The author of Guitar Masters: Intimate Portraits is
a preeminent guitar journalist, and there is no one better positioned than di Perna to write this series of profiles. This book focuses on several key players who were instrumental in the development of the electric guitar, including James Burton, Billy Gibbons, Keith Richards, David Gilmour, Dick Dale, Pete Townshend, Steve Cropper and Jeff Beck.
Di Perna has written about all of these guitarists in the pages of
Guitar World but expands on those interviews here. The challenge in
writing about these iconic musicians is to find the essence of who they are and
not simply regurgitate what has already been written many times before. He
addresses this notion in his foreword:
"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. 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."
It's a terrific book and will provide insights into these players you've never thought about before.