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Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11



Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Book Review - Power Chord: One Man's Ear-Splitting Quest To Find His Guitar Heros by Thomas Scott McKenzie



As most of my regular readers probably know, my husband is a musician, my kids are musicians, and I guess you could say I'm a musician of sorts - anyway, music is HUGE in our family! 

We all like different types of music - my husband is a country/bluegrass/folk/western/southern rock music fan. The boys, however, like their generation's music - like heavy, death metal stuff.  But they grew up listening to my favorite genre - guitar driven, harmony-laden classic rock!  Gotta love those Guitar Gods!

So I was very interested in Thomas Scott McKenzie's ongoing quest to search out his favorite Guitar heroes, documented in his book, "Power Chord: One Man's Ear-Splitting Quest To Find His Guitar Heroes."




About The Book:

When Scott McKenzie was a young man, he thought he saw God . . .

The deity was all in black with knee-high silver boots, a patent-leather breastplate, and full face makeup, clutching a beautiful, custom Les Paul guitar. Ace Frehley, lead guitarist for the rock group KISS, wasn't God—but hearing his piercing, shrieking, screaming, outrageous guitar solos was a transcendent spiritual experience for a boy from rural Kentucky, making him feel uplifted, a witness to a higher power.
 
Two decades later, a grown-up Scott McKenzie vowed to meet Ace Frehley in the flesh—as well as the other gods and demigods who have held divine power over a generation of worshipful metal fans: legendary guitar champions like Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest and Phil Collen of Def Leppard, hallowed names like Steve Vai, Warren DeMartini, and John 5.
 
Power Chord is a chronicle of Scott McKenzie's epic quest to stand in the presence of metal greatness—to meet his omnipotent guitar gods face-to-face and get them to divulge their otherworldly secret.





For a music enthusiast/fan girl like me, "Power Chord" was a fascinating read!  Following Scott's journey to find some of the guitar players who had influenced his life and love of music was a lot of fun, as well as following his hysterical attempts to learn to play the many guitars in his collection.

You can't help but admire Scott's tenacity and determination to track down such rock stars as Phil Collen (Def Leppard), John 5 (Marilyn Manson), Mick Mars (Motley Crue) and his ultimate hero, Ace Frehley (KISS). And surprisingly, most of the musicians he contacted were graciously generous with their time and their advice on guitar playing.  (I couldn't help but think that when girls try this, we're called groupies, but I digress ... )

Although she's not mentioned a whole lot through the book, I had to respect Scott's wife Lara for allowing him the freedom to go off on his quest, especially as they were going through fertility treatments at the time.  That's a good wife! (Hope he sent her lots of flowers!!)

Written in a lively style that keeps the reader entralled, "Power Chord" is a great read that music fans will thoroughly enjoy! 

(Have to send a big Thank You to Scott for including a cool "Power Chord" guitar pick along with the book!  It's in my pick collection now!)






About The Author:



Thomas Scott McKenzie was raised on a thoroughbred race horse farm in Bourbon County, Kentucky. Educated at the University of Mississippi, he received a master’s degree in creative writing. During his time at Ole Miss, he was lucky enough to study with Barry Hannah, T.R. Pearson, Mark Richard, and many other talented writers. He also worked at the influential independent bookstore Square Books.

McKenzie’s nonfiction has appeared in Premier Guitar, Tin House, Paste, Stuff, InSync, and many others. He runs Slushpile.net and is a contributor to CrunchGear.com and WristWatchReview. He has been a reviewer for PopMatters.com and a staff writer for Crimescene.com.

He is the co-author of The Man Behind the Nose: Assassins, Astronauts, Cannibals, and Other Stupendous Tales by Larry Harmon, published in August, 2010 by the Igniter Books imprint of HarperCollins.

Check out his website at www.thomasscottmckenzie.com for more info on his books and upcoming projects!






My thanks to Harper Collins and Scott McKenzie for supplying the review copy of this book.  I was not compensated for my opinion.

 

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