The creative process of the great guitarists, and the psychology, spirituality, and personalities behind the most influential guitar music of the 20th and 21st centuries.
The guitar, particularly in its electric form, is the most influential instrument of the past 60 years. Guitar Masters: Intimate Portraits by Alan di Perna (November 2012, Hal Leonard Books, $29.99) spotlights the players who made it that way: the visionary talents and living legends who developed the sound and style of the electric guitar as we know it and love it.
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Guitar Masters traces the life stories and assesses the musical legacies of superstar guitarists as well as lesser-known, but equally influential sidemen: Buddy Guy, Jeff Beck, Steve Cropper, Dick Dale, Pete Townshend, Billy Gibbons, James Burton, David Gilmour and Keith Richards.
Veteran music journalist di Perna draws on three decades worth of experience as a writer and interviewer to extract the essence of what makes each of these gifted guitarists unique.
As di Perna writes in his preface, “Much has been written — a good deal of it by me – about how the electric guitar changed the sound and essential nature of popular music in the middle years of the twentieth century, launching a counterculture youth revolution as a sideline. And much of this cultural history has focused on the tremendous advances in guitar technology that took place from roughly the 1930s to the 1970s, and the work of pioneers like Leo Fender, Ted McCarty, Paul Bigsby, Jim Marshall, Roger Mayer, and others.”
“All this is undeniably true,” di Perna says. “But none of it would mean a damn thing if it had not been for the visionary guitar players who adopted this fledgling technology and, each in his own way, made glorious, game-changing, populist, heart-wrenchingly beautiful art out of the stuff.”