Jimi Hendrix's Pyromania And 5 Other Great Moments In Instrument Destruction

Categories: Lists, Miles-tones
hendrix burningguitar.jpg

We've all seen the famous footage of Jimi Hendrix humping, burning, and finally smashing his guitar to bits at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. What not many people realize is he initially performed this act of musical instrument immolation some months before, at the suggestion of writer Keith Altham, at London's Astoria Theater.

On this, the 43rd anniversary of that auspicious event, Rocks Off takes a look at other notable acts of destruction. No actual instruments were harmed in the writing of this piece.


The Who, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967)

Pete Townshend was the pioneer of guitar-smashing, but the band took the spectacle to new heights during this performance of "My Generation." Drummer Keith Moon had his bass drum overloaded with gunpowder, and the resulting explosion was the apparent beginning of Townshend's tinnitus. And possibly his baldness.


Paul Simonon (The Clash), The London Calling cover (1979)

This iconic photo was shot during a Clash performance at the Palladium in New York. Simonon is one of the few bass players to get in on the smashing act, though we can't imagine Joe Strummer was too fond of the practice.

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