Did you know that 108 groups and 726 people who have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Yet, this is just a drop in the buck when you look at the long, majestic history of rock music. There have been so many bands and artists who have come along and completely changed the music we listened to, how we listened to it, and how we interacted with it that it’d be impossible to count them all.
That being said, there some artists who have clearly been more influential than others — artists whose sound we can still hear in the DNA of today’s music. Artists who completely changed the game, and made it possible for contemporary acts to do the things they want to do.
With that criteria in mind, here are three of the most influential musicians and the sound equipment they used.
Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen.
The Boss’s guitar may look like a worn, beaten piece of junk, but it’s actually a finely crafted piece of sound equioment built and modified over the course of his career. In order to get that signature, Americana sound, Springsteen uses five different Boss pedals, including a flanger, compression, turbo overdrive, super overdrive, and delay pedal, as well as an MXR distortion pedal, amongst other pieces of sound equipment.
Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine’s signature guitar bears the words “Arm The Homeless,” which more or less tells you everything you need to know about him. Morello achieves his signature sound — that resonating scream — with several different pieces of sound equipment. What’s odd though is that despite how distinct Morello’s sound is, he doesn’t rely on any guitar multi effects pedals at all. Instead, his favorite pieces of sound equipment include his original Crybaby Wah-Wah pedal and his Boss DR-2 Tremolo pedal.
The sounds of Jimmy Page’s double-necked Gibson SG guitar have blown the minds of listeners for more than four decades now, and one of the most surprising things about this artist that you may not have known is that he barely uses any guitar effect pedals or sound equipment. All Mr. Page needs is his trust MXR Phase 90 guitar distortion pedal, a Wah-Wah pedal, and an Echoplex. That’s it.
These are just some of the pieces of sound equipment that have helped to shape the course of music history. And who knows — maybe your own favorite pieces of sound equipment will someday change the course of music, too.