When a band is as legendary and long standing as the Rolling Stones, how on earth do you create a book looking at their story from a fresh angle? Andy Babiuk and Greg Prevost have done exactly that with Rolling Stones Gear: All the Stones’ Instruments from Stage to Studio.
The story of one of rock’s most enigmatic and perennially cool bands seems like it has been told a million times before. Therefore, in order to make a truly original tome about the Stones, a very different approach is needed. Babiuk and Prevost have certainly done that here with this unusual book charting the rise and career of the iconic rockers. The twist here though, is that their story is looked at via the instruments and equipment used on their recordings and tours.
This may sound like a dry read but it certainly isn’t! It’s bound to entrance the hardcore Stones lover such is its huge attention to detail and the passion which clearly lies at the heart of the book.
It must surely qualify as one of the heftiest rock books ever seen – you will need to not only clear but re-enforce your coffee table, such is its magnitude. In fact, it’s difficult to think of many bands that could warrant a volume on this scale.
Inside, you’ll find an exhaustive read with in-depth documentation and analysis of the band’s work from studio sessions to TV performances and much more. There are also previously unseen photos and background stories which will delight even casual fans.
The Stones started playing their first gigs around London in 1962 and just two years later they were topping the UK singles and albums charts.
To this day they are still one of rock’s biggest live draws with their concert tickets changing hands for triple figures. Meanwhile, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards still maintain a mystery and edge that many from their era appear to have lost.
The authors of this Stones-fest are certainly more than qualified to have compiled the 672-page bible, being musicians themselves in long running garage-rock/psychedelic blues band The Chesterfield Kings.
Babiuk also owns the boutique guitar shop Andy Babiuk’s Fab Gear and is a consultant to The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, while Prevost is a highly respected music journalist and recognised authority on the Stones.
Their pedigrees shine brightly throughout this glossy, intelligent and educational extravaganza that will keep both musos and fans engrossed for ages!
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Rolling Stones Gear: All the Stones’ Instruments from Stage to Studio, published by Backbeat Books, is out now.
Words: Russell Iliffe