While half of this picture book is about being close to those Immortal Guitar Axes, the other half is rich with some informative bit of history regarding that stringed instrument.
Immortal Guitar Axes is a perfect and heavy coffee-table book that’s sure to be an eye pleaser.It not only puts a lot of these beauties in the forefront, but also each instrument has a story too! Lisa S. Johnson‘s love for the six-string is very clear in the prose, and I suspect she did a lot of fieldwork to find out where some of them have disappeared to. Some were lost to history for one reason or another, and others thought destroyed.
For example, just when Peter Frampton (who played with many talents, ranging from David Bowie to Ringo Starr) thought he lost his beloved after the cargo plane crashed over Venezuela, it survived! Although not every guitar has a story like this one, what’s recounted is a look back about where it was either bought or made. Many artists’ instruments are profiled here, and while we already know everything about some axes, namely Brian May’s Red Special, others aren’t as widely known. I really appreciate the chapter about Suzi Quatro since it’s her music which got me to love that classic rock n’ roll all over again ever since I saw her on Happy Days.
Dagan W. Beckett heard that Songbirds was closing in August 2020 along with everyone else and said, “At that time I knew I needed to do my part and document it before it closed.”
Available to rent on Amazon Prime and other streaming platforms.
Now available on VOD is Songbirds, a wonderful documentary about a museum (named after this bird) dedicated to showing how the electric guitar became what it is today. It’s about the people who built this place to what it is now, how the pandemic affected its business model, its closure and when it rose from the ashes like a phoenix to become something even better!
Their goal is to do more than showcase the history and influence of this instrument in 20th century music. Within its doors, people could play with the instruments (after paying a fee), and attend special concerts from those musicians who long to touch that first production telecaster. In its latest form, it’s to teach young children how to play too!
Dagan W. Beckett (pictured below, left) is the creative mind who made this one-hour length film. His love for this establishment is clearly evident from the first frame to last. He delivers not only a beautiful look back at this place’s founding but also hits all the right notes (pardoning the pun) to show us why more places like this need to exist around the world. But even I had a few questions just to confirm a few lingering thoughts. It was a pleasure to correspond with him about this work.
Can we please have an introduction from you for those readers unfamiliar with your work?
I am a filmmaker/director currently located in Chattanooga, Tennessee which is just North of Atlanta. The documentary film, Songbirds, is my debut work and my team and I are so very fortunate to have received a handful of awards for it, as well as an Emmy® for best Topical Documentary.