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Gillan Fronting “Smoke on the Water” World Record Performance

LONDON - MARCH 31: Ian Gillan of Deep Purple performs on stage at the Tommy Vance Tribute night on the fifth night of a series of concerts and events in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust organised by charity Patron Roger Daltrey, at the Royal Albert Hall on March 31, 2006 in London, England.
Deep Purple's Ian Gillan
has sung "Smoke on the Water" thousands of times -- but never with thousands of guitar players.

Gillan has signed on to be part of an attempt to break the world record for the most number of amateur guitarists playing at the same time -- named Guitars on the Beach -- which takes place September 6 in Lyme Regis on England's southeast coast, where Gillan has a home.

Last year's event featured 2,267 guitarists performing Buddy Holly's "Rave On" to set a record for Great Britain's largest band ever, but organizers are gobsmacked that Gillan has volunteered to be part of this year's festivities.

"My jaw hit the floor," said Guitarist on the Beach founder Geoff Baker. "This is sensational news. Clearly 'Smoke on the Water' will now be the main event for many. It's the classic guitar riff and not difficult to play...This is going to be amazing." 

The current world's record for massed amateur guitarists is 6,546, set during 2009 in Poland, and Baker says with Gillan's involvement "many more people will now want to take part. It's something to write home about, that you once played with Ian Gillan in a band with thousands of guitarists."

In addition to "Smoke on the Water," the Guitars on the Beach participants will also play "Rave On" and Status Quo's "Rocking All Over the World."