Cry Baby: The Pedal That Rocks The World

This mini documentary tells the story of the “wah-wah” effect pedal, from its invention in 1966 to the present day. Musicians, engineers, and historians discuss the impact of the pedal on popular music and demonstrate the various ways it has been used, as well as how its evolution has improved the ability of artists to express themselves musically.


The film features interviews with Brad Plunkett, the inventor of the pedal, plus many other musical luminaries such as Ben Fong-Torres, Eddie Van Halen, Slash, Buddy Guy, Art Thompson, Eddie Kramer, Kirk Hammett, Dweezil Zappa, and Jim Dunlop. These professionals explain how a musical novelty transcended convention and has become timelessly woven into the fabric of modern pop-culture.

Some of the artists’ take on imitating the sound of the pedal will crack you up! Most non-musicians will know of this sound from “cheesy porn music” [if you were from the 70’s], “disco and blaxploitation films” [if you were from the 80’s] and in more modern times it is simply known as: chicka-chicka wow-wow or bow-chicka wow-wow!

Produced by Joey Tosi
Directed by Joey Tosi & Max Baloian
Edited by Max Baloian


Pic Ron Howard/Redferns



*All music licensed courtesy of: Concord Music Group; Working Man Music; Bird & Egg Studios; Dan Cantrell; and Hindsight Records.

Images provided courtesy of: Getty Images Archive, Billboard Magazine Archive, Neil Zlozower, National Music Museum-University of South Dakota,  and Lynn Wheelwright.

Archival Footage provided courtesy of, The Welk Music Group Inc., and Oddball Film & Video-San Francisco.