“An extreme solution to a simple problem”: Joe Bonamassa challenges his noisy neighbors in the best way possible – by ripping through Smoke on the Water on a ‘59 Gibson Les Paul with a Dumble amp

Joe Bonamassa (left) and one of his Dumble amplifiers
(Image credit: Joe Bonamassa/Instagram)

What’s the best way to ask a particularly rowdy neighbor to keep the volume down on a Sunday night? Send a passive-aggressive text message to the neighborhood WhatsApp group? March over and bang on the door, demanding them to keep quiet? Classic solutions, but not always the most successful.

How about crank a Dumble Overdrive Special guitar amp and rip through a timeless Deep Purple hit to give them a taste of their own medicine? Yeah, that’s more like it.

That was precisely Joe Bonamassa’s method of choice last weekend, when an especially noisy private party emanating from the nearby Houdini Estate threatened to disrupt the peace that had been established at the Kingdom of Nerdville. 

Indeed, as darkness engulfed the Hollywood Hills on Sunday night, Nerdville was invaded by an unwanted battery of far-too-loud-for-a-school-night R&B music, which had been launched by a group of over-zealous partygoers at the multi-million-dollar property.

Duty-bound to protect the sacred confines of the Nerdville museum as its Mayor, Bonamassa clearly wasn’t going to take the challenge lying down, and did what any discerning guitar aficionado would do: hastily throw together a makeshift rig and return the favor with some equally zealous riffage.

As far as last minute rigs go, Bonamassa’s wasn’t half bad: a Dumble Overdrive Special was paired with his prized “Principal Skinner” 1959 Gibson Les Paul, serial number 9-1951.

With the help of two of the most elusive and sought-after pieces of guitar gear on the planet, Bonamassa took the fight to those disturbing the peace, returning fire with a wailing, horizon-filling rendition of Smoke on the Water.

“Sunday night and the Houdini private party folks are rocking a bit too hard for Nerdville standards at this hour,” he wrote on Instagram. “So I came up with an extreme solution to a simple problem. With the help of Mr. Skinner and Mr. Dumble.”

Unsurprisingly, Bonamassa’s no-nonsense methods of protecting the peace were well-received among his peers. Joanne Shaw Taylor commented, “Hank approves,” while Gibson’s Mat Koehler simply wrote, “Epic!”

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Samantha Fish and Glenn Hughes were also among those who supported JoBo’s high-octane methods.

Steve Lukather also voiced his approval, but that comes as no surprise. After all, the Toto icon has been known to recruit a similarly hardline approach when it comes to combating local annoyances, having protested his neighbors’ leaf-blowers with an insanely loud guitar solo at 7 a.m.

Perhaps guitar-based protests are the way to go. In March 2022, an aggrieved guitarist expressed his dissatisfaction his local dentist's office by shredding outside on an Ibanez JEM.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a 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.