Beatles Gear Book

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Price: $40.00


This critically acclaimed book is the first to tell the full story of how the Beatles made their music. It details exactly which guitars, drums, amplifiers and keyboards the Beatles used at the key points of their relatively brief but entirely revolutionary career…from the formation of the Quarry Men skiffle group in the 1950s to the dissolution of the Beatles in 1970.

It provides a fascinating fresh insight into Beatle history from an entirely new viewpoint, and along the way many myths are exploded and dozens of stories told for the first time.

John, Paul, George and Ringo’s moves from cheap early instruments to the pick of 1960s technology is carefully and entertainingly documented in an easy to read narrative, fully illustrated with many unseen photographs, a cache of rare memorabilia, and a unique collection of specially photographed actual Beatle instruments.

This landmark book is perfect for the fan absorbed by music rather than hairstyles, for the tribute band member with an eye for detail, and for any reader with an abiding interest in the 1960s.

At last, Beatles Gear gets right inside the music. More than this, the book paints a vivid picture of the times, presenting new interviews with the people who made, sold and looked after the band’s gear. With Beatles albums still selling at the rate of thousands a day throughout the world, and renewed industry interest in the value of the band’s published portfolio, Beatles Gear arrives on the market with perfect timing.

Hundreds of photographs, many never before seen, will be a revelation to even the most informed Beatles enthusiast. Also shown in luscious quality throughout the book are 26 of the group’s original instruments, still owned by ex-members of The Beatles or their heirs …from George’s psychedelic Strat to John’s Bed In Gibson, and Ringo’s roof top Ludwig kit to Paul’s Hofner violin bass.

And while many other items used by the group have been lost, broken or damaged, exhaustive research has allowed the presentation here of 43 virtually exact duplicates of otherwise defunct Beatle instruments and gear. Prime advertising and publicity material provide an extra flavour of the period and complete this unique examination of the sound of the fab four.

The Beatles have had an unparalleled influence on the music of the past 40 years. And still today much rock music lends a retro ear to the group’s distinctive sounds and unique orchestrations not to mention the many tribute bands around the world who keep the flame burning. This fascinating documentary will become required reading for anyone keen to gain an expert’s inside knowledge of The Beatles sound.

About the author

Andy Babiuk is a musician, writer, producer, founding member of the Chesterfield Kings, and owner of the boutique guitar shop Andy Babiuk’s Fab Gear. He has been a professional in the music industry for more than thirty years and is a consultant to the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame and to major auction houses in London and New York. Babiuk is a respected expert on vintage guitars and the foremost authority on the equipment used by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. His critically acclaimed book Beatles Gear (2001) manages to be both a historical document and an entertaining read. His new book Rolling Stones Gear will be published in the fall of 2013. He is also the author of The Story of Paul Bigsby: Father of the Modern Electric Solidbody Guitar (2009). He worked as technical consultant and associate music supervisor for David Chase’s feature film Not Fade Away released by Paramount Pictures in the fall of 2012. He lives in Rochester, New York, with his wife, six children, and a very large collection of guitars and music memorabilia.

From Library Journal

Babiuk takes a unique approach to the Beatles’ story by documenting the history of their music equipment. The Beatles are forever associated with particular instruments, and thoughts of them immediately conjure images of John’s Rickenbacker, George’s large, hollow-bodied Gretch, Paul’s signature custom Hofner violin bass (the first left-handed bass the company ever produced), and Ringo on a Ludwig drum kit. Babiuk begins with Lennon’s first guitar in 1956 and follows through to the band’s final 1969 sessions at the Abbey Road studios. As he shows, their choice of instruments were outlets for their personalities and creativity, and they selected a particular make and model for its individual sound, used that sound to its fullest, and then progressed to the next. Though dubbed “the quiet one,” Harrison proved the maverick, continually experimenting with guitars and instruments from other nationalities, leading to the important Eastern influence on the Beatles’ music. Babiuk provides marvelous technical detail on all of the Fab Four’s gear, with numerous photos of either their own instruments or identical models. A fresh perspective on the group’s well-documented history will appeal to hardcore fans and interested lay readers alike. Michael Rogers, “Library Journal”
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. 


“To make sure [your gift books] end up on coffeetables…here’s our guide to the best, [including] Beatles Gear…” –Playboy


“A fresh, highly readable perspective on the group’s well-documented history…will appeal to hardcore fans and interested laymen. Recommended.” – Library Journal

“A lavish celebration of every known piece of musical equipment [The Beatles] used…large and colorful…well-researched…” – Tower Records’ Pulse! magazine

“A sure bet to be a ‘must-have’ under the Christmas tree for any rabid Beatles fan.” – Mondo Gordo

“An authoritative guide to The Beatles’ equipment…Babiuk shows himself to be a persistent researcher and a writer of clarity.” – Mark Lewisohn, renowned Beatles expert, author of The Beatles Recording Sessions and of the Beatles Gear foreword

“May be the ultimate specialized study of The Beatles…the sheer mass of information is impressive…the pictures…are fab.” – Chicago Tribune

“The ‘gift book’…a luxury item…to be held and admired…. Beatles Gear provides a history of their sound.” – Boston Globe

“The folks at Backbeat Books have a well-earned reputation…this year, they’ve got more ‘must-have’ additions, [including] Beatles Gear.” – The Ithaca Journal

“The ultimate Beatles fanatic book.” – San Jose Mercury News

“A big, slick, exhaustively researched exploration of what made The Beatles sound like The Beatles.” – Rochester Democrat and Chonicle