Play It Loud by Brad Tolinski
An Epic History of the Style, Sound, and Revolution of the Electric Guitar

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...construct 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.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

"Every guitar player will want to read this book twice. And even the casual music fan will find a thrilling narrative that weaves together cultural history, musical history, race, politics, business case studies, advertising, and technological discovery." —Daniel Levitin, Wall Street Journal

An unprecedented history of the electric guitar, its explosive impact on music and culture, and the players and builders who brought it to life

For generations the electric guitar has been an international symbol of freedom, danger, rebellion, and hedonism. In Play It Loud, veteran music journalists Brad Tolinski and Alan di Perna bring the history of this iconic instrument to roaring life. It's a story of inventors and iconoclasts, of scam artists, prodigies, and mythologizers as varied and original as the instruments they spawned.

Play It Loud uses twelve landmark guitars—each of them artistic milestones in their own right—to illustrate the conflict and passion the instruments have inspired. It introduces Leo Fender, a man who couldn't play a note but whose innovations helped transform the guitar into the explosive sound machine it is today. Some of the most significant social movements of the twentieth century are indebted to the guitar: It was an essential element in the fight for racial equality in the entertainment industry; a mirror to the rise of the teenager as social force; a linchpin of punk's sound and ethos. And today the guitar has come full circle, with contemporary titans such as Jack White of The White Stripes, Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent), and Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys bringing some of the earliest electric guitar forms back to the limelight.

Featuring interviews with Les Paul, Keith Richards, Carlos Santana, Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai, and dozens more players and creators, Play It Loud is the story of how a band of innovators transformed an idea into a revolution.
 

About Brad Tolinski

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Brad Tolinski has been the editor-in-chief of Guitar World, the world's best-selling magazine for musicians, for more than two decades. He has interviewed and profiled most of popular music's greatest guitarists, including Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Eddie Van Halen, Jack White and Jeff Beck. He is also the author of the deluxe-edition illustrated books Classic Hendrix: The Ultimate Hendrix Experience and The Faces: 1969-75.
 
Published October 25, 2016 by Doubleday. 400 pages
Genres: History, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Play It Loud
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on Aug 25 2016

Two music writers explore the history of one of the most iconic instruments of the past 100 years...The electric guitar changed the world, and Tolinski and di Perna impressively reveal its epic story.

Read Full Review of Play It Loud: An Epic History... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Apr 27 2017

...construct 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.

Read Full Review of Play It Loud: An Epic History... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by John Reinan on Mar 08 2017

The authors do a great job of introducing just enough technical information to make their points, while keeping explanations clear enough so that those of a nontechnical bent — like this reviewer — can follow them.

Read Full Review of Play It Loud: An Epic History... | See more reviews from Star Tribune

Reader Rating for Play It Loud
92%

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