UG editorial team. A group of people who are passionate about guitar and music in general.
Posted on Jun 27, 2014 02:13 pm
For this week's traditional UG Wednesday Question we asked you guys to name the single biggest guitar fail made by a renowned axeman. A lot of interesting suggestions kept flowing in, here are the ones that made the Top 10 based on your votes.
10. Kirk Hammett's "The Unforgiven II" Fail at Billboard Awards
That first note! Playing with a slide can be a tad tricky, resulting in easy out-of-tune slips like the one Mr. Hammett made at Billboard Awards during the band's "Load/Reload" era.
9. Tom DeLonge's (Blink-182) "First Date" Fail at MTV Europe Awards 2001
Sometimes it's not even a guitarist's fault when screw-ups happen. Take Tom DeLonge's 2001 fail at MTV Europe awards. Throughout the show, the guitar constantly troubled the young singer, due to a wireless transmitter error.
"Unfortunately, one of the guitars used by Depeche Mode from their performance earlier in the night still had its wireless transmitter on, and of course it was set to the same frequency as Tom's guitar," bassist Mark Hoppus said about the event over a decade later.
"After the intro, his guitar cut out completely for the rest of the song. So our triumphant show-closing performance fell flat, as Travis and I played a drum and bass remix and Tom sang along, hoping desperately that something would happen and his guitar would turn back on, or time would stop completely and we could all disappear.
"Neither happened. Then we got back on the plane and flew home. [Producer] Jerry [Finn] laughed at us the whole way. True story."
8. Synyster Gates Falling on Stage
Of course, a fail can be completely unrelated to your instrument, but to your stage behavior. Just check out Synyster Gates' onstage fall during one of the band's earlier live shows.
Despite tumbling across the stage, Syn seems to have just laughed it all off, even getting more crowd support after failing. But 'tis a fail nevertheless, and it's made No. 8.
7. John Frusciante's "Under the Bridge" Fail on Saturday Night Live 1992
High on heroin and on the verge of leaving the band, John Frusciante and RHCP delivered a unique performance of "Under the Bridge" on Saturday Night Live back in 1992. "I felt like I was getting stabbed in the back and hung out to dry in front of all of America while [Frusciante] was off in a corner in the shadow, playing some dissonant out-of-tune experiment," singer Anthony Kiedis said after the show.
However, a solid portion of fans agrees that Frusciante's performance was top-notch in its own way. And really, there aren't much typical fails on this one, as John's in tune and in proper timing pretty much throughout the whole song.
6. Dave Mustaine - "Symphony Interrupted" - "The Ride of the Valkyrie"
Back to sloppy playing, Dave Mustaine's "Symphony Interrupted" bad performance is sometimes attributed to technical issues. However, the squeaky sounds and clearly missed notes are very much present and can hardly be attributed to tech difficulties.
5. System Of A Down - Technical Difficulties Lowlands 2002
We're not sure what's going on here at 3:55, but guitarist Daron Malakian summed it up pretty nicely at the end with "This sucks, and so do we."
4. DragonForce "Through the Fire and Flames" Fail Live at Novarock 2013
Taking stage antics over the line, Herman Li of DragonForce didn't quite manage to pull his trick at last year's Novarock. He did manage to recover from the fail, sort of.
3. Slash F--ks Up "Welcome to the Jungle" Intro
After Axl's epic intro speech, Slash sure knew how to f--k it all up with that guitar intro. The year was 1991 and things were definitely happening for the band.
2. James Hetfield Fails to Switch Guitar Sound
Another source of guitar fails comes from all those pedals, knobs and switches - just take James Hetfield's 2011 sound flop as an example. Papa Het did manage to come out of it fairly nicely, even making a joke or two at the end.
1. Guns N' Roses - Golden Gods Awards 2014 - "Sweet Child O'Mine"
The No.1 fail happened this year at the Golden Gods Awards. We're not sure what happened there, but it sounds like one of those "shreds" videos. Imagine what it would sound like to combine DJ Ashba's sound and Axl's "Mickey Mouse" voice from that "Welcome to the Jungle" fail at Bridge School.