Tony Bacon

The history of Denmark Street, London’s music epicentre

From Tin Pan Alley to a guitar-shopping destination par excellence, London’s Denmark Street is a key part of the city’s musical history. As the street prepares to enter a new phase, we look back on its iconic past.

Rare Bird: The Gretsch White Penguin story

This scaled-down sibling to the White Falcon is one of the coolest Gretsch models of all time. Yet although the Penguin has recently enjoyed a resurgence in a variety of hues, on launch it proved almost as flightless as its avian namesake.

How the abuse and misuse of guitar gear drove rock music’s evolution

From slicing speaker cones with razorblades to turning guitars into splinters in a collision of angst and art, rule-breaking was central to many of the great leaps forward in pop history.

How hybrid designs defined Fender’s search for the next great guitar

From ill-fated Frankenstein’s monsters to bona fide cult classics, we chart Fender’s experiments with hybrid designs.

An oral history of the Rickenbacker 12-string

Rickenbacker was not the first company with an electric 12, but when its models were taken up by The Beatles, The Byrds, and many more, the brand became synonymous with the big, bold jangle that this instrument could produce.

The oral history of the Gibson SG

Although it didn’t find favour with the man himself, Gibson’s reboot of Les Paul’s signature model at the end of 1960 would go on to be the company’s best-selling model of all time. Here, we tell the story of the devil-horned solidbody that for many, is the ultimate rock guitar.

Leo Fender: The guitar genius who couldn’t play a note

On what would have been his 110th birthday, we look back at the life and times of Clarence Leonidas "Leo" Fender – the man whose maverick approach to guitar and amplifier design changed music forever.

An oral history of the Gibson ES-335

The ES-335 may be the greatest and most versatile electric guitar ever crafted within the hallowed walls of 225 Parsons St, Kalamazoo. Here, iconic figures such as Ted McCarty, Mark Knopfler and Larry Carlton recount the tale of the model’s revolutionary development and enduring influence.

An oral history of the Fender Stratocaster

We chart the development of an icon of mid-century modern design and hear from the people who witnessed its development and evolution first-hand.

The inside story of Jimmy Page’s Led Zeppelin guitars

As a brand-new book gives us an up-close look at Led Zeppelin’s earliest days, we take a trip through the iconic instruments that Jimmy Page used in his career as the band went from club gigs to rock ’n’ roll superstardom.
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