When the courier handed me this sucker in its 'fragile' cardboard wrap - I almost felt my wrist snap. This book is big, beautiful and HEAVY. And at under £25 brand new – it’s a perfect present for the Stones nutter in your home.
Released in March 2014 on Backbeat Books (Barcode 884088554453) – "Rolling Stones Gear – All The Stones Instruments From The Stage To Studio" does exactly what it says on the tin – and in drop-dead gorgeous eye-popping detail.
First up is Amazon’s assessment of 500 pages – it has 672. It’s coffee table large and has a US Dollar price of 60. There are 30 chapters beginning with “Britain Gets The Blues” which shows the 1954-1961 influences on our boys by picturing stuff from Lonnie Donegan’s Skiffle LPs to Chuck Berry, Little Walter and Muddy Waters Chess albums. Chapter 2 moves into the extraordinary catalyst that was CCS’s front man and singer Alexis Korner and his influence on the band. But what hits time and time again are the huge amount of stunning pictures…
Every available square around the copious amount of text is filled with gorgeous repro’s of Sixties adverts, Stones gig posters and concert tickets, Bush Record Players, London Record Stores, Harmony Amplifiers, Reslo Microphones, StratoTone guitars, MXR Phase Pedals and so on. By the time you get to the late Sixties – the in-concert photos of guitar wielding Keith Richards, Brian Jones and Mick Taylor are coming out you in full colour and glorious black and white – beautifully cleaned and massively evocative of the times. Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts get their basses and drum kits, Jagger his Mikes, while the fabulous Seventies stuff and beyond features Tour posters, the saxophones used by Bobby Keys and even the letter Mick Jagger wrote to Andy Warhol commissioning the cover of "Sticky Fingers". It’s properly indepth and thrilling to look at.
There’s adverts galore - Hofner Guitars, Gibson Electric and Les Paul Acoustics, Jesselli Guitars, Synthi Multi Hi-Fi Guitar Processors, Ronnie Wood’s custom made Zemaitis Metal Plate and so on. The advert photos are beautiful throughout all the decades - as are the period shots of Alexis Korner, Ronnie with Bo Diddley and a young Ian ‘Stu’ Stewart on piano.
It took New York authors Andy Babiuk and Greg Prevost 10 years to accumulate and narrate this incredible story and they surely must be up for some sort of Book Oscar. Andy Baiuk did a similar tome for The Beatles in 2001 "Beatles Gear" while Greg Prevost is a staff writer for the acclaimed “Ugly Things” magazine. Both are collectors of guitars and music memorabilia and they clearly know their stuff.
Wonderful memories and surely one of the great Rock Books. Tattoo You and your flabby bottom with this beauty right now…