Gibson Guitars: 100 Years of an American Icon (Anglais) Broché – 31 décembre 1994
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On pourrait être chez Kawabata, Le Fanu ou Serpolet...Non on est chez Gibson...et l'UNIQUE OBJET DU DESIR...La Les Paul itself...L'Invention Diabolique, l'Arme Absolue, le Geddon d'Arma, le Bomba de Tsar Bomba ou le Scylla de Charybde
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"Gibson GUITARS 100 YEARS OF AN AMERICAN ICON", by Walter Carter, is a 314 page chronicle of each and every single era, dichotomised into a neat, organised and painstakingly concise tome of this musical titan, beginning with the Orville H. Gibson (creator of the Gibson instruments) era, and taking the reader on a roller-coaster ride of the triumphant ups, and near fatal decline, of this legendary manufacturer.
This book is worth every penny you will pay for it, and more, because it expands on every phase of Gibson's development, every epoch of the sea changes in the industry, while entertainingly interweaving changes in musical tastes, trends, and featuring leading artists, mainly those who used Gibson instruments, such as Pete Townsend, ! ! Duane Allman, virtuoso Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, the legendary innovator and artist, Les Paul himself, Jeff Lynn, Mick Ronson, Chris Hillman, Billy Gibbons, and many, many others. It is no coincidence that most of them were or are the preminent artists of the world's musical stage.
Make no mistake about it. This is no P.R. book, or propaganda espousing Gibson as the ALL TIME WINNER-greatest manufacturer ever jive; this book is painfully frank about the good times and the bad times with professional, dispassionate, objectivity, each chapter narrated era by era, by industry professionals from all corners of the musical field.
This book also debunks many of the myths, misconceptions, and misinformation floating around about the company. It takes the reader through each level of ownership, outlining the strategic decisions, for better or worse, as a company with a passion for being the leader in a fast-changing industry. And, later, I will address some of the false presumptions ! ! about the more recent models.
No doubt, Gibson was in its! hayday in the postwar period. It was a money maker and a winner. It's decisions were based upon well thought out and carefully crafted tactical decisions, a motivated workforce, and a desire for excellence.
Quite equal time is devoted to the acoustical and electrical divisions of the company, the key players in each ownership regime, and the masterful unveiling of each new product, extraordinarily chronicled often by Gruhn Guitars' George Gruhn, co-collaborator with the author, Walter Carter on a variety of other projects, and nationally acknowledged expert on musical and vintage instruments; the book is literally filled with high quality color photos of vintage instruments dating back to the early 1900's.on through the 40's, 50's and 60's, to the present, thanks to George Gruhn's extraordinary collection of vintage instruments.
I was blessed with playing excellent Gibson instruments since the early 1960's, and own a number of their electric guitars, and having played f! ! or 34 years, was equally lucky in NOT playing one of their products during their steep decline in the late 1970's and early 1980's, when very poor decisions by Norlin almost destroyed this national treasure. Tom Mulhern and George Gruhn detail the self induced problems which perpetuated when opportunists from an Ecuadorian beer company, railroad company, and mineral extractor nearly ran this company into extinction. A great example of knowing your industry or else.
By a rare fortune of fate, passionate and educated guitar efficianados (with engineering backgrounds) came to the rescue. Henry Juskiewicz, Dave Berryman, and Gary Zebrowski rescued this company, and the manner in which they did it is not only fascinating, but amazing in that they purchased a near crumpled empire, and brought it back to resurgance, and debatable superiority yet to be appreciated.
At issue over many debates is the worthiness, or lack thereof, of re-issues, of 'vintage' Gibson instruments. Unti! ! l I read this amazing book, I was of the impression that th! e re-issues were just attempts at nearly duplicating the successes of the past. Recently, however, and thanks to this book, I have discovered otherwise.
Anyone who has heard Jimmy Page's blistering, intricate lead on the First song on CD 2 of the BBC Sessions KNOWS what a Les Paul can sound like. Perfection. Well, I have re-created that exact same tone, and lead on my Les Paul 1960 Classic re-issue, with the proper equipment, and I can assure you, the quality is still there, waiting to be explored. This book tells you WHY. That is the most intriguing part. Yes, you MUST know your equipment from stem to stern, amps, tubes, effects, guitar intricacies (sorry, that info is classified; I do not give away 34 years of technical knowledge). But as has not been said about other instruments as Gibson's re-issues have been wrongly labeled: just because there are no Beatles now, no Led Zeppelins, no new supergroups, it is NOT because they don't make great microphones, pianos, and stud! ! ios like they used to (the bum rap hung on Gibson solid body guitars). The absence relates more to the lack of talent, and technical expertise, than to the properties of the instruments.
This book has drawn from the very best and most knowledgable professionals in the U.S. and U.K. to present a detailed encyclopedia of mandolins, guitars, banjos, and other instruments that made Gibson the frontrunners in music, giving an amazingly full chronology of its past, and looking ahead into the future for this promising company with a glorious past and an unlimited future.
Having read this excellent book, I look forward to the next 50 years of glory yet unimagined now, for Gibson USA.
This is a very, very fine book, extremely well researched, documented, and a joy to read. Anyone with an interest in music, be it Country and Western, Bluegrass, Jazz, or Rock'n'Roll will be proud to own this chronicle of modern music, and the company that virtually single-handedly brought us here.! ! To say this book is purely exceptional is quite an underst! atement. It is beyond that. And it is fun too. What more can a reader ask for? Five Stars + from me.
To be clear, don't look for an unbiased view of the industry, a critical study of working conditions, etc., and just enjoy the ride as you see the wonderful instruments made by Gibson over the past 100 years!
(By the way, as far as bias goes this review is written by a Martin guitar player, although I also play a Gibson F2.)
Having said all of that, the book is not completely without merit though. If you are a diehard Gibson fan and already own Duchossoir's essential book "Gibson Electrics - The Classic Years," then this book may make a nice, if somewhat trivial, addition to your collection of guitar books.
This amazing collaboration of works (every specialist or researcher methodically chronicles each and every era of Gibson's ownership, management, philosophy, stars, and more, epoch by epoch) is jam packed with information on the performers, their instruments, carefully interwoven with a history of the fast changing musical trends of the times. Gibson nearly always lead the way, from the very beginning, and how they did it is clearly, concisely written about here.
From fans of mandolins, laptops, archtops, dreadnaught acoustics, and the rock and roll heritage of Gibson solid body and semi-hollow electri! ! cs (which in the industry, generates something known as 'THE TONE') will get more than their money's worth from this veritable chronicle of the company's entire history, beginning with the day Orville H. Gibson conceived his first guitar.
Each and every era is given full coverage, from the artists and their instruments of the 1930's, generation by generation, all the way to fans of rock legends Jimmy Page and Pete Townsend, will find everything they ever wanted in a book on GIBSON, in this work. And, frankly, far from being a Gibson-is-the-only-way ad, this book frankly, if brutally, deals with the steep decline of Gibson under Ecuadorian railroad and beer distributors, in the early 1980's, the loss in quality, and the modern day heros that rescued the legendary manufacturer from certain extinction, to pre-eminent leadership yet again, and perhaps greater status (and quality) than ever known before.
This an exemplary book, graciously adorned with plenty of pictures of m! ! int condition Vintage (read 1930, 1940 and 1950 - and later! ) Gibson Instruments from various vintage collectors such as George Gruhn. In my opinion, this book rates FIVE (5) stars PLUS, and is a must read for anyone who ever wondered about the music of the 20th century: who created it, and what devices were used in doing it. There are some technical schematics to please the most picky purists.
If you are interested in any area of American music, you will more than likely find some reference to it in this book. So will your parents, and maybe your grandparents! There is something for everyone in this enjoyable and fascinating story of a modern musical legend.