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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member stephan_l's Avatar
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    Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    Did he?

    On the known video footage it is hard for me to see if the guitars he smashes are real gibsons/bursts.

    Stephan
    Last edited by stephan_l; 11-21-14 at 06:25 AM. Reason: Deforce.....

  2. #2
    Administrator MikeSlub's Avatar
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    I don't think he ever destroyed a Burst. Teles, Strats, Gibson SGs, and LP Deluxes, yes.
    Mike Slubowski

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  3. #3
    All Access/Backstage Pass lpnv59's Avatar
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    No burst smashing. I don't think he ever owned a burst. He had a Junior Leslie West gave to him, which I don't think he smashed. He did smash up the old Gretsch 6120 Joe Walsh gave to him. He didn't destroy it. He did feel bad enough to have it repaired. Both these guitars were given to him around the time of recording Who's Next. The 6120 was the favored guitar on most of that album.
    "It's a Marshall bubby. It gets loud." Ace Frehley

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member Mahalo's Avatar
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    Quote Originally Posted by lpnv59 View Post
    No burst smashing. I don't think he ever owned a burst. He had a Junior Leslie West gave to him, which I don't think he smashed. He did smash up the old Gretsch 6120 Joe Walsh gave to him. He didn't destroy it. He did feel bad enough to have it repaired. Both these guitars were given to him around the time of recording Who's Next. The 6120 was the favored guitar on most of that album.
    I thought I read somewheres that he accidentally stepped on the Joe Walsh 6120 when it was on the floor of his home, rather than trashing it onstage.

  5. #5

    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    I heard a story years ago that he smashed a Burst when they recorded Live at Leeds. I never followed up on it.

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member Biggles58's Avatar
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    Pete used a SG Jr for Live at Leeds and for shows in the '69-'70 time frame didn't he? He then went the Les Paul Deluxe for most of the 70s. If he ever used a Sunburst on stage I'd be very surprised. However he did own at least one which is now owned by Noel Gallagher. At least that's what I read.

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member refin's Avatar
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    I read an interview with Entwistle years ago in GP where he said Pete threw a Lester up in the air that a roadie handed him (I think it was an encore) and looke in horror as it came down----he had just paid about $2000 for it.
    Who knows what THAT might have been?
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  8. #8

    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    The Beano Burst......

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member kharrison's Avatar
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    Quote Originally Posted by Biggles58 View Post
    Pete used a SG Jr for Live at Leeds and for shows in the '69-'70 time frame didn't he? He then went the Les Paul Deluxe for most of the 70s. If he ever used a Sunburst on stage I'd be very surprised. However he did own at least one which is now owned by Noel Gallagher. At least that's what I read.
    They were SG Specials from around 68 to 71 then gradually went to the Deluxe.

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member goldtop0's Avatar
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    Quote Originally Posted by wonkka View Post
    They were SG Specials from around 68 to 71 then gradually went to the Deluxe.

    A definite career move up in smashing Deluxe's

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member Plankspanker's Avatar
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    Rickenbackers were also favored fodder as the neck joint gave easily, I heard he destroyed a red Gibson V at an Atlanta concert.

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member 59gibson's Avatar
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    Quote Originally Posted by refin View Post
    I read an interview with Entwistle years ago in GP where he said Pete threw a Lester up in the air that a roadie handed him (I think it was an encore) and looke in horror as it came down----he had just paid about $2000 for it.
    Who knows what THAT might have been?
    I also remember that article and think that issue of GP featured the Entwistle collection. I remember the story about the roadie handing him a LP that he just paid big money (at that time) for and I thought it was a burst. However I could be wrong. I believe the instument suffered a broken headstock.

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member Billy Porter's Avatar
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    One of my colleagues who worked at Kitsons music store - Newcastle - sold Pete a Les Paul Custom. He was given 2 free tickets for that night and although not a Who fan, went along. To his horror Townsend smashed his new acquisition that night

    I believe this to be the same guitar

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  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member fjminor's Avatar
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    Quote Originally Posted by lpnv59 View Post
    No burst smashing. I don't think he ever owned a burst. He had a Junior Leslie West gave to him, which I don't think he smashed. He did smash up the old Gretsch 6120 Joe Walsh gave to him. He didn't destroy it. He did feel bad enough to have it repaired. Both these guitars were given to him around the time of recording Who's Next. The 6120 was the favored guitar on most of that album.
    To this day it is hard for me to believe that the Gretsch 6120 produced some of my favorite rock guitar sounds from that album.....

  15. #15
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    He use to come to Montreal and buy every used Fender Strat and Tele he could find at Jack's Music on Craig st. ( a local music/pawn shop) and they awould paint them all red. These were all 50s and 60s Fenders and every one got smashed.

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member skip62's Avatar
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    The pictures I've seen were tele's. I read somewhere he'd glue them back together and smash them again. Also the cabs that he shoved the guitar through were missing a speaker and that's were he shoved them. All hearsay on my part though.

  17. #17
    Les Paul Forum Member Jeff West's Avatar
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    There are onstage photos from SF, CA in '67 with a sunburst dot neck 335 which looks like it might have only moments to live.

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member J.D.'s Avatar
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    I always thought Townshend was so incredibly lame smashing all those perfectly good guitars. That, and the whole pedophile thing...

  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member Marti's Avatar
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    In the "I hope I die before I get old" book by Dave Marsh it says that the roadies would glue the guitars back together and hand them to him at the end of the show during the destruction. But in the Woodstock movie it looks like that sg special bites the dust!

  20. #20

    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    Quote Originally Posted by J.D. View Post
    I always thought Townshend was so incredibly lame smashing all those perfectly good guitars. That, and the whole pedophile thing...
    Paraphrased, that's pretty funny.

    "Hey, Pete, you're so incredibly lame for being a pedophile."

  21. #21
    All Access/Backstage Pass lpnv59's Avatar
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    You can call it what you want, think what you want. In his prime, he wrote some great songs that became anthems. ANd he played those songs like he meant every word. No one came close to out performing the Who. Hendrix would come close, but in the end, he himself admitted that for him it really was just a pose. For Pete it was not posturing, but performance art. I saw him smash an early 70's SG Special. It was a great dramatic moment that was a part of a great R&R show. A guitar is really just wood and wire, an inanimate object. And at that time, a fucking cheapo guitar. And those Norlin Deluxes that he used were shit IMO, and deserved to be smashed.

    The pedofile thing.....I don't know enough to comment without looking like I'm chasing Frankenstein down with a torch. I don't think anyone else here does either. But whatever that story is, it doesn't erase the genius of a song like "My Generation" which is still as relevant today, as it was the day it was written 40 plus years ago.
    Last edited by lpnv59; 09-02-07 at 01:17 PM.
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  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Member sidekick's Avatar
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    For some reason, (and I come from 'that' generation in the UK). I have my doubts that Pete Townshend was ever a pedophile. FWIW.... Not that type of guy, IMO.
    As for the reason of 'Pictures of Lily', (not the Lily here) that is a completely different matter....

    Some of my bandmates went to see The Who at The Royal Ballroom in Tottenham, North London UK just around the time of 'I Can See For Miles'. They did the usual smashing up of some gear at the close.... The only unwilling participant was John Entwistle, they told me. No Les Paul involved, as far as I am aware.


  23. #23
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    Quote Originally Posted by lpnv59 View Post
    The pedofile thing.....I don't know enough to comment without looking like I'm chasing Frankenstein down with a torch.
    The Kids Are Alright ?

  24. #24
    Les Paul Forum Member Marti's Avatar
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    For shear power no band has come close to THE WHO.
    Entwhistle was the fastest bass player in rock,he and moon ( when Keith was in his prime) were an awesome rhythm section, throw in Rogers vocals and Pete's song writting and guitar work.
    They epitomized the genre.
    Who cares that he broke a few guitars . There were bands around that should've had they're shit broken
    I don't think he smashed any burst tho

  25. #25
    Les Paul Forum Member Allen Collins's Avatar
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven View Post
    The Kids Are Alright ?
    BRAVO

    Only, could this have come from a Norwegian! WHO said Scandinavians have no sense of humour?
    Steven, you ARE the man.

  26. #26
    Les Paul Forum Member J.D.'s Avatar
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    I never argued his songwriting and playing ability. Unquestionably the Who was a great band. I just never got into the whole guitar smashing thing as 'performance art' or whatever. Maybe I'm just not sophisticated enough to get it.

    I'm not going to cast judgement on the whole pedophile thing, but nobody can argue it made national news. I never said he was a pedophile, but finding child porno on your personal computer IMO is QUITE LAME and certainly raises some very serious questions.

  27. #27
    Burst Detective! zorglub!'s Avatar
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    Quote Originally Posted by J.D. View Post
    I never said he was a pedophile, but finding child porno on your personal computer IMO is QUITE LAME and certainly raises some very serious questions.
    I would say the problem is when it does not raise those serious questions to some people.

  28. #28

    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    I was in a band that supported them, back in 66. Yes, they did all the guitar smashing stuff. From my memory, Pete's guitars were mainly Strats that night and the roadies were extremely careful to pick up all the pieces. They told me they salvaged what they could and remade the 'smashing' guitars for the next gig

  29. #29
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    I used to work in London, and my boss was a good friend of Chris Eccleshall who used to glue guitars back together for Pete Townshend to play and smash again and again until it was just a lost cause. At one time I could have bought a '64 Ricky export model 360-12 that had been smashed to pieces but I just didn't want it. I think that even with the gluing back together thing, he still smashed a hell of a lot of nice guitars.

  30. #30

    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    dont judge pete too harshly.my wife refers to the LPF,fender forum and all the mailorder guitar catalogs i recieve as "guitarist porn"...and of course i dont play as well as he does.

  31. #31
    Les Paul Forum Member J.D.'s Avatar
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    Quote Originally Posted by redcoats1976 View Post
    dont judge pete too harshly.my wife refers to the LPF,fender forum and all the mailorder guitar catalogs i recieve as "guitarist porn"...and of course i dont play as well as he does.
    I don't understand your logic

  32. #32
    Les Paul Forum Member Biggles58's Avatar
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    Quote Originally Posted by wonkka View Post
    They were SG Specials from around 68 to 71 then gradually went to the Deluxe.
    D'oh! Right you are Wonkka! Thanks for setting on the straight and narrow.

  33. #33
    Les Paul Forum Member fugazi's Avatar
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    OK, have to say it. Townsend has got to be the most overrated guitar "hero" of all time. The guy has always been a hack, IMO.

    And yes, the smashing of guitars at the end of shows is a cheesy gimmick, and Townsend is a wanker for doing it.

    /rant over

  34. #34
    Les Paul Forum Member Ad_02Std's Avatar
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    I learned to play because of Townshend. Whatever the paedophile thing was about, people that know more about it than we do dropped the charges, so I don't see how any of us can comment. I didn't much care for the guitar smashing thing either, but I could see where he was coming from. Anyway, he's a songwriting genius and a guitar innovator and there can't be many people writing on this forum that aren't influenced by him, directly or indirectly.

  35. #35
    Les Paul Forum Member Ad_02Std's Avatar
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    Quote Originally Posted by Biggles58 View Post
    However he did own at least one which is now owned by Noel Gallagher. At least that's what I read.
    I found the following quote in a Guitarist Icons - Les Paul tribute magazine:

    "I was given this Les Paul by Johnny Marr. It used to belong to Pete Townshend. I wrote 'Slide Away' within minutes of getting it."
    Noel Gallagher

    Pretty sure he's talking about the guitar pictured inside the sleeve of (What's The Story) Morning Glory. Haven't looked at it for years, but I'm almost certain it's a Burst.

  36. #36
    Les Paul Forum Member redb's Avatar
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    Quote Originally Posted by jin-jin View Post
    The Beano Burst......
    I almost fell out of my chair laughing when I read that.

    As for breaking sunbursts, well for one there went all that many made, so I doubt he had a bunch of extras lying around, and for two, a guitar with long neck tennon that registers up in the 9-11lb range seems like a poor choice for smashing.

  37. #37

    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    Quote Originally Posted by fugazi View Post
    OK, have to say it. Townsend has got to be the most overrated guitar "hero" of all time. The guy has always been a hack, IMO.

    And yes, the smashing of guitars at the end of shows is a cheesy gimmick, and Townsend is a wanker for doing it.

    /rant over
    As cheesy as Hendrix with his lighter?



    Come on the chap was an entertainer. Whether you like him or not, many did.

  38. #38
    Les Paul Forum Member huw's Avatar
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ad_02Std View Post
    Whatever the paedophile thing was about, people that know more about it than we do dropped the charges...
    +1

    I think it's interesting to compare Pete's case to that of Chris Langham, a famous tv comic here in the UK, who has recently been tried and convicted on a similar issue.

    Langham was, very publicly, taken through the courts, his career trashed, and found guilty. The tabloid press had a field day.

    Townshend was investigated, told that he'd been an idiot, and not charged. The press (and rumour has it that our "gutter press" is the sleaziest in the world) dropped it.

    To me that says there was no story.
    Originally posted by 58burst..."I don't really understand why a 15k guitar might be "too expensive to use on a gig."
    Many of us use cars worth more than that every day in traffic..."

  39. #39
    Les Paul Forum Member sidekick's Avatar
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    Quote Originally Posted by fugazi View Post
    OK, have to say it. Townsend has got to be the most overrated guitar "hero" of all time. The guy has always been a hack, IMO.

    And yes, the smashing of guitars at the end of shows is a cheesy gimmick, and Townsend is a wanker for doing it.

    /rant over
    Don't think that Pete Townshend has ever really thought of himself a guitar 'hero'.... Remember reading a Jeff Beck interview where he was told: "Peter Townshend says he wishes he could play the guitar as good as you"... "Really", (JB replied) "I wish I could write a song as good as Pete Townshend".... It is probably more a media thing that has 'elevated' PT as a guitar 'hero', although to some, he probably is.

    Saw The Who live at the Royal Albert Hall in London. It was a while before John Entwistle died. Pete Townshend mainly playing his Clapton Strat? The nearest he got to bashing a guitar is when he changed to another, (Strat) thumped the back of it and said something like: "See this.... a good old American guitar"....


  40. #40
    In the Zone/Backstage Pass moonpie's Avatar
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    Re: Did Pete Townshend destroyed real bursts in the 60´?

    I read an interview with PT where he was asked about his legendary guitar player status. His response was there were plenty of guitar legends around, but he didn't consider himself one.

    He summed it up by saying he was just an old fart trying to make a living playing guitar.



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