Clapton's Guitar
Allen St. John
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Buy *Clapton's Guitar: Watching Wayne Henderson Build the Perfect Instrument* by Allen St. John online

Clapton's Guitar: Watching Wayne Henderson Build the Perfect Instrument
Allen St. John
Free Press
288 pages
October 2005
rated 4 of 5 possible stars
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If you love guitars or love guitar-driven music - or if you are just a rock ní roll guitar god on the weekends Ė then you will definitely enjoy Clapton's Guitar: Watching Wayne Henderson Build the Perfect Instrument by Allen St. John. Essentially, St. John chronicles the building of two world-class guitars for Eric Clapton. This is an entertaining contrast between worlds: the high-gloss finished product of pop music, and the subculture in which Henderson is fully immersed, filled with folklore, craftsmanship and regular folk mastering traditional music.

The title is a tad misleading in that there isnít the culmination of hard work leading to a meeting with Clapton (there is just an exchange between St. John and Claptonís guitar tech). But what St. John does a tremendous job of doing is putting the reader over the shoulder of Henderson as he turns a piece of wood into a beautifully crafted guitar. St. John deftly tells the story of Henderson, his family, and friends in an entertaining way. This makes Claptonís Guitar more palatable to those who just want to read a good book. Yes, itís true the guitar aficionado will find a lot to , but itís not prerequisite that you be a super-duper guitar freak to enjoy this. From the opening of the book, right after Clapton plays one of Hendersonís guitars and hears about the guy for the first time:

ďThe guy was Wayne Henderson, and itís no surprise that even Eric Clapton, one of the worldís certifiable guitar freaks, didnít know anything about him. Henderson lives in rural Rugby, Virginia, population 7, where until recently he split his time between building extraordinary guitars and delivering the mail to his neighbors. He has built maybe three hundred guitars over the last thirty-five years, as many as the popular C.F. Martin factory in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, can finish in a busy afternoon. But in just a few short moments with this guitar, Clapton had discovered one thing. Wayne C. Henderson might just be the greatest guitar builder who ever lived. A Stradivari in glue-stained blue jeans.Ē
Including a glossary and pictures, Claptonís Guitar clocks in at two hundred and eighty-eight fast, enjoyable pages, making for a great way to kill a few hours on a rainy day. Great for the guitar nut and those less inclined to be nutty.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Bobby Blades, 2006

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