Clapton's Guitar

Clapton's Guitar

Watching Wayne Henderson Build the Perfect Instrument

Book - 2005
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In 1994, Eric Clapton came across a Wayne Henderson guitar in a recording studio and decided on the spot that he had to have one. Rarer than Stradivarius violins, these musical works of art are built from near-extinct Brazilian Rosewood, Appalachian spruce, black ebony, and fine mother-of-pearl. With Henderson's keen ear for the vibrations of each piece of wood he uses, each note that comes out of them has the power of a cannon and the sweetness of maple syrup.InClapton's Guitar,Allen St. John recounts how a perfect acoustic guitar comes into the world and how an artist gauges perfection. Wayne Henderson, master luthier and genius in blue jeans, will tell you that he simply puts penknife to wood and carves away "everything that isn't a guitar." This is the story of a master artist, set deep in the mountains of southwestern Virginia in a brick, one-story guitar shop, as busy and chaotic inside as it is simple outside. The space is well-lighted, cluttered with power tools, air hoses, and guitar bodies in various stages of completion. It is in this modest shop that Wayne Henderson crafts some of the most highly coveted acoustic guitars on earth, including one very special instrument he built for Eric Clapton.Normally, there is a ten-year wait for a Henderson guitar, and St. John finds there are no exceptions even for an iconic figure like Clapton. But seeing it as a shortcut to getting his own guitar done, St. John jump-starts the process, and then takes readers with him on a mesmerizing journey into the heart of high-end instrument making with the manThe Washington Postcalls the "Mad Scientist of Mountain Music." Henderson, a small-town wise man, is not only the star of this book as a master guitar maker but also is the star of any stage he sets foot on as a master guitar player, equally at home at Carnegie Hall or the local VFW hall. Around this drolly humorous man circulates a small coterie of colorful characters and inspired musicians, who welcome you for an all-too-brief visit. By book's end, you too will want to be Wayne Henderson's friend.In a rich tapestry of folklore and folksiness, St. John tells the story of building the Clapton guitar in loving detail, from the centuries-old forests where great tonewood grows, to the auction floor of Christie's where one of Clapton's guitars commands over $700,000. It's also a loving look at Wayne's corner of the world, the Blue Ridge mountain hamlets where American traditional music was born, and of Wayne's hometown of Rugby, Virginia, population 7, where the winding roads have kept progress at bay.Whether you love old-time music, unplugged rock, traditional American craftsmanship, or simply gifted storytelling, Clapton's Guitar is an engaging work that you will want to savor and share with friends.
Publisher: New York : Free Press, c2005.
ISBN: 9780743266352
Branch Call Number: 787.8719 SAINT JO
Characteristics: 274 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Henderson, Wayne
Clapton, Eric


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Jun 16, 2017

Entertaining and wonderfully written! My husband enjoyed it very VERY much and he is a master guitar player.

Jun 18, 2015

Warm and Windy!
This book was not what I expected. If your looking for a book about Eric Clapton this won't be one I'd suggest. His Autobiography, Clapton, yes. This is really a book for someone who loves Acoustic guitars and the music that comes from them. I am a Boston Red Sox (not) a Yankee hater (no tolerence for hate) so it gave me some added pleasure as well. I too was entertained and enlightened, and found myself side referencing things that led to even further delight. A delight to read that's what I found.

Jul 06, 2013

Both enlightening and entertaining. I did not expect to enjoy this book as much as I did and was sad to finish it. Lots of of information about how quality guitars are made. Wish I could get my hands on one of these hand made beauties.


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