Stompbox: 100 Pedals of the World’s Greatest Guitarists

Ten Speed: Crown. Dec. 2021. 512p. ed. by Dan Epstein & James Rotondi. ISBN 9781984860606. $50. REF
A visual journey to delight even those readers who were unaware of the purpose (or existence) of stompboxes—the electronic and digital pedals that contort and manipulate guitar sounds. Photographer Paz’s (Dust & Grooves: Adventures in Record Collecting) “pedal portraits” capture the industrial beauty (along with every scratch and scuff) of musicians’ well-used stompboxes, including the Ernie Ball VP Jr. owned by cross-genre guitarist/composer Kaki King, and the Foxx Tone Machine belonging to iconic sideman/guitarist Adrian Belew. Edited by Epstein (Big Hair and Plastic Grass) and jazz trumpeter/composer/critic Rotondi, with sidebars that offer quotes from musicians and details on the manufacture and use of stompboxes.
VERDICT A fascinating reference for musicians, with additional interest for industrial designers, photographers, and those who appreciate hi-res portraits of functional beauty.
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