Obituary: Glenn Snoddy – the creator of the fuzz pedal

NewsThe first name, that comes to one’s mind when the “fuzz” is mentioned, is Jimi Hendrix.
But to me, the creator of this pedal’s wiring was not less important for the history of guitar music.
His name war Glenn Snoddy.
In the 40s he was one of the most important country music tone engineers in Nashville and worked, amongst many, many other artists, together with Johnny Cash.

How an idea came up, that changed the guitar music forever

During a studio session with Marty Robbins in the 1960s the bass produced an overdriven sound because one of the transformers broke down.
Inspired by this special sound Glenn Snoddy invented a pedal which was able to reproduce that effect.
This was the first fuzz effect pedal ever.
The legendary sound became famous as “Nashville sound” and since then, has been used by uncountable numbers of guitarists all over the world.
Snoddy sold his invention to Gibson who marketed it as Maestro Fuzz-Tone.

From Keith Richards to Jimi Hendrix

Keith Richards created the legend of a fuzz effect by using it for the Rolling Stones song “Satisfaction”.
Actually, he wanted to use this special sound to emulate the sound of the wind players which should have been added later.
But fortunately, the riff remained on the record.
Without the invention of Glenn Snoddy, musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and many other bands might have never created such a legendary sound as they did by using the fuzz effect.
Therefore, Glenn Snoddy has made a decisive contribution to the course of the story of guitar music.

In May 2018 Glenn Snoddy died at the age of 96 years.
But his idea will live on in every Fuzz Face, Tonebender, Big Muff and all following fuzz pedals.