Fender's Justin Norvell: Guitar-smashing is a "long-standing tradition" in rock

The Who's Pete Townshend smashes an unfortunate guitar against an even more unfortunate amplifier
(Image credit: Chris Morphet/Redferns)

Kurt Cobain liked to smash his guitars sometimes. So did The Who's Pete Townshend, as you can see above. Hell, Jimi Hendrix famously lit his guitar on fire during his stunning performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival

Still, when Phoebe Bridgers smashed (or at least attempted to, those things are tough) her Danelectro Dano ‘56 baritone during a performance on Saturday Night Live in February of this year, the internet was set ablaze with discourse – likely fueled, as many pointed out, by her status as an up-and-coming female musician and not a long-established Rock God – over the morality of the act.

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.