The guitar is the iconic instrument of modern popular music. It is portable, it has history, and it will always be hip. But why has the guitar become such a classic? Will Hodgkinson, a wannabe guitar player, whose only experience was an afternoon’s bashing on a friend’s guitar at the age of sixteen, set out to find out. Along the way he hoped to teach himself a few chords too. His goal was to get good enough to play before a live audience in just six months–even if it threatened to drive his wife and family to the point of insanity. His trip becomes an odyssey: He chats with British folk legend Bert Jansch, ex-Smith’s guitarist Johnny Marr, and reclusive folk guitar legend Davey Graham, as well as Sufjan Stevens, PJ Harvey, and Cat Power’s chanteuse Chan Marshall. He travels to America and with a hurricane brewing visits Roger McGuinn from the Byrds. He travels to the Deep South, looking for the spirit of Robert Johnson, and drops in on T-Model Ford, an old bluesman living in Mississippi. Gloriously readable and highly amusing, Guitar Man is classic obsessional nonfiction for a nation of guitar freaks.
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