Bookreview: The Stratocaster Chronicles by Tom Wheeler

For this article a review about another Stratocaster book: The Stratocaster Chronicles by Tom Wheeler. The book celebrates the first fifty years of the Stratocaster.

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The book includes a CD with snippets of interviews with Leo Fender about the early years of the Stratocaster including comments by George Fullerton, who used to be the Production Manager during the early period of the Fender company.
Furthermore there is a section about different  guitar-playingstyles using the Strat. This section is played by Greg Koch who is a master at mimicking many, many guitarstyles. Apart from that, the man does have a great sense of humour,this alone makes it worth to listen to this CD!!

Unlike most other books about the Stratocaster, this book illustrates the development of the Statocaster since the beginning of 1954 alongside the history of the Fender company. There are the Early Years, the CBS period, and the FMI period. All of these periods are illustrated with stories about the company, the guitarplayers who favour the Strat and details about their particular instrument.
It is very unusual to see a book where you get close up details of most of the Stratocasters throughout the years. Anyone who has tried any of the recent Strats will have noticed that these guitars are all very consistent in feel, sound and vibe. This consistency can be found throughout most of the years of the Fendercompany, maybe with some glitches during the CBS years, but overal it is great to see that the vibe of the 1950s is still alive in the instruments Fender builds today.

The book is written by Tom Wheeler who has a love for his subject. Tom started out as a freelance writer for Rolling Stone.
Later he joined the staff of American guitarmagazine Guitar Player and within four years he became Editor in Chief. In this capacity he undertook many interviews with artists such as Muddy Waters, B.B King, Chuck Berry, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton and many others. 

The book will serve as a great reference tool for many years to come. It is a must for anyone who is serious about the Stratocaster and the history of the Fendercompany.

Stay tuned for more inspired reading about guitars and playingstyles in upcoming articles!