Skeng’s onstage stunt, in which he took a guitar from a musician during a performance in Trinidad and smashed it Jimi Hendrix-style, has left tongues wagging.
Many on social media have declared that Skeng has cemented himself as Dancehall’s Rock star, while others who appear not to know the history of guitar-smashing have condemned his actions, claiming that he was disrespectful, even as others laughed and declared that “molly get pop.”
Tanya Stephens was quick to point out to a follower, who condemned Skeng’s actions and who declared: “Lord take me to the 80s and leave me there because this Era is just one big joke”, that she had much to learn about music history.
“Honey this was rampant in the 80s 😉,” Tanya corrected. “Not 80s Dancehall… 80s Rock”.
Singer Jodian Pantry declared that Skeng could “afford a ton load of those back,” to which her compatriot Natel replied: “the cheap ones lol”.
“Is he the richest artist in the biz? And how much is he worth per show bcuz me sure seh the guitar worth more than the bands man dem pay,” another commenter added.
There were several persons who dragged drug habits, particularly Molly which Skeng promotes in his songs, into the mix.
“That’s exactly how those druggy artists be acting smh,” one man wrote, while one woman added: “God these artist and drugs…leading to his own self destruction…this is not entertainment…just bad energy”.
“Never a hater, just opinion, Bob Marley use to play that shit on stage and shell the place, fast fawud today it might look fun but this is destructive and that’s what the haters of our music wants to see so 😂😂😂make them happy,” one man stated.
Some commenters said that even if Skeng will replace the musical instrument, he had perhaps destroyed something which the guitarist cherished and deemed priceless.
“These musicians have an adoration for their personal instruments. A guitar is one such. It ain’t like a drum or piano. One totes around with their personal guitar. Tha hell????!!!!” one woman said.
Guitar-smashing is generally described, as a “standard rock practice.”
According to a VH-1 article, it can be traced to The Who’s Pete Townshend, who accidentally bumped his Rickenbacker guitar “onto a low ceiling during a gig in 1964, snapping the neck in the process”.
The article said that Pete was distraught about what happened to his guitar, but in an attempt to not appear clumsy in front of the audience, “decided to finish the job …and thus, guitar smashing was born”, and one of the most iconic moments in rock music cemented.
It also noted that Pete has “auto-destructed” his guitar too many times to count, breaking more than 35 guitars in 1967 alone.
Another article on ultimateguitar.com, which explored the history of the destruction of musical instruments by rock stars, noted that the phenomenon “is often a debatable thing, because some of the musicians do this for self-promotion”.
“It said that people oftentimes complain that smashing guitars is “just a waste of expensive equipment”, but that destroying gear on stage is also one of the most striking images of rock ‘n’ roll,” the article noted.
“And when musicians do it sincerely, not just for show, but because of their sense of music, being in the present moment – then it’s really cool, translating the true spirit of rock music,” it added.
Skeng’s performance brought comments likening him to American rock star, Jimi Hendrix who has been declared by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as the most gifted instrumentalist of all time, and whose “fluid, immersive style was perfectly suited to embrace—and then revolutionize—the late ’60s psychedelic rock movement”.
A self-taught electric guitarist, Jimi Hendrix was known for destroying his guitars and amps. According to Ultimate Guitar, he famously burned two guitars at three shows, the most memorable being the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, “a guitar smash which went on to become one of the most indelible images of the rock music history”.
According to the publication, Hendrix, in a bid to out-do The Who’s destruction of their instruments earlier at the same event, poured lighter fluid over his guitar and set it on fire, even though he claimed later that he had “just finished painting it that day”.
The Who’s drummer Keith Moon, was another musician known for destroying his drum set, the most epic instance being the band’s debut on US television on “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” in 1967.
According to the story, Moon had overloaded his bass drum with explosive charges which were detonated during the finale of the song, My Generation. The ensuing explosion had caused actress Bette Davis to faint, set bandmate Pete Townshend’s hair on fire which “contributed to his later partial deafness and tinnitus”.
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