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My First Guitar: Tales of True Love and Lost Chords from 70 Legendary Musicians Paperback – September 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: ECW Press (September 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1770410554
  • ISBN-13: 978-1770410558
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #968,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Ask a musician to talk about their first instrument and it seems they are off and running, full of anecdotes, joy, and poetic longing, describing those beat-up first guitars as if they were their first loves, which in many ways they undoubtedly were."  —Graham Parker, Singer/Songwriter


"This book is testament. It's not just about the first guitars or the players themselves, really. It's much more: the follow-up from that first chance meeting—that coming-of-age experience with music. This is life, told and celebrated through guitars."  —Premier Guitar (September 2012)


"Crowe captures what all of her interview subjects share: a love, sublime or offbeat, of the instruments that inspired them to make music." —Publishers Weekly (August 27, 2012)


"Anyone who loves guitars and guitar players (whether or not you're a player yourself) will love looking through this book." —American Songwriter (September 2012)


"The way My First Guitar is divided makes it a quick read, easy to refer back to for those certain favorites and easy to put down and start reading again no matter how much time has passed." —The Weekender (September 2012)


"The book is a rich vein of practical information from which one may extract a huge surplus of musical inspiration." —www.PopMatters.com


"Overall, this book is entertaining, and for the fan of the instrument, creates a very poignant picture of the rise of the guitar in pop culture." —San Francisco Book Review (December 2012)


"The first-person stories told here are as compelling for music fans as they are for non-guitar folk." —Vancouver Sun (December 15, 2012)

About the Author

Julia Crowe is a guitarist and columnist for several guitar magazines in the United States and abroad. Her music has been featured on National Public Radio, and she composed music for the feature film documentary "Drop City." She lives in New York City. Andy Summers is a guitarist, composer, and producer best known as the guitarist of the internationally successful rock band the Police. He has numerous solo albums and is the author of the books "I'll Be Watching You "and "One Train Later."

Customer Reviews

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Densely packed with tidbits, yet a fast and very often, funny read!
Happy Customer
What I like most about Julia Crowe's book about how famous guitar players got started is the wide variety of guitarists she interviewed.
Found Highways
You can read the book cover to cover, or jump and around the different chapters.
Alan W Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Les Paul, who occupies the pinnacle of virtuosity, tells writer and classical guitarist Julia Crowe that he loves the guitar because it's "very apologetic" - it's an instrument you don't have to study for years before you can make a beautiful sound with it.

What I like most about Julia Crowe's book about how famous guitar players got started is the wide variety of guitarists she interviewed. There are metal heads, rock gods, flamenco artists, rockabilly icons, strictly classical players, blues masters, folkies, country guitarists, jazz musicians, even players who might be described as guitar parodists (when you think about it, Spinal Tap is a rock version of P.D.Q. Bach).

Julia Crowe has injected suspense into this book, interweaving the reminiscences of guitarists with the story of how she had to choose between her family and the people she was getting to know as a young but obviously very talented musician.

A characteristic of most of the interviewees is modesty, with the major exception of surf guitar legend Dick Dale.

Dick Dale on Dick Dale: "What I am is, a manipulator of an instrument. I climb inside an instrument, find its soul then make it scream with pain and pleasure."

And I wonder if Colonel Parker, Elvis Presley's eminence grise, was actually wearing a Confederate uniform when Dale was introduced to him. But it's a great story, and even though Dale's section of the book may be the longest, you wouldn't mind if it was longer.

Guitarists started playing for different reasons--Odair, one of the Assad brothers, did it for the chocolate he extorted from his father who wanted Odair to practice.

It's too bad there aren't more women represented, but it wasn't Julia Crowe's fault for overlooking them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Blue Max on October 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A guitarist first guitar is like your first love , a memory that is cherished forever. A fun , informative and at times funny look at some of the greatest players of our time and their memories about their first guitars. Totally enjoyable, easy to read and well written !!! I waited all Summer for it's release and was not disappointed !!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Happy Customer on October 9, 2012
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Ms. Crowe is a brilliant storyteller, each chapter is a delicious snapshot of a guitarist and her/his first guitar. I use the word delicious because this tome is almost like a box of candies - you'll dive in and savor your favorites first and then flip to different chapters.

In short, this book is for everyone. Densely packed with tidbits, yet a fast and very often, funny read!

Also, a thoughtful gift for those receiving their first guitar come christmas perhaps?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christanya on April 30, 2013
Format: Paperback
I ordered "My First Guitar" out of my lifelong enthusiasm for guitars and Jimmy Page. I have to admit that as soon as it was delivered, I flipped through a few interviews of names I recognized then set it on the pile of other books I'd eventually get around to reading - someday. However, I found myself on a long conference call yesterday with no direct work to perform (as long as I kept 1/2 an ear tuned in to the conversation), so I decided to read the author's story that I had noticed is interlaced among the guitarists' interviews.

I find that the book is easy to read and most stories can be read within a few minutes, perfect for those without congruent time to sink into longer chapters. The author writes relaxed but intelligent prose and doesn't get in the way of the entertaining stories from both well-known artists and those that really should be more known, if only musical fame was solely based on skill and dedication to the instrument.

I also love the pictures from the artists' childhood. Not every story comes with one but I don't recall any pictures of guitarists as kids published in the guitar mags I have read in the past so each was new to me. The photos really drive home the stories of their first guitar, you get a real sense of how they started their musical adventure.

One reviewer on Amazon states "the problem for me was that unfortunately half of the people in the book I had never heard of." But I actually LIKE that fact and I am using this book to learn more about these guitarists, as I trust the author must have had a purpose for including them. With this book, Google, wikipedia.org, and an hour, I'll learn about more music and musicians that I would have any other way, at least in that short span of time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alison Smith on September 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Absolutely love this book! If you are passionate about the guitar and great guitarists this is a book you have to get. For me the wonderful thing has been the introduction to new musicians and being reacquainted with old friends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By HPvet on May 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Loved this book!! The guitar love affairs described by numerous storied artists rekindled my own passion and got me practicing again. Followed this book up with a live Pete Huttlinger concert and some finger picking lessons.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By nashville flyer on January 11, 2013
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Highly recommended! Julia has done an amazing job interviewing most of the worlds' best known guitarists. I found all the stories entertaining and informative, shedding a lot of light on these musicians' careers and approaches to the instrument. And as a bonus, the publisher will provide you an ebook version if you send for it. Can't beat that!
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My First Guitar: Tales of True Love and Lost Chords from 70 Legendary Musicians
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