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Grammy-winning ‘Peter Gunn’ guitarist Duane Eddy dies aged 86

Grammy-winning ‘Peter Gunn’ guitarist Duane Eddy dies aged 86
Grammy-winning ‘Peter Gunn’ guitarist Duane Eddy dies aged 86 Copyright Mark Humphrey/AP
Copyright Mark Humphrey/AP
By Euronews with AP
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The pioneering guitarist sold more than 100 million records worldwide and influenced The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen and countless others.

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Duane Eddy, the pioneering US guitar hero whose reverberating electric sound on instrumentals such as 'Rebel Rouser' and 'Peter Gunn' helped put the twang in early rock ‘n’ roll and influenced George Harrison, Bruce Springsteen and countless other musicians, has died at age 86.

Eddy died of cancer Tuesday (1 May) at the Williamson Health hospital in Franklin, Tennessee, according to his wife, Deed Abbate.

“Duane inspired a generation of guitarists the world over with his unmistakeable signature ‘Twang’ sound. He was the first rock and roll guitar god, a truly humble and incredible human being. He will be sorely missed,” a rep for the guitarist said.

Eddy recorded more than 50 albums and sold more than 100 million records worldwide. He mastered a distinctive sound based on the premise that a guitar’s bass strings sounded better on tape than the high ones.

“I had a distinctive sound that people could recognize and I stuck pretty much with that. I’m not one of the best technical players by any means; I just sell the best,” he told AP in a 1986 interview. “A lot of guys are more skillful than I am with the guitar. A lot of it is over my head. But some of it is not what I want to hear out of the guitar.”

“Twang” defined Eddy’s sound from his first album, 'Have Twangy Guitar Will Travel', to his 1993 box set, 'Twang Thang: The Duane Eddy Anthology'.

“It’s a silly name for a nonsilly thing,” Eddy told the AP in 1993. “But it has haunted me for 35 years now, so it’s almost like sentimental value — if nothing else.”

Paul McCartney and George Harrison were both fans of Eddy and he recorded with both of them after their Beatles’ days. He played on McCartney’s 'Rockestra Theme' and Harrison played on Eddy’s self-titled comeback album, both in 1987.

His biggest hit was the title song for the 1960 feature Because They’re Young, a teen drama starring Dick Clark; and cinema fans will know him from his inclusion in the 1994 soundtrack of Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

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