08 January 2024 (released)
08 January 2022
If you ever wanted a coffee table book about the hundreds of guitars, amplifiers, effect pedals, and associated equipment that guitar hero Eric Clapton has played throughout his six decade career, then Six String Stories is the book that you have been waiting for.
Here we have, direct from Eric Clapton himself the stories of his most important guitars, and how they were used on albums, live in the studio, and what they meant to him. We have the stories of his first guitars, the Hoya and the Kay that he used in his first band, The Roosters, the guitars he played during his time in The Yardbirds, Blind Faith, and throughout his storied career.
We see the guitars that featured on only one tour, and the stories behind Blackie and Brownie, two of the most well known guitars in his armoury. Blackie was constructed by Clapton himself out of the best bits of three Stratocasters he bought cheap in the 1970’s, when on tour in Nashville. The guitar became his number one choice for stage and studio work, clocking up many hours and notes in service of its master, before being sold at auction for nearly a million pounds, raising funds for Clapton’s Crossroads foundation.
We also hear about the acoustics that powered his critically acclaimed and best selling Unplugged album, as well as all of the amplifiers and effects that powered his sounds in Cream, and later on through the more laid back sounds of Blind Faith, Delaney and Bonnie and Friends into his solo career.
Although primarily best known as a string bending master of face melting blues solos, Clapton’s aural hinterland has also seen him collaborate on film soundtracks, such as Rush, the Lethal Weapon Series and The Van, as well as working alongside any number of names, from Dire Straits, Phil Collins and Roger Waters as well as the stories of these efforts, we also hear about them.
Throughout the book we see many high quality photos of the guitars, being used in concert, or as the subjects of still life photographs. The book is nothing short of a well written love letter to the guitar, and what they have meant in the life of one of the world’s best known, and most acclaimed players of the instruments, who set trends and explored new sound-worlds in the 1960’s, appeared on record with the Beatles, and on-stage with the Rolling Stones and who’s work with Cream still stands up as some of the most fiery, idiosyncratic and virtuosic guitar playing committed to tape, and still studied by student players and fans years after it was first created.