New York: Guitar Player Books, 1978. 1st Edition. Quarto, publisher's photo-illustrated stiff paper wraps.
"Music is a language—a language of emotions." First (and only) edition of acoustic guitar pioneer John Fahey's songbook, including complete note-for-note transcriptions and tablature from his Takoma Records album of the same name. Known as an iconoclast, prankster, and classic "tormented genius," Fahey's unprecedented method of finger-style guitar playing was an amalgam of his obsessive fascination with American roots music and his reverence for 20th-century classical composers. Fahey's outsized personality and musical ingenuity is indeed present in this volume, which includes advice for aspiring guitar players along with the bizarre ramblings he was famous for. His counsel includes the somewhat hackneyed, such as "practice makes perfect," but also makes recommendations for plagiarization, "creating an intimate relationship with the guitar" not dissimilar from "a romantic sexual conquest," and commands his reader to "bang on [the guitar]...play hard on it, and bend it to his will" (caveat: he also momentarily rails against what he describes as "homosexual guitar playing"). Published in 1978, the book and compilation album also represent a marked halt in Fahey's career, popularly attributed to his rampant alcoholism and ensuing poor health. He made an eventual comeback in the late '90s, assuming a more avant-garde, experimental style, and established his second label Revenant Records before passing away in 2001. Illustrated throughout with black-and-white photos and Fahey’s own illustrations. Also includes guitar tuning tips, short stories following the adventures of Fahey's alter ego "Blind Joe Death," and a "Selected Suggestive Prejudiced Discography." Some wear and soiling to wraps. Very good. Scarce. Item #2008