In short historical essay, the knowledgeable music writer Polyphonic took a look at how modern distortion-creating fuzz boxes and pedals for electric guitar originated from either intentionally or unintentionally destroyed amplifiers and other equipment.
…Rocket 88, a song that some qualify as the first rock-and-roll recording. That song featured Willie Khazar ripping a wicked distorted guitar riff …Khazar’s amp got damaged while the band was on the road. To try to fix it he stuffed balls of newspaper into it, hoping to hold the speaker cone in and the result was unintentional distortion, but producer Sam Phillips loved the sound and so he leaned into it. …Link Wray…stabbed his amp speaker cone with a pencil to give it a heavy gritty sound. …In 1964 Dave Davies took a razor and ambushed his cone to create the guitar sound of ‘You Really Got Me’