Today I was listening to one of my favourite records, Who’s Next. Recorded by The Who at their peak in 1971, the album has the band at their very best. I’ve always loved the production but on today’s commute wondered if a rhythm guitar has ever sounded better.
The guitar used was a 1957 (some say 59′) Gretsch 6120 gifted to him by the Joe Walsh of the Eagles. Walsh also gave him the amp he used, a fender bandmaster. Seemed that Joe Walsh was a good friend to have giving Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin one of his favourite Les Paul’s as well.
Townshend used an edwards volume pedal and a whirlwind cable to complete his set up and often said when he changed one part of the signal chain that he wasn’t able to get ‘that’ sound. He used this particular 6120 for most of his studio work into the 90s.
Here’s the isolated guitar at the end of won’t get fooled again. Raw and sinewy, crunchy overdrive but not overdone – what a sound!
Dear readers -what is your favourite rock guitar tone? (Muky?)
EDIT: listening to the sound of the guitar in the clip, youtube smashed the compression pretty hard and the quality is low – but it gives you an idea. Best to listen to the album yourself.