We're fortunate enough to live in a time where there are hundreds of fuzz pedals that can help you create any type of deranged guitar tone that you want to achieve. Yet, during the pre-fuzz pedal days of the early 1960s, it wasn't so easy to develop such desired sounds.
The truth behind most of the world's greatest fuzz-filled recordings is that they happened either by accident or using regular gear in a different manner. Read on to discover the stories behind five classic songs that revolutionized the world and brought fuzz to the guitar-loving masses.
Link Wray "Rumble"
Apparently when it came to guitar amps, you didn't want to loan yours to Link Wray. The famed guitarist often tore apart amps and speakers to form new frankensteined models while in search of the perfect sound. It appears for the case of "Rumble," the musician's essential instrumental, Link poked holes into his 1954 Premier Model "71" amplifier.
Marty Robbins "Don't Worry"
Marty Robbins, the Arizona-born troubadour, isn't particularly remembered for his rock 'n' roll tendencies, but the guitar tone on "Don't Worry" from 1961 is known as one of the first instances of fuzz. Many say that the tone was simply the result of a blown fuze on an amp and that when Robbins heard the sound he decided to keep it on the track.
13th Floor Elevators "Nobody To Love"
As one of the truly progressive bands of early rock 'n' roll, the 13th Floor Elevators were not only capable of creating catchy songs, but doing so in an inventive way. "Nobody To Love" from the band's first full-length is the perfect example as the song shows the boys as being early adopters of fuzz. The story goes that the band preferred to use Gibson Maestro pedals for their sound, the same used for the Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," and recorded through reverb tank units.
Buck Owens "Who's Gonna Mow Your Grass"
While it was preceded by Marty Robbins' "Don't Worry" by almost eight years, the country music establishment hadn't grown to be much more accepting of fuzz by the time "Who's Gonna Mow Your Grass" came around. For the 1969 single, Buck Owens tasked guitarist Don Rich with playing the memorable solo via an early fuzz pedal, which was mostly likely a Mosrite Fuzzrite as it was the preferred brand of the Buckaroos.
The Stooges "I Wanna Be Your Dog"
The case isn't completely closed on what birthed one of the most classic riffs in rock 'n' roll history, but there are some theories about what delivered Ron Asheton's signature fuzz. Based on live pictures from the first album era (and Ron's love of The Beatles), it's most likely that he used a Vox Tonebender to achieve the "I Wanna Be Your Dog" sound.