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Hot Wired Guitar: The Life of Jeff Beck Hardcover – 3 Oct 2011

3.9 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 493 pages
  • Publisher: Omnibus Press; 01 edition (3 Oct. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849388695
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849388696
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 16.3 x 4.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 442,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Martin Power has worked as a journalist for over 15 years and written well-received biographies on David Sylvian, Aerosmith, Queen, Shane McGowan, Manic Street Preachers and Pearl Jam - all published by Omnibus Press. He has lived in North London all his life.


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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The last vintage Jeff Beck biography aptly titled "Crazy Fingers" covered Beck's career through 1998. At that time his fellow guitarists revered him while his fanbase was waning. "Hot Wired Guitar" comprehensively covers Jeff's entire career and especially the very important 1999 through 2011 era. It's very edifying to know that Jeff Beck's popularity has dramatically increased from 2007 to 2011. There are two reasons why. Harvey Goldsmith became his excellent and proactive manager and Jeff Beck has been tirelessly touring the world demonstrating his peerless live concert virtuosity and eclecticism. "Hot Wired Guitar" is a very objective book that details Jeff's trials, tribulations and triumphs. It makes it very clear that no other guitarist has more mastery and control of the guitar than Jeff Beck. Conversely, it mentions that Jeff is not a great composer or studio freak. Jeff Beck is in many ways like Frank Sinatra. He can play another person's song and make it much better than the original. Examples are "Cause We've Ended As Lovers", "Nadia", "Stratus", "People Get Ready" "Women Of Ireland" and "Nessun Dorma." The book also makes a compelling point regarding the many integral contribuitions made by Tony Hymas, John McLaughlin, Jan Hammer and especially Les Paul to inspire Jeff. "Hot Wired Guitar" does a nice job emphasizing that even though Jeff get's the highest accolades from Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, Steve Lukather, Joe Perry and Brian May; it's evident that the only guitarist not awed by Jeff Beck is Jeff Beck.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Not a bad book, but a bit pedestrian. If the book were a guitarist, it would probably be Joe Bonamassa rather than Jeff Beck - technically proficient and historically accurate but rather unoriginal and uninspiring.

The book is subtitled "The life of Jeff Beck" but you find out very little about the man himself. There are lots of facts about his recordings and musical alliances and that is what sustains the interest throughout the book and makes it worth reading. Jeff Beck is obviously not the world's greatest talker and it's pretty clear he hasn't met the author, so it's inevitable that there are no new insights into what appears to be quite a complex personality.

About half-way through, I wondered whether to persevere with the book but I carried on as I was keen to pick up new titbits of information. Also, knowing more about the context did make me revisit some of the recordings in a different perspective. I found myself going back to certain tracks and listening out for things I hadn't noticed before and that can't be a bad thing, so thank you for that!

There are a few irritating things, like the constant use of the rather academic phrase "as referenced", some slightly dodgy grammar, like a few rogue apostrophes and phrases such as "...his Strat literally surfing a wave of artficial harmonics" ("literally"? Really? Did it use a surf-board?) and "(Joss) Stone's performance had Jeff literally reaching for the ice cubes" (really? Actual ice cubes? What did he do with them?). I do admit that this sort of thing will only irritate pedants, by the way!

You often get the feeling that the aim is to pad out the writing with as many words as possible.
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By Clarsach on 26 Jan. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is pretty well written, despite the author not having interviewed any of the cast (as far as I can make out). It's in sensibly chronological sequence and seems to cover the main thread of Jeff's musical career so far.
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Format: Hardcover
The writing style of this book make it a difficult read. It is basically the joining together of a massive number of quotes.
It is good to have all of these in one place, but if you've been reading the guitar magazine articles it is nothing new.
The other major issue I have with this book is one of proportion: approximately half the book covers the period Yardbirds to Blow By Blow, a period of 10 years; the remainder of the book covers from 1976 to 2011. Hence the later half is a summary. Given the recent timing of these events more could have been added from the other participants.
Use your money on a DVD and witness the playing - a better value and better use of your time.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this read. Having already read Crazy Fingers, I wasn't sure how this bio would stand up but it's a different read and the two books complement each other well. The key benefit is this now takes us up to 2011. The book also has some nice obscure photos of Jeff. Although its not an official bio and Jeff was not directly interviewd by Martin Power, the book is peppered with both relevant quotes and interviews with people who know Beck. Buy this if you're a fan of Jeff.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Jeff Beck for many, many, many years and over that time I have wanted to read more about the man's life and thoughts. So... I picked up magazines carrying interviews with Jeff Beck when I could. You could say I am a diehard fan, so a big book about this amazing guitarist was a must-buy. However, I have found it very disappointing, which surprises me, as the writer is clearly very capable and has done his research. The writer seems to want to showoff, to showoff his knowledge of technical terms relating to guitar techniques, and to showoff his ability to critique Jeff's albums. Also he has this annoying habit of inserting square brackets amongst the quotations, presumeably in an effort to help the reader to better understand what people quoted really meant. Each time this occurs I re-read the passage only to find the quote was just fine without the square brackets and the inserted words.
I shelled out quite a lot of money for my copy of this book and certainly didn't expect to be bored out of my scull reading it! There are a couple of other books about Jeff Beck and both of them seem more interesting to read. One of them, Crazy Fingers, is by Annette Carson, does anyone know if she is Jeff Beck's sister?
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