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British Rock Guitar

The Birth of British Rock Guitar

British Rock Guitar coverCovering the two decades from 1955 to 1975, and featuring original anecdotal contributions from scores of eminent players - Jeff Beck, Ritchie Blackmore, Joe Brown, Clem Cattini, Eric Clapton, Lonnie Donegan, Vic Flick, Herbie Flowers, Roger Clover, George Harrison, Mark Knopfler, Hank Marvin, Brian May, Gary Moore, Joe Moretti, Pino Palladino, Rick Parfitt, John Paul Jones, Francis Rossi, Gerry Rafferty, Mike Rutherford, Big Jim Sullivan, Andy Summers, Richard Thompson, Bert Weedon, Bruce Welch, and Muff Winwood - British Rock Guitar chronicles the birth and rise to pre-eminence of rock guitar in Britain.

Semi-autobiographical and illustrated by period advertisements, memorabilia, and previously unseen photographs, many from the artist's private collections, British Rock Guitar is idiosyncratic, charming, revelatory, naive, crazy, and optimistic, but above all very funny.

"Around 1960 my school band, The Tradewinds, upgraded its back line of little 5 watt amplifiers with the purchase of a wedge-shaped, blue and white, 17 watt, 4-input, Watkins Dominator amplifier which, at £38/10/-, we could just afford between us. But the band was divided by the prospect of such awesome power: did we really need 17 watts?".

Twenty years later Mo toured the United States with Jeff Beck and a bass rig which, alone, was rated at 1,500 watts!

The second half of British Rock Guitar is devoted to the rise and fall of the studio session scene. Mo presents an insider's view of this creative world, and the wonderful absurdity of musicians' humour in general.

Mo Foster's career as a renowned and prestigious contemporary bass player has spanned over 30 years. He is now established as a top session musician, solo artist, producer, composer, and now author. Among the hundreds of artists with whom he has recorded or toured are Jeff Beck, Phil Collins, Cher, Ringo Starr, Joan Armatrading, Gerry Rafferty, Frida (ABBA), Van Morrison, Cliff Richard, Gary Moore, Hank Marvin, Roger Clover, Peter Green, Rod Argent, Gil Evans, Scott Walker, Nanci Griffith, and The London Symphony Orchestra.

The foreword to the book was written by Hank Marvin, the owner of the UK's first Fender StratocasterTM and widely regarded as one of the originators of the UK's Rock'n'Roll guitar sound.


British Rock Guitar was first published as Seventeen Watts? in 1997, but being the perfectionist he is Mo didn't leave it at that. He felt he could do better. So in 2000 17 Watts? was born. It was now in soft-cover form and physically smaller so that it would be "easier to read on the train, bus or toilet etc". Not content with mere cosmetic changes, Mo added 10,000 more words, an easier to read structure, more pictures and an index.

Now in 2011 British Rock Guitar rises like a phoenix from the ashes with another additional 10,000 words, fully indexed, a new publisher and Mo's satisfaction at a job well-done... not to mention that he can now get on with producing fine music again!