“I was playing a gig with Jack Bruce and one of my amps suddenly burst into flames!” Robin Trower's onstage disasters and famous firsts

Robin Trower, live onstage in 1975
(Image credit: Richard McCaffrey/ Michael Ochs Archive/ Getty Images)

Robin Trower is one of the great players to have created reference quality guitar tone, to have harnessed the power of tube amps pushed hard into the red zone in search of enriching harmonic content, and maybe – what the heck – adding a Uni-Vibe in front for kicks. 

As he joins GW  for a quick chat about first songs learned, first gigs played – and of course his most embarrassing moments onstage (this is the Inquirer section, after all), we have to say that we were not surprised one bit to learn that the English Stratocaster master’s amp blew up aflame onstage – not after what Buzz Osborne of the Melvins told us about Trower being the loudest player he had ever seen. 

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Joe Matera

Joe Matera is an Australian guitarist and music journalist who has spent the past two decades interviewing a who's who of the rock and metal world and written for Guitar World, Total Guitar, Rolling Stone, Goldmine, Sound On Sound, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and many others. He is also a recording and performing musician and solo artist who has toured Europe on a regular basis and released several well-received albums including instrumental guitar rock outings through various European labels. Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera has called him, "... a great guitarist who knows what an electric guitar should sound like and plays a fluid pleasing style of rock." He's the author of Backstage Pass: The Grit and the Glamour.