“Bruce Springsteen was in the next studio… He had a Gretsch Country Gentleman, and I asked him if I could borrow it”: How a loaner from The Boss powered the iconic spaghetti western line in Blondie’s Atomic

Bruce Springsteen (left) and Blondie perform onstage
(from left) Bruce Springsteen, Frank Infante and Debbie Harry (Image credit: Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music / Gie Knaeps / Getty Images)

Former Blondie guitarist Frank Infante has revealed that one of the New York band’s most famous guitar lines, Atomic, was recorded on an electric guitar loaned to him by Bruce Springsteen.

The track is famous for its descending spaghetti western-inspired twanging guitar lick (B G Gb E, if you fancy it) – performed on record by Infante and Chris Stein and produced by long-running collaborator Mike Chapman. 

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Matt Parker
Features Editor, GuitarWorld.com

Matt is Features Editor for GuitarWorld.com. Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.

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