Even as a 13-year-old who grew up primarily listening to, and playing, classical music, I felt compelled to run out and buy his band’s “1984” LP at my local Tower Records store.Rock ’n’ roll is an industry that’s continually pushing musical, social, and cultural boundaries, and the electric guitar is its iconic instrument.It differs from the traditional Spanish-style guitar in that it is played horizontally, on a stand or in the player’s lap, and has a sliding steel bar that can be moved along the frets for a gliding effect.Spanish-style electrics, which you could sling in front of you while standing and singing, proved to be much more versatile for many different musical genres.
The Stratocaster, the Gibson Les Paul, and other solid-body electrics were nothing if not versatile, and rock guitarists were obsessed with versatility.
The pickup, a device that converts the strings’ vibrations into electrical signals that can be amplified, was bulky and unattractive, but it worked.
The commercial version of the Frying Pan was a hollow cast-aluminum lap-steel guitar, and wasn’t an immediate hit beyond some Hawaiian, country, and blues musicians.
I remember the first time I saw Eddie Van Halen on MTV, the way he played two hands on the fingerboard during his short “Jump” guitar solo.
I loved his cool “Frankenstein” guitar, so named because he cobbled together a variety of guitar parts and decorated his creation with colored tape and paint.