What the title of this book doesn't mention is that Guitar Player was also
the most influential guitar magazine of its time. Anybody who played a
guitar--whether you were sitting in your bedroom trying to figure out Jimi
Hendrix licks or you were touring 300 nights a year in a fully-formed rock
band--read the magazine. It was part of the ritual of being a musician:
when the new issue of Guitar Player came out, you rushed out to your local
newsstand to buy it or was already having it delivered because you had a
This extraordinary book details and describes the evolution of that
prestigious magazine from 1970 through 1989 when it was edited--and then
published--by Jim Crockett. It is impossible to separate the man from the
magazine because Crockett loved every aspect of the guitar--the people who
played them, the instruments themselves, the craftsmen who built and
repaired them, and the sound of them--and brought that passion and
enthusiasm to his publication.
Which is why every guitar player who ever laid his fingers across a
fretboard wanted to be in the magazine. It was an indication that you'd
arrived as a player: it meant you were important enough to grace GP's
pages. And virtually every guitarist you could ever think of was written
about. The book here cites interviews with everyone from Jimmy Page, Jeff
Beck, Frank Zappa, and Eric Clapton to Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, and B.B.
King. You picked up a copy because it was the only place you could find out
what kinds of strings Beck used or read about how Page used the doubleneck Gibson
on "Stairway to Heaven."
Guitar Player is still being published today. It remains a vital and
beautifully-written digest for 6-string enthusiasts (and now 7- and
8-string players), but it's different. That period reflected in this book--the '70s and the '80s--was a time when many of the bands we now know were just
starting, or just releasing their first or second album. What would come to
be known as classic rock was still in its infancy, and GP was there to
This book chronicles a unique period in music when rock was still
relatively young and so was the idea of a magazine for guitar players. It
hadn't been done before, so there were no rules--only those to be broken.
This is an essential read for anybody who ever picked up a copy of GP. It is
about a time long gone and terribly missed.