A hot-rod joy ride through mid-20th-century American history (The New York Times Book Review), this one-of-a-kind narrative masterfully recreates the rivalry between the two men who innovated the electric guitars amplified soundLeo Fender and Les Pauland their intense competition to convince rock stars like the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Clapton to play the instruments they built.In the years after World War II, music was evolving from big-band jazz into rock n rolland these louder styles demanded revolutionary instruments. When Leo Fenders tiny firm marketed the first solid-body electric guitar, the Esquire, musicians immediately saw its appeal. Not to be out-maneuvered, Gibson, the largest guitar manufacturer, raced to build a competitive product. The company designed an axe that would make Fenders Esquire look cheap and convinced Les Paulwhose endorsement Leo Fender had soughtto put his name on it. Thus was born the guitar worlds most heated rivalry: Gibson versus Fender, Les v...
|Title||:||The Birth of Loud: Leo Fender, Les Paul, and the Guitar-Pioneering Rivalry That Shaped Rock 'n' Roll|
|Number of Pages||:||352 pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Birth of Loud: Leo Fender, Les Paul, and the Guitar-Pioneering Rivalry That Shaped Rock 'n' Roll Reviews
Contrary to what the title suggests, this book is not really about a rivalry. Yes, Fender and Paul were opposites: the former was a reserved perfectionist, the latter a gregarious showman. And yes, the products for which they are best known – the Fender Stratocaster (and Telecaster before it) and Gibson Les Paul took turns jockeying for popularity. But those expecting juicy tales of vendettas and sabotage might be disappointed to learn that Fender and Paul shared quite a bit in common. Both were ...more
I confess that I am a big fan of books about the early days of rock. Having confessed my bias, I can say without reservation that this is a terrific book. The author does a great job of telling the story of the development of the solid body electric guitar while bringing the inventors and the musicians involved to life. By itself, Port’s description of Hendrix performing the Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock would have made this a can’t miss book. But there are so many other gems contained herei ...more
I am reading an advance, galley proof copy of the book and eagerly awaiting the arrival of the hardcover edition in a couple of weeks. You don't have to be a guitar player, or even a Southern California history buff to be engaged by this book. The story of the rivalry between Leo Fender and Les Paul captures you from the first pages. It is an excellent read. Full disclosure: The author is my son-in-law. That being said, Objectively, I would still highly recommend this book.
Wonderful telling of an amazing story about music, technology, dedication, invention, and the foibles, false starts, hits and misses of the electric guitar. Ian Port writes in a straightforward, entertaining style and mostly gets everything right. I did learn some things I didn't know before, but most of the narrative is familiar ground. John Mayall does play piano and guitar, but arguably his main instrument is the blues harmonica, which Port fails to note. And, it's likely that Port meant Mitc ...more
You do not have to be a guitar nerd to like this book! I would suggest that you have a love of music and a rudimentary knowledge of guitars and other instruments used in the 1950's - 80's to fully enjoy this quick read. The chapters are short and move along between Leo Fender (developer of the iconic Stratocaster), Les Paul (whom the classic Gibson is named after) and just a select few other players of note. We learn about the people who basically fell into this huge industry and learned by the ...more
Now this was an interesting reading experience. I thought I knew something about this topic, but I must admit I was wrong. NOW I do. "Birth of Loud" starts small, describing the (largely independent) efforts of Leo Fender, Les Paul and others to get more volume out of the acoustic guitar. I had thought that Paul's efforts played the greater role. I was mistaken.
Author Ian Port is not a stylist; his writing is not the strength of the book, but the story is. About a third of the way in, my view sh ...more
If you want to know everything about the birth of the Les Paul and Leo Fender, you have to read this. This will teach you the evolution of sound from the late 1940’s to the end of the century. Cameos by everybody from Dick Dale to God, wait, I mean Eric Clapton. Folk to Blues to Rock.
Surreal to hear about the days before Bob Dylan was a legend, and was actually boo’ed on stage after playing Like a Rolling Stone to an audience who heard it for the first time. Even crazier to hear how Jimi Hendri ...more