Friday, January 10, 2014

Guitar Aficionado: The Collections - The Most Famous, Rare and Valuable Guitars in the World

Guitar Aficionado: The Collections - The Most Famous, Rare and Valuable Guitars in the World
by Tom Beaujous and Christopher Scapelliti [Music 789.787 Gui]

This gorgeous over-sized volume caught my eye while browsing the "new books" display area in the Polley Music Library at the downtown library. While not a guitar player myself, I love listening to guitar music, whether it's the haunting tone of Andrés Segovia playing Malaguena, to Eric Clapton's precise solo work, to Carlos Santana's virtuoso work on his Supernatural album. This tremendous book, reprinting (and updating) a series of articles from Guitar Aficionado magazine, looks at the guitar collections of twenty legendary performers, with profiles of each of them as they share tales of what songs they used particular instruments to record. In addition to those twenty profiles, there's also a look at the guitars of the Hard Rock Cafe, and eighteen additional featurettes on specific famous or legendary guitars. The photos in this collection are exquisite -- beautiful rich colors, showing the wear-and-tear on some of the music industry's most beloved axes. Jimmy Vaughn's 1962 Fender Stratocaster "Lady Luck" looks that it has been through hard times; Jakob Dylan's 1964 Fender Esquire is horribly scratched up; Brian Setzer's collection of Gretsch guitars glows as though lit from within; James Hetfield's collections of Flying Vs look like birds in flight, and his collection of four Les Paul Standards (posed in front of a purple 1953 Buick Skylark) are things of beauty. Perhaps the most interesting axe in this book (at least for me) is Eddie Van Halen's home-built "Frankenstein". If you are a lover of guitar music, or have followed any of the artists represented here (inlcluding but not limited to Eric Johnson, David Crosby, Lindsey Buckingham, Randy Bachman, Rick Nielsen, Steve Earle, Carlos Santana, Joe Bonamassa and Lynn Wheelwright), I highly recommend this coffee-table book for adding to your enjoyment of the original music -- listen to your favorite CDs while browsing the breathtaking images and learning about how the performers acquired and used their favorite instruments! -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library [If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Cowboy Guitars, The Strat in the Attic: Thrilling Stories of Guitar Archaeology, or Million Dollar Les Paul: In Search of the Most Valuable Guitar in the World.]

[ Audio interview about the book, with the authors ] | [ official Guitar Aficionado magazine web site ]

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