lying around he recorded with jimmy in 1970.

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And Jackie Gleason just happened to find several episodes of the Honeymooners that never aired, 25 years after the fact.

 

I have a couple reel tapes of my band from 1986; if any of them ever get famous I can release it.

 

Well, a more likely scenario would be for them to pay me NOT to release it.

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Very Philospohical ... I think how a person answers this (assuming they have a basic understanding of the question and it's relevance) would be a strong indication of their entire value system. There is the " 'Possesion is Nine Parts of the Law', therfore, since it's their guitar, they can do what they want" answer. However, consider the Chilean socialist thugs that stole the country from its people - eliminating its democratic leaders, including a harmless musician. People like that have exited for centuries and will continue to. They are a lower life form - wolves in sheeps clothing. So a musician who wants to send a message 'to the masses' (read 'audience') by destroying the symbol of the music they paid to hear - is really just an example of an ego looking to impress and control those who are easily impressed. Somehow, I can't imagine Bob Dylan smashing his J45. Or any one of 1,000 other artists we here respect. The 2% that do smash a guitar - any guitar, are not worth a pitcher of warm spit. Jim

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Rick Garett and 40yrspickin' pretty much sum up how I feel about it also. There's a quote in a book titled "Golf In The Kingdom" where the hero describes someone who doesn't replace their divots. The man's name is Shivas Irons, perfect name for a Scottish golf pro who studies philosophy and theology in the off season. He says, "Everyone in the club knows the man who doesn't replace his divots and can only wonder how he conducts the rest of his life." So, I wonder how Pete Townshend conducts the rest of his life!

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Good one, TW!. The whole disposable product attitude implied in such an act is disturbing. Can you imagine Rev. Gary Davis, or any other real guitar player, carrying on so?

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BTW' date=' anyone see the story that a guitar Hendrix set on fire during one of his gigs in England is going to hit the auction block. It is expected to fetch over 1 million. [/quote']

 

Do you know who is the present owner of Hedrix's guitar? I pretty sure at one point it was owned by Frank Zappa.

 

As far as smashing guitars... Hey, it's their instrument. Do as you please. I'm more disgusted by seeing vintage cars destroyed in movies. Those are irreplaceable (did I spell that right?).

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you may be in luck. i think estaban just released an instructional video on this very topic.

 

You been looking on the "top shelf" again?

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I would never smash a guitar. Never. I would have to be a mad dog to do that.

 

But I would eat your homework. Or that hit song you just wrote down. Ah-ooooooooo.

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Rick Garett and 40yrspickin' pretty much sum up how I feel about it also. There's a quote in a book titled "Golf In The Kingdom" where the hero describes someone who doesn't replace their divots. The man's name is Shivas Irons' date=' perfect name for a Scottish golf pro who studies philosophy and theology in the off season. He says, "Everyone in the club knows the man who doesn't replace his divots and can only wonder how he conducts the rest of his life." So, I wonder how Pete Townshend conducts the rest of his life![/size']

 

For the record, I've never understood why, don't agree with it and would never do it myself.

 

However, I have been a fan of The Who since I was about 14 (1976) and still am. They have been the single biggest influence to me musically in my life. Pete Townshend is the reason I started to play the guitar at a time when I was playing trombone in my School orchestra. I suspect he is the reason why many other people far more talented than I, also picked up a guitar. I couldn't imagine not playing the guitar now, so for that I'm forever in his debt.

 

Doubtless he would seem to have a "flaw" (if that's the correct expression). But there are a number of teenagers in various cancer wards in the UK who may disagree. He spends a great deal of his time these days, along with Roger Daltry, raising money for The Teenage Cancer Trust, with help from a wide variety of other musicians. Google it if you're interested to find out more. This perhaps shows how he conducts at least part of his life now.

 

Of course he is not alone and many many celebrities do the same thing with little or no publicity. He is far from unique in this respect.

 

As has been said before, if part of one of his destroyed Gibsons raises some money for his charity, then who are we to say this is wrong. Rightly or wrongly, he is famous for this and therefore can take advantage of his position.

 

He is still my favourite guitarist - again a matter of opinion.

 

" I got a Gibson, without a case

But I can't get that even tanned look on my face"

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I think part of Townsend's thing comes from the whole anti-materialism mindset in the 60s. What I mean is, from a cultural standpoint it went hand in hand with driving the Rolls into the swimming pool or trashing a hotel room. It was a backlash against the depression generation (their parents!) who grew up with nothing and therefore placed more importance on material things.

 

Interesting to note however, that the only instances I've heard of doing Townsend type antics are the ones with money to burn. I don't know of many teenagers in 1966 trashing their Silvertones at the high school dance for effect.

 

But casting aside any theories of cultural behavior I may have, I think there's something flawed in someone's brain when they actually feel GOOD watching something of value be destroyed. I put them in the same category as the guy who HAS to pass you before the next red light or the person who actually laughs at toddlers who fall off the swings on America's Funniest Home Videos. There's something sick and twisted there and it goes way beyond crowd pleasing or whether it's a Ren-signed "#1 of 1" Super-SJ-Dove-Bird or a First Act from WalMart being smashed.

 

I used to joke about me being half a bubble off plumb. Now I'm convinced I'm more lucid than a lot of rich music stars.

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I have no love for Townsend as a guiatrist but great respect for him as a songwriter as I have said (IMHO)before.

 

 

But why is PP getting all the stick here?

 

 

The following have all publically smashed their guitars

 

one Jeff Beck

one Jimmy Page

one Keith Richard

one James Hendrix

 

one Joe Perry

"Taking a guitar you love and wrecking it is

incredibly exciting. It's the ultimate statement of

anarchy," says Joe Perry of Aerosmith.

 

one Billy Gibbons

"You're trying to shatter the audience's mind, so why

not start with the tangible: the guitar?" says ZZ

Top's Billy Gibbons.

 

One Jimmy Vaughan!

"It was so cool because it was so wrong," says

Vaughan, whose band, the Chessmen, opened for Jimi

Hendrix at SMU in 1968. "We couldn't afford to break

our own guitars, so we'd get a lousy one and break it

onstage just to see if we could do it."

 

Paul Simonon of the Clash is seen crushing a bass

guitar on the cover of "London Calling" (1979). And in

the '90s, alternative rockers such as Sonic Youth and

Pearl Jam fractured their guitars for audiences

 

Then you have the contary positions from other guitar "gods"

 

"To me, it's show biz. I don't see much value to it,

to be honest," says Eric Clapton.

 

"I once smashed a guitar onstage in pure rage because

I got an electric shock that scared the living

daylights out of me. But as soon as I did it, I

regretted it. It was my favorite guitar, and even

after I repaired it, it was never the same."

 

"I've never even tried it," says Carlos Santana. "I'll

sacrifice other things, but not my guitar."

 

 

 

 

So having perhaps gone a tiny way towards justifying Townsend's position the prat has to say

"To me, it wasn't violence or random destruction,"

Townshend said. "It was art."

 

This lot was all extracted from

 

http://www.igtc.com/pipermail/thewho/2004-June/000858.html

 

Not from my memory banks

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I thought everyone knew the story of how this all came to be. It's well documented.

 

According to Townsend himself, it all began by accident. way, way, back when they were still unknown, they were playing a small club when Townsend, forgetting about the low ceilings in the club, accidentally stuck the neck through the ceiling. The ceiling began to collapse around them, as the crowd went nuts, they continued to play without skipping a beat. After that "accident", seeing and hearing the crowds reaction, it became a staple of almost every performance. The audiences expected it. Being art school students, they began to see it as a performance art sort of thing.

 

Now that he has aged and somewhat mellowed, it's anyone's guess as to why he does it.

 

KSDaddy is also right. It was a totally different mindset back then. These were kids who at the time didn't give a fu@k about anything society had to sell them ideology wise that is. Also remember that Gibson's, Ricks, Fenders, Martin's, ect. didn't have the following they now enjoy. They were just guitars. At the time a good Gibby could be had for $200.00. They were NOT collectible works of art.

 

I'm not going to defend why he beat the hell out of his guitars. When I was a kid, it made me sick as hell to watch him do that. It still does. But I like to think I certainly understand why it happened a little better.

 

 

(For the record Rick, I'm not mad. Never was. Just of a different opinion.)

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Just to support LSG

 

Full quote from link previously posted

 

Like so many inventions, guitar demolition began as an

accident. In 1964, during a show at London's Railway

Station nightclub, Townshend began waving and jerking

his electric Rickenbacker to try to make it stop

whistling. He banged it on the club's low ceiling,

impressing one fan so much he asked the guitarist to

do it again in the second set.

 

When he did, the guitar snapped in half, stunning both

the crowd and Townshend.

 

"I had no recourse but to look as though I meant to do

it, so I smashed the guitar and jumped all over the

bits ... it gave me a fantastic buzz," he said in the

Who biography "Before I Get Old."

 

The London press got wind of the smash-up and

dispatched photographers. Thrilled by the notoriety,

Townshend began obliterating guitars regularly,

telling reporters it was his statement of

antimaterialism and comparing himself to German

autodestruct artists who built sculptures designed to

collapse.

 

"To me, it wasn't violence or random destruction,"

Townshend said. "It was art."

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I've seen Kid Rock and Garth Brooks smash them too, so I guess it's not limited to the 60s. Kid Rock may have been upset when he found out Ms. Plastic Boobs Anderson has hepatitis, Garth, well, I have male pattern baldness too but smashing guitars won't compensate for it.

 

Yes, I'm in a p1ssy mood today. I just got done being beat up by a millionaire farmer who decided to rag on a lowly government employee because we don't have hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy him more irrigation systems. Yes sir, Mr Farmer, cry all the way home in your $60,000 Eddie Bauer pickup. I'll muddle through the rest of the day on my 2003 laptop and then drive my 1982 pickup home to my $13,000 house so I can spend the next hour deciding which to open first, the tuition bill for my daughter or the disconnect notice from the light company.

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