Musical Instrument Retailers have finally bowed to building pressure, and from April 1st it will become illegal to perform Eddie Van Halen’s ‘Eruption’ solo, or the riff from Deep Purple’s ‘Smoke on the Water’ when trying out an electric guitar.

One store manager from Peterborough said: ‘It had become such a problem that something really needed to be done about it. I’ve lost so many good staff in recent years as all too often a customer will be trying out a guitar and then, without warning before we can intervene, they’ll suddenly crank the amp right up.’

‘That normally signals a ham-fisted mangling of Smoke on the Water before they then take a stab at Eruption with results too diabolical for words. Almost without exception it’s “performed” with all the dexterity of a tone-deaf weightlifter wearing boxing gloves and playing with the disadvantage of having had both hands smashed with a sledgehammer first.’

‘Staff simply become mentally scarred. Many leave our business and go to work at John lewis in The Shoe Department.’

One such casualty is Alan Mayes. ‘It’s true,’ he agrees, ‘I used to work in a music shop but after hearing Eruption slaughtered for the 5000th time I could no longer stand it. OK, so shoes aren’t as rock and roll as guitars but at least I can now sleep at night again.’

Keyboard salespeople are watching developments closely and if the move proves successful then it’s expected that a similar ban will be enforced on Grade 1 Pianists playing ‘Chopsticks’ and ‘Heart and Soul’ .