Guitar Player

Guitar Player

The Inside Story of the First Two Decades of the Most Successful Guitar Magazine Ever

edited by Jim Crockett w/Dara Crockett | Foreword by Joe Satriani

The first 22 years of the seminal guitar

magazine, as told by the people who were there.

Guitar Player: The Inside Story of the First Two Decades of the Most Successful Guitar Magazine Ever (March 2015, Backbeat Books, $29.99) is a reflection on Guitar Player‘s often pioneering early days, from its 1967 founding through its 1989 sale by founder Bud Eastman and editor/publisher Jim Crockett. The book looks at the magazine’s evolution from a 40-page semi-monthly to a monthly exceeding 200 pages, with a gross yearly income that grew from $40,000 to nearly $15 million.

The story is told by many people important to Guitar Player‘s history, including Maxine Eastman, Bud Eastman’s widow, and Crockett, who edited this book with his daughter Dara. Also here are recollections of key personnel, including Tom Wheeler, Jas Obrecht, Roger Siminoff, Mike Varney, Jon Sievert, George Gruhn, and Robb Lawrence; leading early advertisers, such as Martin, Randall, and Fender; and prominent guitar players featured in the magazine, including Joe Perry, George Benson, Pat Travers, Country Joe McDonald, Pat Metheny, Steve Howe, Lee Ritenour, Johnny Winter, Steve Morse, Larry Coryell, Michael Lorimer, John McLaughlin, Stanley Clarke, Liona Boyd, Steve Vai, and many others.

Among the many illustrations are then-and-now shots of performers and staff, early ads, behind-the-scenes photos from company jam sessions (with such guests as B.B. King and Chick Corea), various fascinating events, and key issue covers.

Rich in history and perspective, and with a foreword by Joe Satriani, Guitar Player: The Inside Story of the First Two Decades of the Most Successful Guitar Magazine Ever is the definitive first-person chronicle of a music magazine’s golden age.

8″ x 10.5″
304 pages
Backbeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group


Jim Crockett was editor and then president/publisher of Guitar Player between 1970 and 1989. He also created the magazines Keyboard, Bass Player, Drums & Drumming, and Frets. His books include Fix Your Axe and The Why-To of Scuba Diving, and he has written more than 1,000 published articles. He lives in Acton, Calif.

Dara Crockett is a freelance writer, photographer, teacher, and artist manager. When she’s not surrounded by music and words, she is out in nature photographing the beauty of Southern Oregon. She lives in Ashland, Ore.




Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group, the trade book division of Hal Leonard Corporations, publishes books on the performing arts under the imprints Hal Leonard Books, Backbeat Books, Amadeus Press, and Applause Theatre and Cinema Books.

Posted on March 3, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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