This week's traditional Wednesday Question saw the esteemed members of UG community discussing the matter of loudest guitar players who ever walked the planet.
We received a solid chunk of votes and 280 comments, all of which were summed up into a Top 17 rundown.
We removed the fictional characters (Nigel Tufnel, Marty McFly) and Lemmy the bassist from the list, you can check out the final list below.
17. Dave Davies
Back in the early '60s, Dave Davies of The Kinks brought guitar distortion and power chords to the forefront of rock music, making him the loudest of all the loud boys at the time.
Of course, "You Really Got Me" was the lead hit for the lads back then.
16. Kaoru and Die from Dir en Grey
Notoriously loud, Kaoru and Die from Japanese metal act Dir en grey are up next.
15. Gary Moore
Ginger Baker once complained that Gary Moore was "playing so loud that he blew his ears"...
14. Jimi Hendrix
Up next, the one and only Jimi Hendrix...
13. Dick Dale
Here's a cool story from UG user cooper9934: "Leo Fender gave the Fender Stratocaster along with a Fender Amp to Dale and told him to beat it to death and tell him what he thought of it. Dale took the guitar and started to beat it to death, and he blew up Leo Fender's amp and blew out the speaker. Dale proceeded to blow up 49 amps and speakers; they would actually catch on fire. Leo would say, 'Dick, why do you have to play so loud?' Dale would explain that he wanted to create the sound of Gene Krupa the famous jazz drummer that created the sounds of the native dancers in the jungles along with the roar of mother nature's creature's and the roar of the ocean.
"Leo Fender kept giving Dale amps and Dale kept blowing them up! Till one night Leo and his right hand man Freddy T. went down to the Rendezvous Ballroom on the Balboa Peninsula in Balboa, California and stood in the middle of 4,000 screaming dancing Dick Dale fans and said to Freddy, 'I now know what Dick Dale is trying to tell me. Back to the drawing board.' A special 85 watt output transformer was made that peaked 100 watts when dale would pump up the volume of his amp, this transformer would create the sounds along with Dale's style of playing, the kind of sounds that Dale dreamed of. BUT! they now needed a speaker that would handle the power and not burn up from the volume that would come from Dale's guitar.
"Leo, Freddy and Dale went to the James B. Lansing speaker company, and they explained that they wanted a 15-inch speaker built to their specifications. That speaker would soon be known as the 15'' JBL-D130 speaker. It made the complete package for Dale to play through and was named the Single Showman Amp. When Dale plugged his Fender Stratocaster guitar into the new Showman Amp and speaker cabinet, Dale became the first creature on earth to jump from the volume scale of a modest quiet guitar player on a scale of 4 to blasting up through the volume scale to TEN! That is when Dale became the 'Father of Heavy Metal' as quoted from Guitar Player Magazine. Dale broke through the electronic barrier limitations of that era!
"Dale still wanted to go further, and as the crowds increased, Dale's volume increased, but he still wanted a bigger punch with thickness in the sound so that it would pulsate into the audience and leave them breathless. The JBL-D130 was doing its job until Dale froze it in the frame that held the speaker, the speaker cone would twist from the heavy playing from Dale and it would soon twist and stop to fluctuate back n forth.
Leo, Freddy and Dale went back to the JBL speaker company and told them to rubberize the front ridge of the speaker allowing it to push forward and backward from the signal of Dale's guitar without cocking and twisting. The new updated version was called the JBL D-130F; the F stood for Fender.
Leo, Freddy and Dale designed a speaker cabinet and in which they installed 2 -15''-JBL-D130F's. This caused Leo Fender to have to create a new and more powerful output transformer, they would call it the Dick Dale Transformer and it was made by the Triad Company.
"This became the 100 watt output transformer that would actually peak 180 watts. Nothing like this had ever been done before in the world of guitars and amplifiers. This became known as the Dual-Showman Piggy Back Amp. This is why Dick Dale is called the Father of all the power Players in the world!"
THEY DON'T ATTRACT WIMPS 'CAUSE THEY'RE TOO LOUD, TRUE METAL PEOPLE, THAT'S MANOWAR'S CROWD!
11. Ted Nugent
Loudmouth AND a loud guitarist, what a guy!
10. J Mascis
Mr. J Mascis from Dinosaur Jr., an important figure in development of grunge style, is up next at No. 10. Sub Pop Records vice president Megan Jasper had this to say about the lad: "J had some anger, like any punk rock kid. Usually, though, when a young person is angry, they tend to be really loud. And J wasn't. He was only loud when he played music"
9. Stephen O'Malley/Greg Anderson
Team Sunn O))) is up next. As Bedside Shred noted, "You literally can't see a Sunn O))) show without earplugs lest you risk permanent hearing damage."
Brandon1993 added: "'White1' is considered one of the loudest albums of all time. Also they will implode your eardrums if you see them live."
8. Billy Corgan
Like I Is explained: "Billy Corgan's sound during the Siamese Dream/Mellon Collie shows were hands down the loudest tones I've ever heard.
"Although I feel like the results may skew in favor of guitarists who tune two octaves down and just make a wall of sound, Corgan's searing tone was both furious and melodic. Really something to behold."
7. Jimmy Page
As one of the individuals who shaped the history of rock, Mr. Jimmy Page was one loud axe wielder...
6. Michael Gira
Cranking it up way up high, Michael Gira of Swans pushed the loudness factor to the extreme, especially back in the day. Real182 explained: "Swans gigs back in the 80's and 90's were known as loudest at the time. They still actually are pretty deafening even now."
Some fun facts from jonathan.keeler: "People throw up at Swans shows and I read that someone's water broke at a Swans show because of the vibrations."
5. Stevie Ray Vaughan
Stevie sure played it loud...
4. Eddie Van Halen
To achieve the "Brown Sound," everything needs to go to 11 apparently...
3. Kevin Shields/Bilinda Butcher
My Bloody Valentine can be very, very loud. The boys have this thing they do during shows called "noise holocaust" where they crank up guitar noise and feedback for about half an hour, occasionally reaching 130 dB. Kevin once noted: "It was so loud it was like sensory deprivation. We just liked the fact that we could see a change in the audience at a certain point."
2. Ritchie Blackmore
Silver medal this week goes to Mr. Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple. The guys were very loud and very top-notch back in the day, with Ritchie cutting right through the mix with his Fender Strat. Christopwhalen noted: "I got to experience it first hand when Deep Purple reunited in 1985 (Perfect Strangers tour). I could hardly hear anything for several days after. If I could do it all over again, I would definitely have worn ear plugs."
1. Pete Townshend
The Who's May 31, 1976 show in London was confirmed by the Guinness Book of Records as the loudest show of all time, with 126 dB measured 32 meters (105 feet) from the stage. Additionally, loud music is believed to be one of the key contributing factors to Pete Townshend deafness. So on the throne of UG this week, the man who rocked so hard he went deaf! That Moon explosion also played an important role, though...