Marshall The Book of Loud: An Essential Miscellany of Musical Knowledge by Nick Harper. Mitchell Beazley.
likes our music LOUD and our amps are always turned up to 11. If you are a music fan then a lot of the music that you will have heard will have been amplified through Marshall Amplifiers who are the sponsors of this book of rock music trivia. The book has a short history of these iconic amps which were first made in 1962 at the request of Pete Townsend who became one of their earliest advocates. Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page soon became early users and the rest of the world’s rock bands were not far behind. The founder of Marshalls died in 2012 but the firm is still going strong and has diversified into making other audio equipment such as headphones.
The book is mainly a collection of rock trivia which will be of interest to most music fans. There are lots of lists of; unusual instruments used in rock, rock star tattoos, very long tracks, loudest bands, songs about London, top rock films and so on. It is thoughtfully put together and is not just a list of tops 10s that you could have got from the internet. I particularly like the guide to the 17 different genres of heavy metal. If you cannot tell Power Metal from Death Metal then this is the guide for you.
There are some witty ‘Spotters Guide’ sections to rock stereotypes including: The Goth, The Indie Kid, the Punk and the Metal Kid. There are some well-drawn profiles of rock superstars such as Lemmy, Jimmy Page, Josh Homme and Kurt Cobain.
Some the material I have seen before but most of it is original and bang up to date. Nick Harper is a journalist who has penned a number of list books covering areas as diverse as DIY skills, parenthood and cocktails. If you are looking for a stocking filler Christmas gift for the rock fan in your life then you won’t go far wrong by purchasing this little volume.