Hare was one of the first guitarists to purposely use the effects of distortion in his playing. In 1951, he joined a blues band formed by Junior Parker, called Little Junior's Blue Flames. He played the electric guitar solo on "Love My Baby" (1953), which later inspired the rockabilly style. One of their biggest hits was "Next Time You See Me" which in 1957 reached #5 on the Billboard R&B charts and #74 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart. His guitar solo on James Cotton's electric blues record "Cotton Crop Blues" (1954) was the first record to use heavily distorted power chords, anticipating elements of heavy metal music. According to American writer and musicologist Robert Palmer: "Rarely has a grittier, nastier, more ferocious electric guitar sound been captured on record, before or since, and Hare's repeated use of a rapid series of two downward-modulating power chords, the second of which is allowed to hang menacingly in the air, is a kind of hook or structural glue.
[...] The first heavy metal record? I'd say yes, with tongue only slightly in cheek." The other side of the single was "Hold Me in Your Arms"; both songs "featured a guitar sound so overdriven that with the historical distance of several decades, it now sounds like a direct line to the coarse, distorted tones favored by modern rock players." According to Allmusic, "what is now easily attainable by 16-year-old kids on modern-day effects pedals just by stomping on a switch, Hare was accomplishing with his fingers and turning the volume knob on his Sears & Roebuck cereal-box-sized amp all the way to the right until the speaker was screaming." Reported to have been an unassuming man in private (once married to Dorothy Mae Good, with whom he had three children — a son and two daughters); however, he had serious, and ultimately fatal, drinking problems. Shortly after the "Cotton Crop Blues" recording, he recorded a version of the early 1940s Doctor Clayton song "I'm Gonna Murder My Baby" on May 14, 1954, which has since been released on the 1990 Rhino Records compilation album, Blue Flames: A Sun Blues Collection. The record also features power chords, which remains "most fundamental in modern rock" as "the basic structure for riff-building in heavy metal bands." According to Robert Palmer, the song is "as heavy metal as it gets." According to the album liner notes, "I'm Gonna Murder My Baby", "is doubly morbid because he did just that". In December 1963, Hare shot his girlfriend dead, and also shot a policeman who came to investigate.
At the time of his arrest, he was playing in the blues band of Muddy Waters. He was replaced in the band by guitarist James "Pee Wee" Madison. Hare spent the last 16 years of his life in prison, where he formed a band named Sounds Incarcerated. Hare succumbed to lung cancer in prison, and died in 1980 in St.
Paul, Minnesota. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
show me more