Ah, guitar distortion. It seems like we can’t get enough of it. From the very first time it appeared on records in the 50s, we’ve been hooked. I’ve posed a little about the history of guitar distortion in the past, but the video below takes the history back even further to Bob Willis and his Texas Playboys, Goree Carter, and Howlin’ Wolf.
This video by Polyphonic looks at how distortion is created, how the early distortion pioneers stumbled across it, and how mangling speakers to get it became a real thing even into the 60s. Thankfully it’s a lot easier to obtain these days as just about every guitar amp, pedal and amp sim will get you multiple variations for days.
Still, it’s good to know the history of our favorite unintended yet beloved signal process.