All The Fab Four's Instruments, From Stage To Studio
by Andy Babiuk
Backbeat Books, hardcover 2001, $40.00
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In this absolutely gorgeous coffee table book, Andy Babiuk takes a unique approach to The Beatles story by documenting the history of their instruments and other music equipment. Beatles Gear is the kind of book you just can't put down. Here, the average Beatle fan gets a very different look at the behind-the-scenes information about the groups musicianship via a visual and textual journey through the various instruments they played over the years. The Beatles, as a group and as individual members, will forever be associated with certain now-classic instruments: John's black Rickenbacker (which is on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame), George's large, hollow-bodied Gretch, Paul's signature custom Hofner violin bass (the first left-handed bass the company ever produced), and Ringos unforgettable Ludwig drum kit. These, and many more examples of the boys famous instruments, are displayed in their full glory in Beatles Gear.
The author, a musician himself, found that his interest in the Beatles "sound" led to extensive research into their original instruments. Theres a lot of fascinating, detailed information on the many guitar models, amps, keyboards, drums and other instruments that contributed to the amazingly wide range of Beatle sounds. Babiuk also draws a parallel with the musical growth of the band to the acquisition of some of their instruments: when John or George got a new guitar, it was often to improve and advance their performance style. This book is a comprehensive look at the technical side of how The Beatles made the music that literally changed the world. The photos of the instruments are reason enough buy the book, as they beautifully document this part of Beatles history in the way it should have been done decades ago. Whether you enjoy this book as pure nostalgia, or as a solid reference, it is truly a must-have for any Beatle fans bookshelf.
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