“I was so frustrated that I kicked my amp – the speaker busted, leaving me with this weird buzzing sound. I didn’t know it then, but I helped create the sound of punk-rock guitar”: How an Italian immigrant shaped the sound of US punk to come in the 1960s

The Standells perform live onstage
(Image credit: GAB Archive/Redferns)

As a '60s garage rocker, The Standells' Tony Valentino brandished his dream guitar – a Fender Telecaster – and paired it with a Vox AC30, creating a sound that would become synonymous with late '70s punk rock, leading to Valentino occasionally being dubbed “The godfather of punk”, alongside Iggy Pop.

Before he could do that, though – as an immigrant from Italy suddenly immersed in early rock 'n' roll – Valentino paid his dues in the most budget-friendly way possible.

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Andrew Daly

Andrew Daly is an iced-coffee-addicted, oddball Telecaster-playing, alfredo pasta-loving journalist from Long Island, NY, who, in addition to being a contributing writer for Guitar World, scribes for Rock Candy, Bass Player, Total Guitar, and Classic Rock History. Andrew has interviewed favorites like Ace Frehley, Johnny Marr, Vito Bratta, Bruce Kulick, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Rich Robinson, and Paul Stanley, while his all-time favorite (rhythm player), Keith Richards, continues to elude him.