Play It Loud: An Epic History of the Style, Sound, and Revolution of the Electric Guitar (Paperback)

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The inspiration for the Play It Loud exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The electric guitar has long been an international symbol of freedom, beauty, and rebellion. In Play It Loud, veteran music writers Brad Tolinski and Alan di Perna give us the story of this American icon. It’s a story of inventors and mythologizers, of scam artists and prodigies as varied and original as the instruments they spawned.
The electric guitar looms large over the twentieth century: as an essential element in advancing racial equality in the entertainment industry, as a mirror to the rise of the teenager as a social force, as a linchpin of the punk rock ethos. And today it has come full circle, with contemporary titans such as Jack White and Annie Clark (known as St. Vincent) bringing back some of the instrument’s earliest sounds. Featuring personal interviews with Les Paul, Keith Richards, Eddie Van Halen, and dozens more players and creators, Play It Loud shows how a group of innovators and misfits transformed an idea into a revolution.

About the Author

Brad Tolinski was the editor-in-chief of Guitar World, the world's bestselling magazine for musicians, for twenty-five years. He is the author of Light & Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page

Alan di Perna is a longtime contributor to Guitar World and Guitar Aficionado and has written for Rolling Stone, Creem, Billboard, Guitar Player, and other leading music publications. He is the author of Guitar Masters: Intimate Portraits.

Praise For…

“A thrilling narrative that weaves cultural history, musical history, race, politics, business, advertising and technological discovery.” —The Wall Street Journal

“A swooping, all-encompassing timeline of the instrument’s early days to its beyond-essential role in pop culture and music.” —The Guardian

“Fascinating. . . . A book that lives up to the urgent, innovative, all-encompassing spirit of its subject.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune
“A cultural history, calling up the tastes, styles and fads, the economics and even the geopolitics of 90 years of music-making.” —Dallas Morning News 

“The definitive book about the history and business of the electric guitar.” —

“Fascinating, elegantly written, page-turning. . . . It’s all here—the history, the science, the musicians, and of course, the stringed beauties and the sounds they helped create.” —Jonathan Kellerman, author of The Murderer’s Daughter

“Everything knowable now becomes known about the plugged-in ax that changed the world. A comprehensive history of the electric guitar in cultural context is something long wanted, awaited and needed. At long last, it has arrived.” —Billy Gibbons, ZZ Top guitarist/vocalist and Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame inductee

“A marvelous survey of how the electric guitar has rocked its way into the hearts and minds of millions of music lovers. This is a rich trove of unforgettable anecdotes and vignettes. Highly recommended!” —Douglas Brinkley, author of Rightful Heritage

“Providing a holistic overview packed with contextual insights, music journalists Tolinksi and Di Perna skillfully pinpoint the watershed innovations and key musicians who turned a novelty into a mainstay of popular music. . . . An engaging introduction to a fun topic with broad appeal.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“The electric guitar changed the world, and Tolinski and di Perna impressively reveal its epic story.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“A comprehensive history of the electric guitar, tracing its roots in George Beauchamp’s experiments in search of a way to amplify a guitar’s vibrations. . . . The authors engagingly explore the importance of amplifiers on artists’ sounds.” —Publisher’s Weekly

Product Details
ISBN: 9781101970393
ISBN-10: 1101970391
Publisher: Anchor
Publication Date: November 14th, 2017
Pages: 400
Language: English