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When did guitar become cool? When did it fall out of favor


Gifthorse

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Originally posted by Fumblyfingers:

Elvis did a huge amount for it also....except that it was Scotty Moore actually playing it.

I'm sure Elvis held his own on rhythym guitar to Scotty's lead work.

 

Watch this early clip...

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7529166303651346816&q=elvis+presley

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But we sure do it well" - Huck Johns from 'Oh Yeah'

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I once saw some astounding figure about guitar sales exploding after the Beatles hit- like literally 25 times what they were or something crazy like that. Overnight the national pasttime changed form baseball to guitar for a while there.
boom boom boom boom
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In the 1930s as the guitar replaced the banjo in jazz orchestras and as Hawaiian music became popular.

 

Guys like Eddie Lang and Lonnie Johnson were the first popular soloists.

 

Most of the "black blues guys" weren't discovered by the general public until the 60s.

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Originally posted by rw2003:

I'm sure Elvis held his own on rhythym guitar to Scotty's lead work

While he could play chords, that guitar was a prop more than anything else. But the way he used it and how cool he looked swinging it.....must have made a lot of young guys want to do that....look what it did to the girls! :idea:
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As far back as the War between the States, parlour guitars were hughly popular, people couldn't afford piano's etc, so almost every home had a guitar.

As stated before, the modern day guitar boom started when the Beatles appeared on the scene. Everywhere you went, you could buy a guitar- even the hardware stores! Music stores and guitar teachers were on every corner. Ahh- those were the days! Even Kroger had a record section!

As far as falling out of favor- never in my house!

"Who's gonna teach the children about Chuck Berry?"
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I'm pretty sure that everyone who walked by and heard Robert Johnson play while women made eyes at him, thought "I gots ta get me one of them".

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Charlie Christian as far as guitar being a lead instrument goes. When did it fall out of favour? For me it was when hair bands took over the world, whenever that was. And Knopfler saved guitar in the late seventies at a time when tasty guitar soloing was going out of style. Shortly after that, Stevie saved da blues!
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Originally posted by Lightningdan:

I'm pretty sure that everyone who walked by and heard Robert Johnson play while women made eyes at him, thought "I gots ta get me one of them".

Except for the jealous husband that poisoned him, of course.

 

What *he* probably thought was more along the lines of "I gots ta get that bastard" ;);)

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Things were a bit different in the UK. We had a big boom of a style called 'Skiffle' - a cross between urban folk and blues - BEFORE Rock hit over here, and guitars were a big part of this. Artists like Lonnie Donnegan, Nancy Whiskey (a personal friend of My Good Lady) et al. They also did a lot of US/Blues derivative numbers ie Elisabeth Cotton & Huddy Leadbetter material.

 

Popular street music was very much based on Traditional (New Orleans) Jazz in the 50's and the banjo was king up till that point.

 

And then The Shadows happened in about 1958/59 and that made the guitar *very* cool in the UK.

 

Ask most musicians my age (including me) who started them playing guitar & you'll get the same answer - Hank Marvin of The Shadows.

 

G.

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Originally posted by Geoff Byrne:

Things were a bit different in the UK. We had a big boom of a style called 'Skiffle' - a cross between urban folk and blues - BEFORE Rock hit over here, and guitars were a big part of this. Artists like Lonnie Donnegan, Nancy Whiskey (a personal friend of My Good Lady) et al. They also did a lot of US/Blues derivative numbers ie Elisabeth Cotton & Huddy Leadbetter material.

 

Popular street music was very much based on Traditional (New Orleans) Jazz in the 50's and the banjo was king up till that point.

 

And then The Shadows happened in about 1958/59 and that made the guitar *very* cool in the UK.

 

Ask most musicians my age (including me) who started them playing guitar & you'll get the same answer - Hank Marvin of The Shadows.

 

G.

Geoff is spot on with the intial popularity in the UK.The late 80's early 90's is when the guitar fell out of favour replaced by "dance music"it was re-born in popularity with what was called Brit pop in aprox 92/93 and has gone on massively with nearly every new band of today being guitar based. (Franz ferdinand, Razorlights, Kaiser Chiefs, Artics etc.....)

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As someone mentioned...the guitar was cool from a long way back. What made it completely irresistable is when The Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan, and thousands of teenaged boys saw the effect they had on teenaged girls. Those TV appearances probably launched more garage bands than anything before or since.

 

http://www.cnn.com/interactive/entertainment/0210/gallery.ed.sullivan/gallery.beatles.jpg

 

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The guitar isn't cool. It never was, and it never will be.

 

We're all a bunch of dorks, and nobody likes us.

\m/

Erik

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It was in March 1955...the day that a flaming flying saucer landed in the blackboard jungle. Ace session player Danny Cedrone cleverly disguised as a giant robot named Klaatu emerged. He was asked "What are you rebelling against Johnny?" "What've you got?" he asked in return, then picked up his guitar and blasted out the guitar solo for Rock Around the Clock. That's where it all began.
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Originally posted by Philemec:

It was in March 1955...the day that a flaming flying saucer landed in the blackboard jungle. Ace session player Danny Cordone cleverly disguised as a giant robot named Klaatu emerged. He was asked "What are you rebelling against Johnny?" "What've you got?" he asked in return, then picked up his gutar and blasted out the guitar solo for Rock Around the Clock. That's where it all began.

I was born in March 1955! Coincindence? :eek:
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1955?? Who are you kidding? ;)

 

How about after Mother Maybelle Carter hit in the late 1920's? She was, perhaps, the first guitar hero of the 20th century. And make no mistake, her ability to play rhythm with melody notes was something popular music hadn't heard from a guitar.

 

Classical music largely ignored the guitar (because it didn't project well) despite pieces written by giants of the classical music world going back to Bach. (Oddly enough, Bach couldn't have written his famous Bouree for the modern guitar as the now-common 6-string variant didn't exist until long after his time. ;) )

 

Maybelle Carter not only made playing guitar cool, but made it cool for a woman to play guitar. Too bad the bulk of society has shunned most females from playing guitar for violin, flute and other orchestral instruments. Of course, that's been changing a lot the past few decades.

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For me it got cool when I was like 13. But the image was pumped up that it was cool to be a technician on guitar. Guys like EVH and Randy Rhoads were on every magazine. I worshipped Rik Emmett then cuz he seemed to have no barriers.

 

Later in the mid 80's, after Vai came out and VH split with Roth a bunch of new guys started to emerge. Joe Satrioni came out. I loved his first 2 albums when I was a teenager.

 

But in the 90's for me I noticed a change in music. It switched to a style that showcased wanking less and less. Everyone was sick of it because the whole tremolo bar, yngwie lick, tapping solo just blew a tire.

 

It wasn't that guitar wasn't cool. It was just that it was cooler to use a crazy effect or simplify a solo so it was more a part of the song. I liked Billy Korgan's lead style and Jerry cantrell's from this era.. Oh yeah and Ty Tabor of course.

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Styles come and go all the time of course. I see no shortage of people carrying guitar cases in this neck of the woods!

 

Whether a particular instrument is the one mass attention is focused on or not isn't going to stop those who fall in love with the axe they're born to play!

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I think TONS of people play guitar still, and it is very popular. I just think the idea of being a good musician/technician has gone by the wayside. When I listen to the stuff on the radio I really never hear any cool guitar players in these new bands coming out. They are role players. None of them really add or detract from the song, they just exist.

 

I mean how many of you that grew up in the 80's like me think guitar prowess or musical prowess is considered cool by today's standards?

 

I mean when VH broke, EVERYONE liked them. In my life I have never seen a band with more mass appeal than VH through 1984. People who missed the Roth era also missed this phenomenon. Eddie was worshipped like a GOD. But before him, you had plenty of players that were also looked upon like this.

 

You do have 'guitar heros' now but they don't get the same kind of fanfare to my knowledge that they did back then. Nobody is rocking the boat or making changes. It is all the same old shred, whammy, vai slide to the notes, squeel..

 

I mean you have guys like John Petrucci who appeal to a section of players, but though he is a great player, he isn't GROUNDBREAKING, and Dream Theater has a limited appeal to the masses.

 

What I wish would happen is that a band would come out with great songs/musicianship/and a guitar GOD with style to make it cool to be good. That will make guitar new again.

 

There are so many incredible players out there, I am not saying there aren't. I am saying that there aren't any bands with the full package. But that is rare anyways.

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