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What are some good biographies or autobiographies of guitar players??

I recently read "Shakey", a biography of Neil Young and I enjoyed it a lot!

What are some other good ones?? 

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I've read Eric Clapton's autobio, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and Keith Richards.  One thing I wished I had done more of though is stop and listen to a song when they mentioned it in either of their books.  It adds a lot more to the experience.  Enjoy Jud!


Thanks Charlie!  I agree on taking the time to explore the songs more closely as you read.  Many of Neil Young's songs have strong personal connection to events in his life ... particularly things like "Needle and the Damage Done" and "Tonight's the Night", etc.

I read Clapton the autobiography . His beginnings were very intriguing to me and there were alot of big names in this book . Maybe you'll enjoy it also .



Consensus so far seems to be "Clapton" ... :-)

Chuck Berry's is great.  It will give you insight into how he was treated, both on and offstage.  Levon Helm's "This Wheel's on Fire" is a great read also.  BB King's is so good I couldn't put it down.  I read it in a few days.

Thanks Mike!  I'd be especially interested on Levon Helm's stroy.

Years ago, I checked-out and read "Segovia: An Autobiography of the Years 1893-1920" and it was quite interesting to read the story of his youth. I recently went back to the same library to find that book and it was no longer there. Will have to buy a copy I guess.


-Johnny Walker

Well, I went used book shopping hoping to find the Clapton biography, but what I found instead was even better ... "Clapton's Guitar: Watching Wayne Henderson Build the Perfect Instrument"  by Allen St. John.

This book isn't about Eric Clapton per se.  It's about master luthier Wayne Henderson who lives in the tiny town of Rugby, VA (population 7) who came from basically nothing to the point that he gained the attention and the admiration of Eric Clapton, who commisssioned a guitar from him.

Wayne Henderson is a good old boy who works in a tiny shop by himself. Apparently he has earned the title Stradivari in Glue-Stained Blue Jeans.  He describes his technique as simply taking wood and carving away everything that isn't a guitar.  Today he has a 10-year waiting list.  One of his run-of-the-mill models recently went at auction for $16,000 !

This book has received 5-star reviews from practically everyone who has taken the time to evaluate it.  For guitar enthusiasts, it is probably a "must read" ... I'll have more to say after I read it myself, LOL.

Great book by Allen St. John. Wayne is a super luthier and a great player, but even more amazing person. A man who is true to himself. 

Wayne was featured on the "Song of the Mountains" taping at the Lincoln Theater that ran last weekend on PBS TV ... not sure if he's a better builder or a better player.  Certainly a great combination of both!  It's refreshing that he does not seem to particularly care for fame nor fortune. 

One of the most engaging stories I've read is about Django Reinhardt in Michael Dregni's book, Django: The Life and Music of a Gypsy Legend.  The follow up book of Dregni's is very good too.


I've mentioned this one before, but I think Will Hodgkinson's Guitar Man: A Six-String Odyssey is a great read. His journey learn and perform will sound familiar to many of us.


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