Today, feedback is used by guitarists to create all sorts of cool effects. There would be no fuzzy, overdriven guitar rock if it weren’t for the physical principles of amplified sound that result in feedback. But who was the first guy to really use this technique? It might be an experimental musician named Robert Ashley who released something called Wolfman in 1964.
A treated electronic composition was put on tape. It was a drone-y, feedback-y thing designed to play through the speakers at the same time Ashley was playing live onstage. It was pretty tough to listen to–it gets quite piercing in places–but as far as anyone can tell, it’s the first time that feedback was harnessed to create a musical landscape. So the next time you hear some fuzzy guitar, give silent thanks to Robert Ashley for the inspiration.