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Friday, August 26, 2011

The Top Five Keytar Moments In Music History

Posted By on Fri, Aug 26, 2011 at 10:32 AM


The kitschy appeal of the keytar refuses to die. Modern-boogie revivalist Dam-Funk, who plays the New Parish in Oakland next Wednesday, is a committed fan of the inspired amalgamation of guitar and synthesizer; his live shows are known to peak with extended keytar jam sessions. So with present pop icons and '80s mainstays alike putting faith in the keytar, here are five of the best moments culled from the proud annals of keytar history.

5. Snoop Dogg, "Sensual Seduction"

Hip-hop's leading marathon re-tweeter took things back to the decade of glam discos and keytars for his slinky 2008 club classic, "Sensual Seduction." Sure, we suspect that the Doggfather might not actually be playing the synth strapped around his neck, but he swaggers on the spot with it more convincingly than most. Skip to the two minute mark for some kitsch-tastic video effects.

4. Herbie Hancock, "Chameleon"

Smooth, sophisticated, and with a small strut to boot, these days jazz keyboardist Herbie Hancock can often be found prowling the stage clutching a keytar. Here "Chameleon" -- which has been sampled by West Coast rap faces like Digital Underground, 2Pac, DJ Quik, and Coolio -- gets the synthed-up treatment, complete with a back-and-forth spar session with a live sax player -- but you don't need us to tell you who the victor of that little musical tryst is.

3. Lady Gaga, "Money Honey"

Lady Gaga PAPARAZZI Saturday Night Live by Jenokya

After bringing out a keytar for her 2009 Saturday Night Live performance of "Paparazzi," Ms. Gaga seemed to catch the keytar bug full-time. She now regularly trots outs a suitably-oversized, Dalek-looking contraption when segueing into "Money Honey" while on tour. But don't think this is just a fashion thing -- one look at how intensely she embraces the body of the synth will leave you in no doubt as to Gaga's passion for the plastic keys.

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Phillip Mlynar


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