As I was out today, enjoying the last weekend of this holiday season with my family, I meandered into Waldenbooks at my local mall. Upon walking closer to this Waldenbooks store, several large posters hanging in this store’s windows grabbed my attention, they read: going out of business sale and up to 50% off. I was semi-shocked, this Waldenbooks store happened to be a favorite stop of mine, my wife and daughters included. Sign of the times? Perhaps. What is important to note, however, is that the Waldenbooks store chain is not going out of business… it is just this store location. (I never like to see any reputable book store go out of business, be it an independent or mass retailer). So, with a lump in my throat and a semi-bewildered look upon my face, I journeyed into this Waldenbooks store to see what deals may be lurking. Oh and what a deal I did find… a large, hardcover book that is chock full of the greatest guitarists of our time! The book I bought today, without a blink of hesitation, is:
Six – String Heroes – Photographs Of Great Guitarists
The cover price for this unreal great book is $35.00/U.S., however, with the 50% taken off at the register, it set me back $17.50… plus tax. Let me just say this, any fan or musician of Rock, Hard Rock and/or Heavy Metal will get a thrill out of the photographs that lie within Six – String Heroes. As a Metal bonus, there are literally dozens of anecdotes and personal comments, directly quoted from dozens of the most famous and influential guitarists of the modern era. These guitarists comment on themselves, their playing styles and influences. Comments and quotes, about what these same guitarists think of their peers are spread throughout this magnificent book as well. The majority of the photographs are in full color, while the vintage black & white photo’s only add to this book’s overall Rock elegance. Quite honestly, just looking at the photographs alone puts an awe struck feeling inside of me… the photography found here is that amazing. Anytime I can find a compilation book of photos, that is directly related to the history of Rock Music, I am going to dig deep into my pockets to purchase it.
In my Metal opinion, Six – String Heroes is a lifetime keeper, a book so rich with it’s historically documented, visual accounts of the most influential guitarists that ever lived. Here is a meaty sampling of the guitarists that are found inside the pages of Six – String Heroes:
Les Paul, Brian May (Queen), Peter Frampton, George Benson, Pat Metheny, Dimebag Darrell (Pantera), Brian Setzer, Waylon Jennings, Neal Schon (Journey), Eric Clapton, C. C. Deville (Poison), Tommy Shaw and James Young (Styx), Rick Derringer, Mick Mars (Motley Crue), Nancy Wilson (Heart), Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits), Yngwie Malmsteen, Glenn Tipton & K. K. Downing (Judas Priest), Steve Stevens (Billy Idol), Steve Howe (Yes), Ritchie Blackmore (Rainbow & Deep Purple), Adrian Smith & Dave Murray (Iron Maiden), Michael Schenker (Scorpions & MSG), Angus Young & Malcolm Young (AC/DC), Jerry Cantrell (Alice In Chains), George Lynch (Dokken & Lynch Mob), Paul Gilbert, Vivian Campbell (DIO & Def Leppard), Slash, Bonnie Raitt, Chet Atkins, Jeff Beck, Gary Moore (Thin Lizzy), Frank Zappa, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Randy Rhoads (Ozzy), Mick Thomson & Jim Root (Slipknot), James Hetfield & Kirk Hammett (Metallica), Eddie Van Halen, Jeff Hanneman & Kerry King (Slayer), Scott Ian (Anthrax), Ace Frehley & Paul Stanley (KISS), Tommy Thayer (KISS), Keith Richards (Rolling Stones), B.B. King, Robin Trower, Pete Townshend (The Who), Bruce Springsteen (The Boss), Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Ted Nugent, Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick), Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath)
There are many, many more guitarists in this book that I could mention, yet I think you get the point. When a book can have George Benson and the two leading axe men from Slayer within it’s same pages, you are talking musical diversity here. From Jazz guitarists to Thrash Metal guitarists, this book covers them. If I have one complaint about this book, it is the sinful lacking of at least one Jimi Hendrix photograph. Then again, there are always legalities involved when publishing a book of photographs too, I do not know what may have taken place, if the author did try to include a Jimi Hendrix photo. Maybe Neil Zlozower never photographed Jimi Hendrix either? There obviously is a valid reason out there for this omission.
There are 256 pages total. This is a coffee table sized book, regardless, I will be carrying it around for quite some time. Six – String Heroes was published in 2009. The legendary Rock photographer for this book is Neil Zlozower, he has spent 40 years of his life photographing the greatest guitarists that have ever lived. I applaud Neil Zlozower’s talent that is bestowed within these pages of Six – String Heroes. The text is written by Steven Rosen with a foreword by legendary guitarist, Steve Vai.