Book Review: Rock & Roll Books

Play It Loud: The Epic History of the Style, Sound, and Revolution of the Electric Guitar

Rock & Roll Books

Play It Loud outs the single most important figure in rock & roll history: the electric guitar. Covering its development early last century to its current status as the lifeblood of rock, the book revisits stories told countless times – Les Paul's tinkering, Leo Fender's eponymous line, Bob Dylan going electric at Newport, Jimi Hendrix's prowess, and Eddie Van Halen building his "Frankenstrat" – but adds details and dispels myths along the way. Lesser-known stories include jazz giant Charlie Christian's championing of the instrument just when it needed the boost, Merle Travis' key work in designing the first Fender solid body and, most importantly, obscure luthier George Beauchamp's creation of the first electric guitar. The narrative ends by name-checking contemporary guitar heroes Tosin Abasi of Animals as Leaders, Gemma Thompson from Savages, and Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent, as key futurists in the evolutionary chain.

Play It Loud: The Epic History of the Style, Sound, and Revolution of the Electric Guitar

by Brad Tolinski and Alan Di Perna
Doubleday, 400 pp., $26.95
More Music Reviews
Pretty Paper: A Christmas Tale
Pretty Paper: A Christmas Tale

Tim Stegall, Dec. 2, 2016

Book Review: Texas Book Festival Music Reviews
Without Getting Killed or Caught: The Life and Music of Guy Clark
The dean of Lone Star songwriting documented at the 11th hour

Doug Freeman, Nov. 4, 2016

More by Michael Toland
Secret Culturalist Dave Thomas
Secret Culturalist Dave Thomas
Pere Ubu/Rocket From the Tombs frontman tag teams ATX

May 18, 2017

Texas Platters
Walker Harris English

May 19, 2017


Electric guitar, Gift Guide 2016, Les Paul, Leo Fender, Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, St. Vincent, Charlie Christian

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)