Deep Purple

Deep Purple's Ian Gillan is backing a world record attempt for the most number of guitarists playing at the same time. Playing, of course, “Smoke on the Water.”

The world record attempt, under the banner Guitars On The Beach, will take place in Lyme Regis on England's south coast on September 6. Gillan has a home nearby and astonished organizers by sending a note: “I hear you might be doing “Smoke...” with the massed guitars and if that is the case I thought I’d offer my services if you need a singer.”

Guitars On The Beach organizer Geoff Baker says: “My jaw hit the floor. This is sensational news.”

In 2013, 2267 guitarists of all ages and abilities performed Buddy Holly’s hit “Rave On.” This year, the plan is to play “Rave On” again, John Fogerty's/Status Quo's “Rockin' All Over The World” and Deep Purple's "Smoke On The Water.”

Baker adds: “Clearly “Smoke On The Water” will now be the main event for many. It’s the classic guitar riff and not difficult to play. Massed guitar bands in America, Germany, Canada and Poland have all had a crack at the world record playing “Smoke...” but none of them has ever been led by Ian Gillan before.

“This is going to be amazing, and many more people will now want to take part. It’s quite something to write home about, that you once played with Ian Gillan in a band with thousands of guitarists.”

The current world record for massed guitarists has been held since 2009 by an event in Poland, which amassed 6546 guitarists.