Great new books for gui­tarists!

Guitar Techniques - - Intro -

Hal Leonard Books has pub­lished two cool new books for gui­tar en­thu­si­asts: The Fen­der Ar­chives by Tom Wheeler (£27.43), with a fore­word by the leg­endary picker James Bur­ton; and Brian May’s Red Spe­cial £15.99) by Brian May him­self, along with our old pal Si­mon Bradley. The Fen­der Ar­chives is part his­tory, part ar­chive, part scrap­book and part trea­sure chest, telling the story of an Amer­i­can icon through its rich past.

The Fen­der Ar­chives looks at the company from the inside; hand­writ­ten let­ters, pro­duc­tion to­tals, per­sonal log­books, in-house memos, Leo Fen­der’s draw­ing-board sketches, fi­nan­cial re­ports-such doc­u­ments are freed here from long con­fine­ment in card­board boxes and fil­ing cab­i­nets, dusted off, and pro­moted from back­ground to spot­light. It sheds new light on the in­spi­ra­tions for rev­o­lu­tion­ary in­stru­ments and am­pli­fiers, their some­times-dif­fi­cult births and grow­ing pains, the en­vi­ron­ment into which they were un­leashed upon the world, and the mo­ti­va­tions and per­son­al­i­ties of key play­ers. Fea­tured are rare and pre­vi­ously un­seen photographs and doc­u­ments from Fen­der’s rich his­tory as well as posters, and other items housed in fold­ers bound within the book.

“Tom has com­piled a cap­ti­vat­ing col­lec­tion of ar­ti­facts that is guar­an­teed to sat­isfy the most pas­sion­ate Fen­der fa­natic,” said Richard McDon­ald, ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of the Fen­der brand. And who are we to ar­gue?

Brian May’s Red Spe­cial tells the story of how Brian and his fa­ther Harold built the rock star’s iconic gui­tar. Says Brian: “I de­signed an in­stru­ment from scratch, with the in­ten­tion that it would have a ca­pa­bil­ity beyond any­thing that was out there, more tun­able, with a greater range of pitches and sounds, with a bet­ter tremolo, and with a ca­pa­bil­ity of feed­ing back through the air in a ‘good’ way.”I n Brian May’s Red Spe­cial, read­ers will dis­cover ev­ery­thing they ever wished to know about the Queen axe hero’s unique in­stru­ment. This is ac­com­pa­nied by orig­i­nal di­a­grams, sketches and notes dat­ing from the build­ing of the gui­tar, as well as a great se­lec­tion of photographs in­clud­ing Brian on stage with his gui­tar, close-ups and x-rays. “There is more to the Red Spe­cial than the tech­ni­cal as­pects, though; there’s the hu­man side, too,” says co-au­thor, Si­mon Bradley. “The gui­tar rep­re­sents a link to a part of Brian he’s kept pri­vate up to now: the home life of his ear­li­est years, his re­la­tion­ship with his par­ents, and how that all dove­tailed into the very gen­e­sis of Queen - and the birth of That Gui­tar”. Brian May’s Red Spe­cial in­cludes rare and pre­vi­ously un­seen photographs; a must-read for any Queen fan. Visit www.halleonard books.com for more on both th­ese great gui­tar tomes.

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