The Yardbirds were something of an academy for UK guitar heroes, with Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, and Eric Clapton all graduating at one time or another. While Beck and his good friend Page were in the band together, they explored some of the hippest new sounds available, introducing the world to the joys of psychedelic rock via the Sola Sound Tone Bender fuzz and various other custom made stompboxes, courtesy of guitar effects pioneer Roger Mayer.
In this clip from the 1966 film Blowup featuring The Yardbirds’ Page/Beck dual guitar line-up, the band are depicted in a London club performing the fuzz-drenched rock ‘n’ roll banger “Stroll On”. During the performance, a persistent crackling sound coming from Beck's Vox amplifier angers him so much that he begins smashing his guitar – a sunburst Hofner Senator – into it. He then slams the unfortunate archtop into the stage floor, carefully lines it up, and sticks his foot through the top.
Meanwhile, Page continues playing the 1959 ‘Dragon’ Fender Telecaster gifted to him in 1966 by Jeff Beck, looking on in amusement as his friend completely detaches the Hofner’s neck and throws it into the baying mob of an audience.
Shortly afterwards, Beck can be seen reaching for a ‘proper’ hard rock guitar: his 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard ‘Burst.
Get the original Blowup (opens in new tab) movie here
Rod Brakes is a music writer with an expertise in all things guitar-related. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a journalist covering artists, industry pros and gear includes writing hundreds of articles and features for the likes of Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar World, Guitar Player and MusicRadar, as well as contributions for specialist books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.
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