From Publishers Weekly
Hodgkinson picks up right where his previous and immensely entertaining Guitar Man
left off. After learning to play the guitar and perform on stage in only six months, with the help of fret board luminaries such as the Smiths' Johnny Marr, Hodgkinson attempts to learn how to write songs and then get them recorded, although this time he gives himself a year to do it all. When his first songs are met by his friends with less than enthusiasm (Are you going to sing 'Mystery Fox' to Hal David and Carole King?), Hodgkinson seeks out various songwriters such as XTC's Andy Partridge who are more encouraging (At least it's a good title). One of Hodgkinson's most endearing features—and one that his prose perfectly captures—is his utter lack of fear. In his humbling, and enjoyable, musical journey, he's willing to talk with unknown songwriters as well as Andrew Lloyd Webber (With perfect grace he found a way of agreeing with whatever inanity spewed from my mouth before explaining aspects of his craft with eloquence). (Feb)
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"In "Guitar Man" (2006), Hodgkinson reported on mastering the guitar. In the funny, self-deprecating, very entertaining sequel, writing a song and recording a single is his mission. Most know a great song when they hear it, but defining its essence is trickier. Hodgkinson admits he has a lot to learn, since his songwriting technique primarily consists of thinking of the name of an animal and "then finding something to rhyme with it." He receives desperately needed tips from Keith Richards, Ray Davies, Andy Partridge of XTC, Arthur Lee of Love, singer-guitarist Bert Jansch, and even Andrew Lloyd Webber as well as motley eccentrics including brilliant, erratic Lawrence, who dropped his surname years before it became fashionable. Hodgkinson also talks to muses, such as Patti Boyd, who inspired George Harrison's "Something" and Eric Clapton's "Layla," and visits New York to pay homage to the great Brill Street Building lyricists Carole King and Gerry Goffin. He and sometime partner Doyle go to great lengths to find the proper atmosphere for songwriting, one time as far as the tiny Hebridean island of Eigg. Ultimately, older and a bit wiser, Hodgkinson enters studio and records single. Wherever his next journey takes him, his many fans will gladly tag along."--"Booklist," starred review