Music publishing giant Hal Leonard has undertaken to chronicle and present four decades worth of stories and features as they originally appeared in
Guitar Player Magazine. Guitar Player was the first of the musician-oriented journals and,
to this day, continues to be a major presence among the hundreds of guitar-related titles.
The title of this collection alone suggests the sweep and influence of what lies between the covers. And, yes, the interviews are extraordinary and the information is insightful and penetrating. But the presentation of these materials is sub-standard and an embarrassment to the writers and musicians represented on these pages.
Save for the front and back covers, there is no color. Everything is in black and white. The resolution of the photos and the reproduction of the various magazine covers has been poorly executed. Graphically, the presentation is pretty elementary. Little thought has been given to creating an eye-fetching display. Even the paper has a cheap feel to it. The publisher did not do justice to its subject. They certainly had the means and the ability, but they just (seemingly) tossed this together.
That being said, there are some terrific moments here. Interviews with everyone from Mick Ronson, Jimmy Page, and Frank Zappa to Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, and The Edge fill these roughly 240 pages with some of the rarest and most classic conversations ever conducted.
If you are a fan of the magazine, you need to have this for your collection. The publisher could have created a memoir of enduring quality; rather, they opted for the simple and inexpensive, and that is what you have.