Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme has evolved into the archetypal modern rock ‘n’ roll frontman over the last few decades. He’s a slick, sophisticated singer who can be as smooth as anybody in Hollywood while still feeling like a desert lizard — he oozes cool. However, even Homme still fanboys out on occasion, as this footage of him playing George Harrison’s Telecaster shows.
Homme started his career in 1987 when he formed the band Kyuss at just fourteen years old. It’s a usual story; however, as a group, they made some critical impression, unlike most teenage bands. The early success offered him his introduction into the debauched world of rock music, providing him with the perfect platform to grit his teeth. While the band didn’t go on to Beatles levels of success, they did secure a support slot for Metallica and opened Homme’s eyes to what the future had in store for him.
In 1996, he formed Queens Of The Stone Age, and he’s remained the only consistent member of the band over the last 25 years. Over seven studio albums, Homme has moulded QOTSA in his own particular vision, and the band offered him the perfect vehicle for his talent.
Outside of his work with the band, Homme hasn’t been afraid to live out his dreams, working with artists that he looked up to as heroes during his youth, like Iggy Pop or John Paul Jones. Homme’s credentials as a true music lover are impossible to dispute and, when he got the opportunity to play George Harrison’s old Telecaster, the gravitas of the instrument he held in his hand wasn’t lost on the singer.
In the clip, Homme walks to pick up the guitar and it is love at first sight. “Oh my god, wow, wow,” he utters in awe. Meanwhile, he doesn’t let his eyes draw away from the instrument, even for a millisecond. The Queens of the Stone Age singer is overwhelmed by the history that sits in his hands, and it’s refreshing to watch someone as esteemed as Homme still feel overawed as he reverts to being the music-obsessed kid that started this journey in the first place.
After a quick strum, an emotional Homme stops and says: “Man, I think I need to stop playing these things,” the singer then loses track of his thoughts while clearly in a state of shock and wonderment. After regaining his cool, Homme calmly adds with a giant smile, “I’ll tell you, there’s some things that you’re supposed to touch, and some things you’re never supposed to touch.”
Homme is one of the coolest frontmen around, and even if Queens of the Stone Age headlined Glastonbury, it’s hard to imagine him getting as visibly emotional as he does in this clip. It’s difficult to argue with him that something as historic as Harrison’s Telecaster is too illustrious for anyone else to play. Instead, it deserves to be hung high in a museum to make sure it’s preserved for eternity.