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Book features ‘108 Rock Star Guitars’






This combo made from photos provided by Lisa S. Johnson shows details of guitars belonging to musicians featured in Johnson’s new book, “108 Rock Star Guitars.” Top row, from left: Willie Nelson’s “Trigger,” Rick Nielsen of the group Cheap Trick’s “Uncle Dick”; and a guitar with scrawled jarring jargon over drawings of happy hippos belonging to Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave’s Tom Morello. Bottom row, from left: a guitar from Styx’s James J.Y. Young bearing an elaborate carving of Cerberus, ancient mythology’s three-headed Underworld guard dog; the “halfcaster” owned by John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls; and a guitar covered with fake fur, owned by Billy Gibbons of the group ZZ Top. (AP Photo/Lisa S. Johnson)

This combo made from photos provided by Lisa S. Johnson shows details of guitars belonging to musicians featured in Johnson’s new book, “108 Rock Star Guitars.” Top row, from left: Willie Nelson’s “Trigger,” Rick Nielsen of the group Cheap Trick’s “Uncle Dick”; and a guitar with scrawled jarring jargon over drawings of happy hippos belonging to Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave’s Tom Morello. Bottom row, from left: a guitar from Styx’s James J.Y. Young bearing an elaborate carving of Cerberus, ancient mythology’s three-headed Underworld guard dog; the “halfcaster” owned by John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls; and a guitar covered with fake fur, owned by Billy Gibbons of the group ZZ Top. (AP Photo/Lisa S. Johnson)

Sometimes, a picture is worth a thousand songs.

The supersized book “108 Rock Star Guitars” (Glitterati Inc.) demonstrates that six-stringed instruments owned by celebrities and virtuoso sidemen can look as good as they rock.

The 17-year undertaking by photographer Lisa S. Johnson partly benefits the Les Paul Foundation. Paul, the Rock Hall musicianinventor, wrote the foreword before he died.

Not a guitar geek? Don’t fret.

Whether you define “pickup” as a truck, a dating technique or a guitar part, you can revel in the glitzand grit world where these prized possessions reside.

The instruments (one’s named Baby) evoke tender talk from macho musicians. But some of these battle-ax beauties have seen more action than a roller derby queen: They bear the gashes and sweat stains to prove it.

The author, who grew up in a musical family, underscores musicians’ emotional attachment to their instruments.

The book lauds the instrument makers, called luthiers, and the techs, along with the guitars.


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