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Is this the first guitar pedal demo ever made?

Today, you only have to take a glance at YouTube to be inundated with guitar demos, but imagine a time when you had to fire up your turntable to hear the latest pedal - that’s precisely what JHS Pedals’ Josh Scott has reenacted as he tracked down what he believes to be the first electric guitar pedal demo ever released.

In the video, Scott listens to his mint copy of a 1962 promo vinyl for the Maestro Fuzz-Tone, one of the first fuzz/distortion pedals ever made.

As the JHS head honcho notes, it’s a fascinating document, partly because the company simply didn’t know how to market it.

Rather than focus on the Fuzz-Tone’s role as a raucous noisemaker, the vinyl instead showcases the pedal imitating brass and woodwind instruments… with varying degrees of success. And the first instrument featured is actually a bass! Who'd have thunk it?

It’s a world away from the demos we have today - and far more formal than, say, MusicRadar’s own shambolic hands-ons.

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.

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