Joe Bonamassa exacted high-volume revenge on some of Nerdville’s noisy neighbours on Sunday night, with the blues-rock superstar ripping some Deep Purple on a Les Paul and a Dumble guitar amp in retaliation to some over-zealous partying.
Picture the scene. You’re at home on the Hollywood Hills, California, on a cool Sunday evening, when the peace and quiet is disturbed by a party from a neighbouring estate. A most terrible noise is issuing forth from The Houdini Estate.
Now, the Hollywood Hills is a respectable neighbourhood. The Houdini Estate is a desirable location – a £20 million property, five-acres for hire, tended by a legion of landscape gardeners. It's perfect for a private party.
But this being Sunday, when the property is available at a cheaper rate of $6,529 for up to 25 people, and in January, when there is a 20 per cent discount, you just never know what sort of riff-raff are going to rock up. And on Sunday 21 January, this lot were making all kinds of noise at too-late o’clock. What do you do?
Well, Bonamassa, blues guitar superstar, Mayor of Nerdville, denizen of the Hollywood Hills and concerned neighbour mustered a response. What’s that old expression about never picking a fight with a man who buys ink by the barrel? This is more a case of never starting a loudness war with a man who stockpiles tube amplifiers.
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Bonamassa met fire with fire, setting up an improvised rig of “Principal Skinner” – one of JoBo’s favourite 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standards, serial # 9-1951 – and a Dumble Overdrive Special combo. No effects. None needed.
Bonamassa was going to open the amp up a bit and move some air with a quick solo performance of Deep Purple’s Smoke On The Water, captured for posterity on Instagram. Check it out above. It’s wonderful. Bonamassa’s chuckle at the insanity of it all… Glenn Hughes, The Voice of Rock, piping up in the comments and offering to pop round and join in. Fantastic.
And to think that in 2022 Bonamassa was going to retire from social media. What a loss that would have been, and not just for the occasional moment of light comedy but for the vintage gear education, too.
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Just hours before his retaliatory Deep Purple performance, Bonamassa shared one of the latest additions to the Nerdville collection; a 1961 Fender Telecaster Custom that was once owned by Ernie Ball and John 5, and which by Bonamassa's reckoning has never left the Los Angeles area. As he wrote, "I don't buy guitars. I buy good stories and history."