Musician’s guitar-smashing stunt at Coachella sparks outrage among fans

“It always hurts to see the poor instrument face the wrath of these wannabes,” one user says.

AP Dhillon smashing his guitar onstage at Coachella

Credit: AP DHILLON/Instagram

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It’s hard to imagine a stage act as divisive as the age-old spectacle of guitar smashing among rock musicians. Some see it as a rock ‘n’ roll rite of passage, a symbol of rebellion and raw passion. Others? Well, a sacrilegious assault on a cherished instrument that’ll make you cringe, to say the least.

The Who’s Pete Townshend, for one, has spoken about how he used to break and fix his guitar a whopping four times a day, such that it was “more glue and string than anything else” by the end of it. And while guitar smashing is no longer a part of his setlist, it’s far from the last we’ve seen of the tradition.

Most recently, Indo-Canadian artist AP Dhillon decided to channel his inner rock god at last weekend’s Coachella by smashing his guitar during his set – an act that has sparked significant outrage and discourse among fans.

In the comments section of the video Dhillon posted of him destroying his metallic gold ESP LTD Kirk Hammett V guitar on stage, many did not hold back on their criticisms of the musician’s recent move.

“Pop artists break guitars to look cool. They try to imitate rock/metal artists not realising that they break their guitars out of the adrenaline rush and intensity of playing the instrument,” slammed one user. “It always hurts to see the poor instrument face the wrath of these wannabes.”

Another added: “The guitar that has provided you with life, love, peace, success, and respect – you end up breaking it! Not cool at all.”

The backlash against guitar smashing has grown over the years, with opponents calling out the wasteful nature of the act and the privilege of those who perform it. Flea, who’s known for his bass-smashing antics in Red Hot Chili Peppers’ earlier years, recently admitted to feeling like “such an idiot” for the instruments he destroyed back then.

For many, it also raises the question: is guitar smashing an artistic statement or just a very expensive temper tantrum? Either way, the aftermath is undeniable – a flurry of chatter, a trail of shattered strings, and certainly one less guitar in the world.

Check out Dhillon’s post below.

Find out more about AP Dhillon via his Instagram.

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