Worst guitar book ever

I like to collect guitar books. There are lots of great ones out there. Aspen Pittman’s The Tube Amp Book. The Book of Orange. The Stompbox: A History of Guitar Fuzzes, Flangers, Phasers, Echoes and Wahs by Art Thompson. All are packed with accurate information, historical tidbits, rare documentation and beautiful photos.

Then there’s this.

Collectables: Guitars. I found this little beauty at a discount bookstore the other day. And boy am I glad I did, because there’s absolutely nothing else like it in my library. Why? Well, with apologies in advance to the author, let’s just say a little bit of proofreading goes a long, long way. Maybe the following misprints explain why the book was only five bucks at a discount bookstore.

The first few pages are pretty inoffensive. Some catalog shots of various guitars, a few basic specs, the names of a couple of artists who play them. Y’know, it’s the kind of book that someone who doesn’t know anything about guitar might buy a guitarist for Secret Santa at work.

Then I saw this:

Hmm… A Gretsch used for jazz? It could happen, I guess. Some of those rockabilly guys get pretty jazzy. But at least they’ve included rockabilly on the list too, right?


Next up we have the Takamine TNV460SC. This company was founded in 1962, and they were one of the first to introduce acoustic-electric models in 1978. Which means this particular TNV460SC must be a very rare and very early prototype – after all, the book says it’s from 1955.

Now, when you think ‘Gibson SG,’ who comes to mind? I can think of someone. Hint: Schoolboy uniform. Yeah, that’s right. Angus Young is so very closely identified with the SG that even the great Tony Iommi comes second in most peoples’ minds as a classic SG player. But Angus is nowhere to be found on this page. Jimi Hendrix is though. And yeah, he did play an SG occasionally, but does he deserve to be here instead of Angus? Huh? Huh?

Still, that little oversight is okay because I’m sure they’ll mention Jimi on the page about the Stratocaster too, right?

WHAT!?! Did they seriously put a Telecaster on the Stratocaster page?!?

Just.. just… argh! The mind, it boggles! I don’t even… I can’t even… I mean… ugh!

There’s only one thing that could take my mind off this abject horror: a lovely PRS Standard 24. This classic guitar was introduced in 1987, and it gets its name from its 24 frets. Except this Standard 24. This Standard 24 is a rare 22-fret model made in 1955.

It seems 1955 was a golden year for the guitar. Because that’s when Yamaha introduced the Pacifica, right?

The best is saved for last though. Y’know the Steinberger headless bass? That icon of minimalist design so beloved by technology-friendly new wave players and the like. Players such as…





20 Replies to “Worst guitar book ever”

  1. So while i’m no cork sniffing aficionado on these things, I do take note however that indeed 1955 was a great year… Perhaps my jap strat was made then too?!? Mine must be rarer though as it has the desirable second horn…

    Lemmy always used headless steinbergers – its just that he had one made using a different body / headstock and did it 12 years before they were invented… Rickenbastard FTW!

  2. I love my ’55 Suhrs and my ’55 Taylor SolidBody, indeed it was a good year! I only bought my Suhrs because of Jimmy Page ;P

  3. I’m glad they found a picture that captures the essence of the classic Stratocaster; single cut, dual humbuckers, 4 knobs, no pickup selecter.

  4. Has anyone else gone to the Amazon page for this book? You have to read the “about the author” section (especially the last line). So ridiculous, it almost makes me think that the entire book is meant to be a joke…

  5. Haha! At first- as I’m not so geeky on equipment- I thought this was going to be one of those “expert rips into a book that has a few technical errors”…but it turns out that this article is more like “expert rips into a book that is laughably in error”!

    So, 90% of guitars were made in 1955, and Motörhead are a jazz fusion group? Maybe in some alternate universe, but not in this dimension…

    This is hilarious!

  6. OK, I read the “author’s” bio. But that’s a bio of a different person than the author listed at the top of the page. That’s even weirder than the bio at the bottom. According to Amazon, the writer, Cadogan, has written 3 other books: one about cricket, one about golf, and one about motorcycles.

    Meanwhile, the book is not that much of a rip-off, because it’s on sale for only 66 cents at Amazon. Why, it’s worth at least twice that, just for the comedy value.
    His other books are selling for one cent.

  7. Too funny!Reminds of a neighbor I once had that said that the “newer ” Rouge guitars [cheap import MF house brand] can’t hold a candle to the vintage Rouge’s from the ’50s and early ’60s.

  8. There is nothing wrong with this book at all except the title which should’ve been called “The Collectable Guitar Pop Quiz Book” written purposely by the author to test the skills and knowledge of gearheads.Otherwise the author,the Editor and the proofreader were all high on crack when they read the final draft.Finally I am a bit disappointed to find out that my Gretsch Double Anni is now only good for jazz and it was made in 1956 one year after the golden year so it wont be as collectable as a mint ’55 model Damn it………………………….

  9. Fabulous! You’re right, this all so defies reality, it almost HAS to be a joke. 95% of ’em were all made in ’55, pre-dating the companies that made ’em half the time, and the Tele Deluxe shown as a Strat is just classic! I know the Nuge plays PRSs now, but he’s really best known for his infamous use of the gorgeous (jazz!) guitar, the Gibson Byrdland. This guy probably never heard of that legendary instrument! Well, at least he had the Gretsch right: George Harrison, Brian Setzer, Pete Townshend, AC/DC’s Malcolm Young, Bono, Edge and a million others… all highly-renowned for their smooth jazz stylings, yes? HA! Fabulous! So bad it’s great! You know, just publicizing this book here alone could turn it into a collector’s item overnight! Suddenly you may have a little gold mine on your book shelf!

  10. Yeah, I think I’ll go buy up the rest of the stock so I can control the market. Sell one every few years and watch the price go up up up!

  11. and I thought the book I bought about acoustic guitars, “Acoustic Guitars an Illustrated History” by Jonathan Lister was bad. It’s the acoustic equivalent of this book being mentioned.

  12. I didn’t know that the number one artist using the PRS 24 was Ted Nugent?! A lot can be learned from this tome. I wonder if his Byrdland’s know that he’s cheating on them.

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