- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Jawbone Press (February 9, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1906002002
- ISBN-13: 978-1906002008
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.8 x 10.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,897,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Strange Brew: Eric Clapton and the British Blues Boom Paperback – February 9, 2007
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About the Author
Christopher Hjort is a rock historian who combines a love for popular music with an interest in typography and graphic design. He has written record reviews and artist profiles for music magazines and together with noted American researcher Doug Hinman published an acclaimed chronology of Jeff Becks career, Jeffs Book.
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What I do love is the photos of my heroes in action, my favorites being a complete picture of Peter Green with the Orange amps behind him (a cropped version is used for Gary Moores "Blues For Greeny" cd), the Cafe Au Go Go shot of BB King, Clapton and Elvin Bishop jamming (a cropped version leaving out Elvin was used for "Riding With The King") and an alternate angle shot of Cream at Madison Square Garden (this date is used for the cover of "Live Cream") with a nice view of Cream's weaponry behind them (man,I love gear).
That all being said its hard to imagine a more complete source of information on what is probably my favorite style of music, British Blues.
Ultimately though, this is a fascinating and invaluable look at an amazing musical era and at a whole raft of superb musical talents. In particular for me, it opened my eyes and ears to Fleetwood Mac and Peter Green. As stated by John Mayall in his introduction to the book, I thought I knew it all about this subject matter, but this book has broadened my knowledge by a huge amount. Great book!
A Willie Dixon song called I Just Want To Make Love To You appeared on the very first Stones LP released in the US. I loved that tune, with its driving beat and honking harmonica. It took me a couple of years to search out and find the Chess recordings of Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, and Sonny Boy Williamson, the men who had done the ORIGINAL versions of all of these songs. Once I listened to them, I knew why so many guys in England had picked up guitars and tried to copy that music.
Anyway, this book tells, in intricate detail, the story of how American blues and rock became the basis for the the entire British invasion, from the perspective of the guitarists that made that music come alive. The chronicles of Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, and many others are all included, with much credit given to John Mayall, the "godfather" of British blues. For guitarists and gear freaks, there is a wealth of information on tunings, equipment, set lists, and other esoteric information. If you are at all interested in that stuff, you probably already have this book; if you don't, you should.
Anyone who is remotely curious about the genesis of American blues rock needs to own this book. I guarantee you will love it.