There’s nothing like smashing a guitar or other musical instruments onstage to get the crowd to go into a frenzy. It is always a crowd pleaser especially if your in the front row and by chance that music artist has a great habit of throwing the pieces to the music audience.
Matthew Bellamy – Muse
Matthew Bellamy has the Guinness World Record at breaking the most guitars in one tour, with a total of 140.
Kurt Cobain – Nirvana
Nirvana’s live shows were really energetic, and Kurt Cobain made an art form out of guitar destruction, expressing his anger and feeling of the moment during the band’s live performances. It is worth noting that often the drums, amps and other gear were also completely destroyed by the end of the band’s concerts. Also, perhaps the most famous guitar the Nirvana frontman destroyed was a Fender Stratocaster built in Japan, which he smashed while in the studio recording “Endless, Nameless” on “Nevermind.”
Paul Stanley – Kiss
Paul Stanley has been approximately smashing guitars since late 1975/early 1976. He has approximately smashed around 1560 guitars.
In the beginning Paul started smashing as the guitars were, just a guitar, but smashing a guitar is not easy seeing a good guitar is a good solid build and really sturdy and can withstand a beating! And it certainly can’t be safe for people near the stage as parts can fly off, so later on he would get guitars that were sawed about 50% through the neck so they break easier and with unnecessary parts removed like volume knobs, even complete fake guitars were used once with no strings, knobs, bridge, electrical at all.
Ritchie Blackmore – Rainbow
Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple and Rainbow smashed guitars in performance through the 1970s.
Jimi Hendrix – The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Jimi Hendrix was also known for destroying his guitars and amps. He burned two guitars at three shows, most notably the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. In an effort to out-do The Who’s destruction of their instruments earlier at the same event, Hendrix poured lighter fluid over his guitar and set it on fire, even though “I’d just finished painting it that day” as he would later remark. This guitar smash went on to become one of the most indelible images of the rock music history.
Pete Townsend – The Who
Rock guitarist Pete Townshend from The Who was the very first guitar-smashing musician. He smashed his Rickenbacker guitar at the Railway Tavern in Harrow and Wealdstone in September 1964. Pete has “auto-destructed” his guitar too many times to count. According to an analysis by TheWho.net, Townshend broke more than 35 guitars in 1967 alone.