Hot Wired Guitar
Martin Power
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Buy *Hot Wired Guitar: The Life of Jeff Beck* by Martin Powero nline

Hot Wired Guitar: The Life of Jeff Beck
Martin Power
Omnibus Press
496 pages
May 2012
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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You can talk until you're blue in the face about who the best guitar player that ever played is. Best is a nebulous term at best--there we go again--and how do you really define it? For the sake of this review, it is defined as versatility, technique, tone and emotion. Most people will cite Jimi Hendrix or Jimmy Page, and those are both superb choices. As musicians, they had profound influence on the electric guitar, and most polls includes Hendrix's name in the first position. But when it comes to turning the guitar into something not of this world because of a touch so sublime and perfect that you cannot believe what you're hearing, then hands-down the award goes to Jeff Beck.

Born Geoffrey Beck on June 24, 1944, the future guitarist began playing at an early age and was transfixed early on by listening to Les Paul. Power has done a lot of research here to describe Beck's early life. The author follows his career from the Tridents to solo artist and fills in a lot of the holes in the artist's biography.

However, what he neglects to do is to give proper credit to his source material. Once in a while he'll attribute a quote as, "he told Guitar Player." But typically a quote simply ends with, "Beck said." In fact, my quotes from interviews I've conducted with Jeff Beck are sprinkled liberally throughout the book, and I'm never given any credit [save for an alphabetical reference amongst dozens of other names at the book's end]. If Power knew about his reference sources to name them at the end of his book, why not cite them within the body of the memoir when he was using that material?

Still, this is a well-written and informative book. If you're a Beck fan, this one is well worth checking out.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Steven Rosen, 2014

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