A Journey to Guitarland with Maestro Armadillo
Having just witnessed two one-and-a-half-year-old twins lose their minds for my acoustic guitar, I totally support anything that draws kids to the instrument. This book—which teaches children about the various parts of the guitar, why it’s so fun and cool, and who some of the great players are, all via a guitar-playing armadillo(!)—will get kids hooked. Brian May, Steve Hackett, Jennifer Batten, and I all love this book!
Ram ones at 40
It sucks that none of the original band members are still with us. But if others have to tell the tale—and it’s an important one—Popoff’s comprehensive and glossy celebration is both scholarly (histories and evaluations of each album) and fun (lots of cool photos and even info on collectibles). Mix this tome with Johnny Ramones’ Commando, and you’ll experience the Ramones inside and out.
The Elektra Years, 1978-1987
Within this spiffy box set are the six albums that made the Cars a pop phenomenon. But the real proof within the grooves is that lefty guitarist Elliot Easton is one of rock’s tastiest and most inventive soloists. Toss that guy a good song and he’d make it epic. In fact, without Easton’s revved-up guitars, I wonder if the Cars would have made it out of the pit stop.
Songs for the Electric
GP reconnected with Gardiner while compiling its April 2016 David Bowie tribute, and he turned me on to this lush, beautiful, edgy, surprising, and spooky solo release from 2014. The instrumental set is timeless, as are Gardiner’s fuzzy tones and spiraling melodies. It’s great chill music, but it also pulls you into the details like an eerie landscape painting where you want to scrutinize every element. Available through rickygardiner.com.