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Books  >>  Music

Michael Heatley

Jimi Hendrix Gear

Michael Heatley Jimi Hendrix Gear The Guitars Amps & Effects That Revolutionized R
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Biographical note:

Michael Heatley is a journalist and musician of 30 years' standing who writes for Guitar and Bass magazine in Britain and has penned over 100 music books since editing the History of Rock. He has met and interviewed guitarists as diverse as Slash (Guns N' Roses), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Brian May (Queen), Mike Oldfield, Steve Miller and Steve Vai. He's based in the UK.

Roger Mayer was Jimi Hendrix's effects technician.

Harry Shapiro is the author of the definitive biographies Jimi Hendrix: Electric Gypsy and Slowhand: The Story of Eric Clapton, as well as several other books. He lives in the UK.

Main description:

How did he do it? So many years later, it's still the question guitar aficionados ask about Jimi Hendrix, whose music was like nobody else's. Song by song, album by album, concert by concert, this book analyzes how Hendrix achieved that sound--and so, shows you how to achieve it, too. The book examines all of Hendrix's equipment, providing a nuts-and-bolts analysis of each of his guitars (including serial number, history, and provenance), his amps choices, and his singular use of revolutionary effects from wah-wahs to overdrives to bizarre-o pedals like the Fuzzface. A practical reference book like no other, this volume gives the proper guidance and tools to any guitarist who wants to take a stab at emulating one of the greatest players of all time.

Review quote:

Music enthusiasts associate Jimi Hendrix as much with the Strat/Marshall combo as they do his bandana and bell-bottom pants. This new book offers insight on the maestro’s gear choices through is short but productive career, and documents as many of the original examples he owned as well as parts and pieces thereof.

This book documents Hendrix’s gear beginning with his first guitar—a Supro. Using photographs and the recollections of those on the scene, it traces his move to more professional instruments…The author does a nice job of describing the circumstances that drove Hendrix’s choice of gear. There are period photos and Hendrix using certain instruments, and those same instruments as owned by museums or private collectors today…

Excellent photography abounds here…this book is worthy of a place on the Hendrix enthusiasts’ shelf next to the many other tomes which together help form as complete a picture of the guitarist as be developed now.” - Vintage Guitar

It’s a known fact that Jimi used and abused Strats and Plexis with his magical hands. All the variables and the exact formula of his signal chain, however, is much like Bigfoot: speculative and elusive. Michael Heatley’s book Jimi Hendrix Gear: The Guitars, Amps & Effects That Revolutionized Rock ‘N’ Roll debunks the mysticism behind his gear and tone page after page.

Hendrix’s gear is on full display with spec-heavy captions and text that decodes and breaks down each of the tools (as Hendrix calls gear in the book) with mentions of his alterations, preferences and settings. The book is crammed with memorable Hendrix gear porn, including the first Strat that he set a blaze in 1967 at London’s Finsbury Park Astoria (also featured on the book’s cover). Other visual golden nuggets include the actual Octavia used on Are You Experienced, the Super Lead used at Woodstock and a slew of smashed guitar bodies. Some smashed bodies feature Hendrix poems or paintings— including the psychedelically painted ’67 Gibson Flying V that later was recreated by Gibson for the “Inspired By Series.”

With the help of effects guru Roger Mayer and biographer Harry Shapiro (Jimi Hendrix: Electric Gypsy), Heatley navigates through all Hendrix’s historic guitars, amps and effects with descriptions that place each piece of gear into the given album or live situation where he was known to use it. This book is a must-have Hendrix guide, as it’s a practical reference book on the tools of a significant craftsman. -
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