Chad Smith ditches drums for guitar during Eddie Vedder show – and ticks off every guitar hero trick in the book

Chad Smith and Eddie Vedder
(Image credit: Jim Bennett/Getty Images)

During his time with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chad Smith has cemented his legacy as one of rock's finest-ever drummers. However, if things had played out differently – and if a young Smith had picked up an electric guitar instead of the drumsticks – we’d wager he’d have gone on to become a fairly successful six-string showman.

Why’s that, you ask? Well, during a recent show on Eddie Vedder’s Earthling tour, Smith briefly picked up bandmate Josh Klinghoffer’s Gibson Les Paul towards the end of an encore rendition of Neil Young’s Rockin’ In The Free World, leaving Klinghoffer to assume duties behind the kit.

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Matt Owen
Senior Staff Writer,

Matt is a Senior Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.