Machine Head lead singer Robb Flynn joined a conversation with Meshuggah’s Mårten Hagström through Metal Hammer, and they talked about some of their funniest stories. In one of them, Flynn shared the story of how he wanted to be like The Who’s Pete Townshend.
The two successful heavy metal musicians, Flynn and Hagström, have known each other for a long time, so they have unforgettable memories. Machine Head and Meshuggah started a co-headlining tour during the ’90s following the Nuclear Blast Festival Tour and supporting Slayer. As a part of their concerts, they planned to perform a show in Germany, and Flynn decided to try something new for himself.
Flynn wanted to imitate one of Townshend‘s signature guitar moves, whipping his hand around it, but he couldn’t realize they had different guitars. The singer highlighted that Townshend had a rounded-edged Les Paul while he had a spiky ended Explorer. While Flynn was trying the move, the rocker revealed hurting his hand and damaging a nerve. Therefore, he couldn’t use his hand. However, they were supposed to continue touring.
The Machine Head singer needed to find another guitarist for the next show, and the first person that came to his mind was Hagström, of course. Hagström agreed to play the guitar while Flynn’s hand was recovering, and Flynn had to teach him the band’s songs. Then, the singer started to show him in the back of the bus, and they were drinking all night. This incident turned into a great memory that they shared.
Flynn shared this memory, saying:
“I have a lot of great memories, and one of the biggest is when we were playing in Germany, and I was gonna do a ‘Pete Townshend.’ You know, where you whip your hand around a bunch of times? Pete has a Les Paul with rounded edges, and I’ve got an Explorer with a spiky end that sticks up. I go to do it, and I go, ‘Bam!’ I must have pinched a nerve or something, but my hand froze.
By the end of the night, I was like, ‘We have a show tomorrow, and there’s no way I’m going to be able to play guitar. Let’s ask Mårten.’ You were like, ‘Yeah, sure, no problem.’ I was like, ‘I’ll show you how to play the songs on the guitar in the back of the bus.’ So you and I just sat there drinking an enormous amount of vodka.”
Consequently, Robb Flynn probably realized that he should create and develop his unique guitar playing style even though he always had many musical heroes that inspired him. As a rhythm guitarist, he drew significant attention along with his career as a singer in Machine Head.