BookshelfJacob deGroot-Maggetti

Play It Loud: An Epic History of the Style, Sound, and Revolution of the Electric Guitar – Brad Tolinski and Alan di Perna

Thoughts: I came across Play it Loud at a used book sale. I came away from the book with two main things: first, a list of influential artists, albums and tracks to become more familiar with, and second, an appreciation of how electric guitarists have innovated and carved out their own niches by tinkering with their instruments (as well as their amps, strings, pedals, and other accompanying gadgets), usually in search of a particular tone. It’s inspired me to think more about and experiment more with the timbre of the instruments I play.

(The notes below are not a summary of the book, but rather raw notes - whatever I thought, at the time, might be worth remembering.)

Tolinski, Brad and Alan di Perna. 2016. Play It Loud: An Epic History of the Style, Sound, and Revolution of the Electric Guitar. Doubleday Canada.


Chapter 1: Brother Musician, Listen to a Miracle

Chapter 2: The Christian Crusade

Chapter 3: The Wizard from Waukesha

Chapter 4: The Model T

I. Cowboy Cool: Leo Fender and the Birth of the Telecaster

II. Surf’s Up: The Stratocaster Makes the Scene

Chapter 5: The Blues (And Country) Had a Baby

Chapter 6: The Solid-Body Stradivarius

Chapter 7: The Fab Twelve

Chapter 8: The Revolution Will Be Amplified

I. A Tool of Capitalism? Dylan Goes Electric

II. Machine-gun Loud: From Townshend to Hendrix

III. The Birth of Classic Rock

Chapter 9: Eruptions

Chapter 10: Made In Japan

Chapter 11: The Revenge of the Nerds

Chapter 12 Plastic Fantastic

Posted: Feb 25, 2021. Last updated: Aug 31, 2023.