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50unsungheroesofguitarcoverGuitar Player Presents 50 Unsung Heroes of the Guitar
Edited by: Michael Molenda
Publisher: Backbeat Books
Reviewed: January, 2012

I know that if I were to survey all of the Boomerocity readers from around the world, pretty much every one of them would be able to name all of the guitar icons of rock n’ roll. Names like Page, Clapton, Hendrix, Townshend and Frampton would be named among many, many others.

However, I also know that a large percentage of Boomerocity readers have very discriminating tastes when it comes to their music and encyclopedic knowledge of the music world. With that knowledge come some very interesting conversations about other artists – guitarists, keyboardists, drummers, bassists – who are not quite as well known as the icons.

To that point, Michael Molenda, Editor-in-Chief of Guitar Player Magazine, has compiled a great anthology of interviews and articles from past issues of GP, editing them into a great book entitled, Guitar Player Presents 50 Unsung Heroes of the Guitar. The artists covered are from several genres and the interviews reach as far back as 1971 with Chicago’s Terry Kath and as recently as 2010 with The Band’s Jim Weider.

Oh, less you think that Mr. Molenda only showcases dudes in this book, I must call out some of the great female guitarists that he presents. Women like Jennifer Batten, Carrie Brownstein, Juliana Hatfield, Kaki King, Mary Osborne, Emily Remler, Allison Robertson, Donita Sparks, and The Great Kat are given quite a bit of coverage in the book.

Musicians and gear heads will love the book because, in addition to great axe handlers getting some coverage, there’s plenty of talk about the gear used (at least, at the time of the interview) and their thoughts about them.

Not only is this a fun book to read, it’s also a great reference book to have in your library if, like me, you like reaching back in time to get the thoughts and perspectives of artists. This book would also make a great gift to that music nut or guitarist in your life.