The origin of guitar distortion goes back to the earliest electrified blues guitarists. They didn’t care that their primitive tube amps were breaking up and distorting, as long as they were loud. Soon, blues guitarists grew quite fond of those nasty, gnarly distorted tones, and they sought to replicate them by any means necessary.
Many guitar players—at some point—can't help but fall under the spell of the sounds found on classic rock albums of the mid- to late Sixties. Players like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Pete Townshend and Robby Krieger were synonymous with wah, fuzz, univibe and/or tremolo. Throw George Harrison and Brian Jones into the mix and you get sitars and other sound- (and mind-) altering effects. They were always experimenting, changing things up, trying to top each other.
The following content is related to the September 2013 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now, or in our online store.
In 1990, guitarist Ned Evett smashed his Strat onstage. When he noticed the neck was unbroken, he simply removed the frets and developed a style he'd eventually become known for -- even developing his own fretless, mirrored-glass-necked guitars along the way. His own website refers to him as "The Glass Guitarist," and Joe Satriani has called him "a monster player."