Jan 162007

Bono holsters his guitar.

Holstering is the practice of a lead singer wearing a guitar but rarely playing it, rather flipping it back on his or her hip for all but a chorus or solo, if that. Bono and Mick Jagger are two of the move’s best-known practitioners. As is typical of practitioners of holstering, Bono and Jagger appeared onstage without a guitar for years before attempting to impress audiences with their newly acquired ability to strum a major chord. Roger Daltry would also debut a holstered guitar well into the career of The Who.

The Boss holsters a la Rambo!

It should be pointed out that holstering is not the domain of formerly axe-free lead singers alone. There are veteran guitar-playing singers who decide to holster their guitar on songs with rhythms beyond their capability, or they holster their guitar to better emote through a key verse or chorus. Joe Strummer often resorted to holstering for both of these reasons. Bruce Springsteen has also been known to holster his guitar to better focus on showing the audience how committed he is to the particular verse he’s singing. The Boss has also been known to holster for more practical reasons, such as those final choruses on his epic songs, in which multiple bandana-clad guitarists and backing singers gather around a single mic in an Iwo Jima-like show of heroic band unity.


  4 Responses to “Holstering”

  1. […] This video was embedded using the YouTuber plugin by Roy Tanck. Adobe Flash Player is required to view the video.Bowie makes the effort to don an eyepatch, but no one thinks to pack a guitar strap for this promo shoot? Was this guy’s priorities straight, or is this an awkward attempt at holstering? […]

  2. […] 2:05–2:23: Carly suddenly appears with an awkwardly held, strapless Gibson SG to rip out a solo?!?! This is a video; why didn’t someone first think to yell Cut! and get her strapped into that bad boy? Now, as I imagine I may have felt had I seen this video when it first aired, I am confused and distracted by competing thoughts regarding her technique, her sudden resemblance to Angus Young, and how all this colors her unique place in Rock Womanhood. To her credit she chose not to holster. […]

  3. […] lead singer loses his or her rock superpowers when strapping on and, most likely, holstering a […]

  4. […] Injuries sustained in a bike accident may prohibit Bono from ever playing guitar again. In case we didn’t see this story, the man has a sense of humor about it, as you can read here. Let’s hope he’s still able to holster. […]

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