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on 13 November 2014
A brilliant read.
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on 11 July 2013
Dickerson is clearly a collector who really knows his stuff, and has a network of friends and contacts who do too. This is really a compendium of stories about lucky finds and eager detective work tracking down rare guitars, with some longer pieces explaining just what's so special about these instruments. You will learn something as well as being entertained.

I found it especially interesting that he focussed so much on obscurer brands that I wasn't really aware of. Anybody with a bit of knowledge of vintage guitars knows that a '59 Les Paul or a `50s Broadcaster/Telecaster is a valuable object, but it was really interesting to learn about the makers who didn't become huge corporations, and produced only handfuls of unique, sought-after instruments. In fact, I now really want a Bigsby guitar, which is unfortunate as less than 30 were ever made and the last one on the open market sold for over a quarter of a million dollars. The book is full of oddities like this. And it's great that Dickerson so often tracks for the reader exactly where the instrument fits into guitar history and why it is significant. It turns out, in fact, that both Les Paul and Leo Fender were copying Bigsby guitars more than they liked to admit.

The downside is that a book like this can be a little bitty. At times it jumps from one short tale of garage sales and pawn shop finds to another, and I found the longer chapters where the author really delves into the past of a maker much more interesting. The book could have done with more of that, perhaps, including a bit more profile of some well-known guitars brands: the section on lap steels and amps made by Leo Fender in the 1940s was fascinating, but Dickerson doesn't delve into the early history of Teles, Strats, or Gibson, because he seems to assume it's all covered elsewhere and we'll know it already. I'd still like to have heard it from him!

Thoroughly enjoyable for the guitar geek in you, so long as you don't mind coming away with an even longer fantasy shopping list.
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on 7 September 2013
The first few pages almost put me off. Here was the usual 'old guitars good, new guitars bad' spiel (debatable), and then stuff about how important 'tone woods' are on electric guitars (seriously debatable), and a few other superstitions, myths, and opinions that divide guitar geeks.

But then we get to the guitar hunting, and the author's knowledge and enthusiasm take you on a terrific page-turning journey. The guy can string a sentence together, too, which always helps. And this book is not just about strats and Les Pauls - there are some amazing instruments in here that I'd never heard of, some custom made by unassuming amateurs who could shame the big manufacturers with their skill and vision.

I found the financial side of the book fascinating, too - the shennanigans involved in getting hold of a rare guitar seems to border on the downright immoral at times. But that just makes the book more intriguing.

There are a lot of disappointing guitar books out there that claim so much in the blurb but are just rehashed coffee table brochures in the end. But this isn't one of them. It's a gem.
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on 11 September 2013
i really enjoyed this book, like a great song/concert it was over and i wished for more. (thats not to say this is a short book because its not) its just the content was gripping and well writen.
Deke Dickersons musical tastes do not match mine but the love of the guitar is where myself and thousands of other readers will surely touch base and have that common bond.
Deke uses the word "Geek" to describe himself and others for their love of the instrument (which goes way beyond just playing it!!)
This is a well researched book by a man who already knows so much about the history of the guitar but his story telling is wonderful.
Deke if you read this how about a 2nd book because you must have more tales to pass on mate!!
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on 4 August 2013
This is a great book for the old guitar obsessive. It is not really spotters guide so there is no " '56 Strats have V shaped necks and '63 Strats C shaped necks" detail. But it is packed with intriguing stories of old guitars, their backgrounds and how they were found. There are Stratocasters and Les Paul's in the book but the most interesting tales are of the more obscure brands. Fortunately Deke Dickerson, as well as being a guitar nut and serious collector, writes in an interesting and entertaining way. My only complaint, on the Kindle edition, is that there are a few typos. Nevertheless I'll give it five stars.
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on 23 March 2014
i like the sheer attention to detail that the author provides in this engaging tome.
i found the focus on less well known brands to be refreshing and this book has further encouraged me to get hold of a copy of babuiks book on mr bigsby.
i must complain about the formatting of the kindle version of this book (the only version currently available) which runs key text over the photographs and which cannot be adjusted for (even through altering text and background colour). for this reason i would not recommend the kindle version of the book.
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on 18 July 2013
Bought this for my husband, who absolutely loves it. It is well written and fully illustrated. Glad I bought it.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 29 January 2014
A compilation of anecdotes and very 'dry' reports about when and where particular guitars were discovered, and by whom. Despite the title of the book, don't expect to be swept along on a tide of Indiana Jones-style archaeological adventure or the unearthing of treasures --- if you try to read several reports one after the other there is a risk that you will soon start to feel bored or, at least, detached from the actual stories of discovery.

However, if your interest is more towards the academic end of the spectrum, then there will be a lot here to keep you reading.
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on 24 January 2015
Format somewhat difficult to read (too small), but content excellent - an inspiration to everyone who hopes they might pick up a '58 Les Paul or '62 Strat at their local Church auction!
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on 7 April 2015
Excellent book, and well researched. The author certainly knows his stuff, and there is a lot of information about obscure guitars that is infomative. Reading some of the stories made me smile - I played in a band in Germany in 1970, and had a 1959 LP 'Burst - it wasn't very expensive to buy, as at the time, it was only a (good!) used guitar. And I sold it on cheaply too..... If only I knew then.... But there are quite a few stories similar to my experience, so that makes me feel better! Well worth the purchase price I think.
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