1,683 Guitarists Play “Smoke on the Water”
On June 4, 1,683 guitarists descended on the outfield of CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Kansas City, Kansas, in an effort to shatter the world record for the most people playing the same song simultaneously—and they did it. The song was Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water,” and the record was previously set back in 1994, when 1,323 people played the same song in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The event was put on by the Kansas City radio station KYYS (99.7 FM) after one of its morning show hosts, Tanna Guthrie, came up with the idea. “You never know if you can pull something like this off,” she said.
In order to break the record—which still needs to be verified by Guinness—all 1,683 guitarists had to perform the song’s signature opening riff for five straight minutes.
Players came from all over the world to participate, with ages ranging from grade school to grandparents.
“I thought it was going to be kind of cheesy,” said Hannah Koch, a Prairie Village, Kansas, guitar player who played while dressed in an elf costume. “But after I got here I got caught up in the excitement of it.”
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