Chuck Hammer is an American guitarist and soundtrack composer, known for textural guitar work with Lou Reed, David Bowie, and Guitarchitecture. As an artist, Hammer is best known for his Guitarchitecture recordings, though he is also widely regarded as a leading soundtrack composer, having scored approximately 300 documentary films. He is currently developing a series of improvisational textural guitar recordings.
He attended State University of New York at Buffalo, studying classical guitar with Oswald Rantucci, jazz with Archie Shepp, and attended lectures presented by Karlheinz Stockhausen. As a guitarist Hammer was a central figure within the Lou Reed Band that hosted the June 1979 concerts at The Bottom Line in New York City that included Don Cherry. He was born in New York City.
Hammer toured extensively as a textural guitarist with Lou Reed from 1978 through 1980. During these concerts Hammer utilized new guitar technology, known as guitar-synth, to orchestrate songs from Berlin, Street Hassle, The Bells and The Velvet Underground. It was during this time that Hammer developed an approach to composing and recording known as Guitarchitecture. Hammer recorded with Lou Reed on Growing Up in Public, January 1980.
In March 1980, Hammer recorded guitar-synth tracks with David Bowie on the album Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), including multiple textures across Ashes to Ashes and Teenage Wildlife, both of which marked the earliest use of guitar- synth in Bowie's catalogue. The actual instruments utilized on these tracks included a Roland GR-500 with Eventide Harmonizer and multiple analogue tape delays.