Influential Icon Dead at 86 Years Old

( – Rock-n-Roll icon Duane Eddy has passed away – just a few days after he celebrated his birthday.

He was 86 years old.

The talented guitarist, whose magic fingers with the strings gave life to hits in the 50s and 60s such as “Peter Gunn” “Because They’re Young,” “Forty Miles of Bad Road,” and “Rebel Rouser,” passed away at the Williamson Health hospital in Franklin, Tennessee, after a battle with cancer. His death was confirmed by his wife, Deed Abbate.

A representative for the veteran musician said that Eddy was surrounded by his wife and several loved ones just before he passed. Born on April 26, 1938 and living in Corning, New York, Eddy began fiddling with a guitar at the tender age of five. His method of self-teaching was likely a major factor in how he developed his signature sound, which is characterized by the frequent use of the vibrato bar, along with the utilization of bass lines for playing his lead lines. He was also a fan of experimenting with different sounds – he once brought a very large water tank to a studio in an attempt to replicate the sound of an echo chamber.

He was mainly influenced by jazz, country, and rhythm and blues, which could have in turn contributed to his strictly instrumental approach to music. His musicality would see him go on to sell millions of records worldwide. He was one of the pioneers who put the use of electric guitars on the map, eventually cementing the instrument as a staple of rock-n-roll music.

Armed with his signature “twang” sound, Eddy would go on to be an inspiration to generations of musicians all over the globe, and was considered one of the first rock-n-roll “gods”. Other icons that have come after, such as Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison, and Bruce Springsteen have all cited Eddy as a major inspiration for them. Springsteen, in particular, paid tribute to Eddy’s sound through a guitar section in one of his hit songs, “Born to Run.”

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