4
| Lists |

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

^
Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

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.

Jerry Lee Lewis, unknown

We wanted to show a clip of "The Killer" setting fire to a piano from one of his legendary (and possibly apocryphal) shows, but couldn't find any footage (aside from

this clip

from that lame Dennis Quaid movie). So here's

Mutemath's Paul Meany

doing his darndest to destroy his own keyboard. Keep trying, kid.

Win Butler (Arcade Fire), Saturday Night Live (2007)

According to front man Butler, a string broke halfway through the band's performance of "Intervention," leading to

this impromptu bit

of guitar smashery. It also didn't hurt that he apparently

hated the guitar

to begin with.

Nirvana, Live and Loud Concert (1993)

Nirvana was one of the last bands of note to fuck up their equipment with any frequency. And from the expression on Cobain's face at the end

of this clip

, you can tell he's totally enthused by this fact.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.