By Denny Lomax
(Las Vegas, NV) Many legendary artists have done it… from Hendrix and Townsend to Kiss and Cobain. That’s right – We’re talking about the smashing of guitars on stage. In the ’60s, there was nothing more shocking than witnessing a mind-blowing performance from an iconic guitarist only to have them punctuate it by smashing their beloved instrument to smithereens.
Over the years, instrument smashing has become an integral part of rock and roll – synonymous with performance, in both impact and flair, and has been documented hundreds of thousands of times. So much to the point that most people simply take it for granted. Not only that- It’s become expected and in most cases considered, well, frankly, played.
However – originality aside – in modern times, audiences’ perception of the time-honored rock and roll tradition has taken a dramatic turn. Once celebrated, the sacrificial ritual of smashing a guitar on stage (or off) has taken a divisive tone. Or even worse, offensive. Of course, this all came as a surprise to the marketing team over at Chibson USA.
“In our wildest would we have ever dreamt of guitarists taking offense to a good
ole fashion guitar smashing,” a Chibson representative told Buzz Magazine. “We were under the impression that the cherished custom had been passed on to the younger generation of guitar players. But apparently, it’s become a ‘boomer’ thing that old rich people do. Who knew?”
Chibson USA would find that out the hard way when they released what internally was seen as a fun, feel-good ad featuring some, in their terms, “light to moderate” guitar smashing of its own. Instantly, the video was met with a backlash of criticism from their audience. Chibson defended the ad stating the following: “We thought if you gave a cheap axe to a group of bored and naturally destructive kids and let ’em have at it, it would not only make a great video but would resonate with the fans. Turns out, we were right- Kids really do like smashing guitars- They just don’t like watching guitars being smashed.”
Comments like “they could have donated that guitar to someone who could use it” or “why don’t they just fix it up and play it” flooded the Chibson social media feeds. “All valid points,” Chibson bolstered. “Thing of it is- full transparency- we forgot to hit record on the kids anyway and had to go with stock. So, don’t be gettin’ all bent out of shape over footage that’s not only four years old, but also footage we didn’t even pay for, let alone shoot.”
It seems everything’s been flipped on its head, and newer generations are simply turned off by guitar smashing all together. And we mean, really turned off. But why? Especially when it feels so good. Chalk it up to a general contemporary awareness or some strange new sense of selflessness in the face of social betterment. Still, it appears, for now, this gradual disdain for instrument smashing has Chibson USA scratching their heads.
Check out the Chibson video ad: