I could give you many geeked-up reasons with spectacles shoved halfway down my nose for what motivated me to write this book. Somewhere on the mental back burner, I did ponder these interviews in the context of work done by University of Chicago professors James Hillman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Hillman’s “acorn theory” ascribes to the idea of an innate life calling waiting to be discovered. And Csikszentmihalyi’s studies (if you could pronounce his last name, you passed, yes) examined those moments when people feel happiest and living at their fullest potential, which he often found to be the very moment when a person is absorbed creatively in an activity with complete focus, whether it be art, play or work.
But when most classical music goes by an A-B-A structure and rock n’ roll is I-IV-V, there’s no need to get tricky. And, as The Clash credo goes, “Shut up and play.”
The truth is, many people play the guitar but few make it their career and I wanted to know their impetus and what motivated. I became absorbed by the stories each artist told, to the point where it became difficult for me to stop interviewing, for all of the compelling perspective, detail and stories told about the same instrument. How much was enough? Never! This book contains about 74 interviews with guitarists of all stripes–from rock to jazz to to metal to classical and avant-garde. The interviews collected are from those who were available at the time of asking and I feel the deepest gratitude toward everyone who shared their voice and love for this instrument and all of its infinite possibility.