Guitar community reacts as “King of Twang” Duane Eddy dies at 86

His approach to guitar inspired the likes of George Harrison and Bruce Springsteen.

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Duane Eddy, known as the “King of Twang” for his distinctive rock ‘n’ roll guitar style, has passed away aged 86.

He died on 30 April in Franklin, Tennessee, as confirmed by his wife, Deed Abbate. His cause of death was cancer.

A representative for the musician says (via Variety): “Duane inspired a generation of guitarists the world over with his unmistakable signature ‘Twang’ sound. He was the first rock and roll guitar god, a truly humble and incredible human being. He will be sorely missed.”

Since the news of his passing, industry figures from across the guitar world have come forward with their tributes to the rocker, who was a self-taught player best known for his huge instrumental tracks Rebel-Rouser and Peter Gunn, released during the late 1950s. Eddy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, and inspired musicians such as George Harrison, Bruce Springsteen, and more.

Eddy was often seen with a Gretsch guitar in hand, and the brand now writes of his death, “We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of the rock ‘n’ roll icon, Duane Eddy. As a legendary guitarist, Duane inspired generations with his pioneering twangy sound and musical innovations that redefined the genre.

“His contributions and sound will forever be cherished and echo in the halls of rock ‘n’ roll history. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and fans during this difficult time. We will always remember him as a true Gretsch icon, whose legacy will continue to inspire musicians for generations to come.”

Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac also shares his respect for the musician, writing, “Yesterday in my studio I said this riff needs to sound like Duane Eddy! As I picked up my Gretsch White Falcon guitar! Saddened [by] the passing of this understated man who had talents more than most knew. Grateful for learning to play drums listening to his music.”

Read further tributes below:

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