Thursday, May 05, 2005

Guitar: An American Life

A book I haven't read yet, but looks interesting is Guitar: An American Life by Tim Brookes.

The publisher's site is a pain to navigate and link to (hence the link to Amazon) but here's the blurb on the book:

Shortly before his fiftieth birthday, baggage handlers destroy Tim Brookes's guitar, his twenty-two-year-old traveling companion. His wife promises to replace it with the guitar of his dreams, but Tim discovers that a dream guitar is built, not bought. He sets out to find someone to make him the perfect guitar-a quest that ends up a dirt road in the Green Mountains of Vermont.

As Brookes awaits his dream instrument, he explores the guitar's mystique: freedom, the open road, protest and rebellion, the blues, youth, lost love, and sexuality. Arriving with conquistadors and the colonists, the guitar found itself in an extraordinary variety of hands: those of miners and society ladies, lumberjacks and presidents' wives, Hawaiians, African-Americans, Cajuns, jazz players, spiritualists, singing cowboys of the silver screen, and Beatles fans. In time it has become America's instrument, the rhythm of its soundtrack.

With adoration, Brookes tries to unravel the symbolic associations a guitar holds for so many of us, musicians and non-musicians alike. His quest takes him across the country, talking to historians, curators, and guitar makers including the amiable curmudgeon master-guitar-maker, Rick Davis, who takes a rare piece of cherry wood and creates Brookes' new companion.

No comments: