June 1, 2004

Taylor Guitars— 30 Years of a New American Classic

By Michael John Simmons
Superbly written and packed with intriguing historical photos, this 220-page coffee-table book tells how Kurt Listug and Bob Taylor met as struggling luthiers in a San Diego workshop and managed to create one of the world’s preeminent guitar companies. It’s a dramatic tale of economic hardship, disappointment, and eventual triumph over adversity. Guitar geeks will delight in the details about tonewoods, tools, and manufacturing, and Taylor owners will appreciate the history of the various models and how they evolved from pencil-and-paper sketches into successful production instruments.

Taylor’s extensive (and often humorous) quotes are particularly insightful. He credits other luthiers—including James Goodall, John Carruthers, Jean Larrivée, and Augustino LoPrinzi—for providing him with techniques and inspiration, and points to Tom Anderson as being the catalyst for Taylor’s own pioneering work with computer-controlled milling machines. We learn how and why Taylor developed such radical innovations as the New Technology neck, finger-jointed headstock, UV-cured finish, and Expression System pickup, and get to ogle dozens of custom, celebrity edition, and one-of-a-kind instruments. More than a guitar book, this is a tale of two plucky pals, who, accompanied by a handful of bright and dedicated coworkers, learned to beat the odds and make their dreams come true. PPV Medien.

—Andy Ellis  

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