Not currently on display at the V&A

Guitar

Artist/Maker

The rock star Pete Townshend (born 1945 Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend) is an English rock singer, guitarist and composer who included the smashing of guitars in his mid-1960s act with the rock band 'The Who'. Jerry Lee Lewis may have been the first rock artist to destroy pianos on stage, but Pete Townshend was the first guitar-smashing rock artist. Rolling Stone magazine included his guitar smashing at the Railway Hotel in September of 1964 in their list of 50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock & Roll.

Townshend's career with The Whospanned more than 40 years, during which time the band grew to be considered one of the greatest and most influential rock bands of all time. Townshend is the primary songwriter for the group, writing over 100 songs on the band's eleven studio albums, including the rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia, plus dozens of additional songs that appeared as non-album track singles, bonus tracks on re-issues, and tracks on rarities compilations such as Odds and Sods.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Brief Description
Electric guitar broken on stage by Pete Townshend (b.1945) of 'The Who' who smashed guitars in concert as part of the performance. Given by John Entwistle.
Physical Description
Broken solid-body electric guitar with a rosewood and mahogany neck, with six oblong mother-of-pearl inlaid pieces on the neck. The body of the guitar has a cream plastic finger guard and metal-foiled volume knobs. Fourteen metal struts remain on the neck which has been smashed above this point, from which protrudes a metal rod, the core of the neck.
Dimensions
  • Length of body to end of broken neck length: 63.0cm
  • Entire length, to tip of rod length: 84.0cm
  • Maximum width across body width: 33.0cm
Credit line
Given by Allan Smith & Pete Townshend through John Entwistle
Subject depicted
Summary
The rock star Pete Townshend (born 1945 Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend) is an English rock singer, guitarist and composer who included the smashing of guitars in his mid-1960s act with the rock band 'The Who'. Jerry Lee Lewis may have been the first rock artist to destroy pianos on stage, but Pete Townshend was the first guitar-smashing rock artist. Rolling Stone magazine included his guitar smashing at the Railway Hotel in September of 1964 in their list of 50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock & Roll.



Townshend's career with The Whospanned more than 40 years, during which time the band grew to be considered one of the greatest and most influential rock bands of all time. Townshend is the primary songwriter for the group, writing over 100 songs on the band's eleven studio albums, including the rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia, plus dozens of additional songs that appeared as non-album track singles, bonus tracks on re-issues, and tracks on rarities compilations such as Odds and Sods.
Associated Object
S.11-1978 (Object)
Collection
Accession Number
S.12-1978

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record createdDecember 7, 2007
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