Tash Sultana on winning over MTV with a daring Unplugged performance and cracking Eric Johnson Strats in half onstage

Tash Sultana
(Image credit: Press)

When Kurt Cobain turned up for Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged special in 1993, he had a Fender Twin and a Boss DS-2 distortion in tow. Purists were not impressed, but it’s now the most lauded performance from Unplugged’s original run. 

In 2021, Tash Sultana showed an even more flagrant disregard for the rules, appearing with such notably not-unplugged devices as a Stratocaster, a Telecaster, and a Whammy pedal. “I had people kicking off about the fact that I was gonna do it very much plugged in,” Tash recalls. “I just thought, ‘Nah, fuck ‘em.’ I didn’t think about it being unplugged. I just thought this is a television broadcast and I’m gonna bring it.”

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Jenna Scaramanga

Jenna writes for Total Guitar and Guitar World, and is the former classic rock columnist for Guitar Techniques. She studied with Guthrie Govan at BIMM, and has taught guitar for 15 years. She's toured in 10 countries and played on a Top 10 album (in Sweden).