Music News: Glenn Snoddy, inventor of the fuzz pedal, dies


A pair of Maestro Fuzz-Tone pedals.
A pair of Maestro Fuzz-Tone pedals, photographed in 2010. (Simon Murphy/CC BY-NC 2.0)

Music engineer Glenn Snoddy has died at age 96. He was a longtime engineer and studio owner in Nashville, but his timeless claim to fame came in 1960 when he invented the fuzz pedal.

Snoddy was working on a Marty Robbins session when suddenly guitarist Grady Martin sounded...wrong. A transformer in Martin's amp had blown, leading his guitar to sound distorted. The band thought the sound was cool, though, and Columbia Records executives agreed.

When "Don't Worry" became a big country hit, Snoddy built a pedal that would allow guitarists to achieve the same distorted effect at the tap of a button. Patented as the Maestro Fuzz-Tone, the pedal gained traction in country music — and then exploded in popularity after Keith Richards used it on the iconic Rolling Stones song "I Can't Get No Satisfaction."

Snoddy later founded Woodland Studios, home to recordings including the Charlie Daniels Band’s "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" and the Oak Ridge Boys’ "Elvira." (Billboard)

MJ estate slams upcoming doc

The Michael Jackson estate wants to make it very clear: an upcoming ABC News documentary about the last days of Jackson's life "is not sponsored or approved by the Estate of Michael Jackson." Further, "We believe the special to be another crass and unauthorized attempt to exploit the life, music and image of Michael Jackson without respect for Michael's legacy, intellectual property rights or his children," wrote the estate in a statement criticizing ABC and its parent company Disney.

An ABC News spokesman defended the special, which airs tonight at 7 p.m. CDT. "ABC News' documentary explores the life, career and legacy of Michael Jackson, who remains of great interest to people worldwide." ABC says all its uses of Jackson's image and music were within rights, but "as a courtesy, we removed a specific image from the promotional material."

As Rolling Stone points out, we're a long way from Captain EO.

Vevo drops apps, website

Major labels' attempt to launch a standalone video streaming service of their own is foundering. Vevo is phasing out its apps and its website, saying that it's planning to focus on developing partnerships for sharing its music video content moving forward. You probably didn't use the Vevo app or website very much anyway, right? Maybe you don't even really know what Vevo is?

In short, it's a video streaming platform owned by the major labels, which would prefer to sell their own advertising and collect the revenue when you watch music videos — instead of letting that money go to YouTube or other services. The company will continue to sell its own advertising for the platforms it works with, and it will continue to offer programming like the dscvr and LIFT programs to promote emerging artists.

"Belief in the power of the music videos will always remain at Vevo's core," says a blog post about the news. (Billboard)

Liam Gallagher meets estranged daughter for the first time

Liam Gallagher has just met his daughter for the first time. She's 21.

Molly Moorish, a model, is Gallagher's daughter with musician Lisa Moorish. Over the years, Gallagher has said that he and his ex weren't on good terms and weren't in touch, but that he's continued to support his daughter financially. He's said he was waiting for Molly to reach out to him, which it appears she did since Liam just shared a photo of the two, without comment, on Instagram. One of the other young people in the photo is Molly Moorish's half-brother Astile Louis, the son of Lisa Moorish and the LibertinesPete Doherty.

Meanwhile, Gallagher is said to have another child, from a relationship with an American journalist, who he also hasn't met. (Consequence of Sound)

A post shared by Liam Gallagher (@liamgallagher) on

Weezer cover Toto...but not that Toto

Last year, a Cleveland teenager set up a Twitter account dedicated to convincing Weezer to cover Toto’s 1982 classic "Africa." The campaign went viral, with even a member of Toto joining the chorus, but Weezer haven't budged...until now, sort of.

Weezer have released a Toto cover...and it's "Rosanna," the opening track to the album that "Africa" closes, Toto IV. They considerately tweeted it at the @weezerafrica account, which said... (Pitchfork)

comments powered by Disqus