Launched in 1967, Guitar Player magazine was at the center of the six-string explosion of the 1970s, when guitar gods like Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Johnny Winter, and Rick Derringer shaped a decade and redefined guitar playing for generations. And nearly every guitar hero of the 1970s took time out to sit down with Guitar Player’s expert writers—all top-flight guitarists themselves—to tell stories; share secrets; talk about their guitars, amps, and customized rigs; and explain how they got some of those incredible guitar sounds.
Now in Guitar Player Presents: Guitar Heroes of the ’70s ($14.99, Backbeat Books), Guitar Player has opened its archives to present a thrilling collection of intimate, detailed, and tech-savvy conversations with the great guitarists of the decade. This is the third volume in Backbeat’s popular Guitar Player Presents series, following Guitar Player Presents: Clapton, Beck, Page and Guitar Player Presents: Carlos Santana.
Every article originally appeared in the 1970s when these young guns were in the midst of conjuring world-changing guitar sounds, riffs, and solos. In an interview right after the release of Who’s Next, Pete Townshend discussed what he considered “the finest guitar I’ve ever owned,” which he played on every track on that album. Taking time out from a North American tour, Deep Purple’s Ritchie Blackmore explained why playing with a big amplifier is like “like trying to control an elephant.” In his Marin County living room, Jerry Garcia revealed that he’s “always changing and updating” his axe, seeking “a kind of universal guitar—something that will sound like anything I want it to.” And in an interview from 1974, Peter Frampton described in detail the heavily modified black Les Paul he considered his “pride and joy”—a guitar that would become iconic with the release of Frampton Comes Alive two years later.
Guitar Player Presents: Guitar Heroes of the ’70s also features interviews with Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Winter, Rick Derringer, Michael Bloomfield, Ry Cooder, Tony Iommi, Mick Ronson, Ron Wood, Joe Walsh, David Gilmour, Randy Bachman, Brian May, Carlos Santana, Frank Zappa, and many other artists.
The great guitarists of the 1970s were always innovating, always seeking new sounds, always exploring new musical ideas, and this, as much as their undisputed virtuosity, is why they came to be called guitar heroes. Now anyone wishing to learn the secrets of these six-string masters can get the story straight from the source in Guitar Player Presents: Guitar Heroes of the ’70s.
About the editor: A performer, producer, studio owner, and international recording artist, Michael Molenda has been editor in chief of Guitar Player magazine since 1998. He lives in San Francisco.
Guitar Player Presents: Guitar Heroes of the ’70s
Edited by Michael Molenda
April 2011, $14.99, Paperback, ISBN 978-1-61713-002-1
262 pages, 6 x 9, B&W photos throughout
Published by Backbeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard