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"Pink Floyd: The Black Strat A History Of David Gilmour's Black Fender Stratocaster"

“Pink Floyd: The Black Strat —A History Of David Gilmour’s Black Fender Stratocaster” by Phil Taylor, reviewed by Susan Sliwicki.

Even the most committed Pink Floyd fan or collector may think that writing a book entirely dedicated to the history of one of David Gilmour’s guitars is, well, a bit over the top. Heck, even Gilmour told author Phil Taylor (who has worked with Gilmour since age 22) that the idea was “daft.” The guitarist said he couldn’t see the value of writing a book about an “ordinary” guitar that had been bought in May 1970 from Manny’s Music.

To Gilmour, the black Strat is a working guitar, a tool he employed over the course of his career, much as a mechanic would use a wrench.

But Taylor’s book reveals that Gilmour’s well-worn guitar is so much more. Its original sunburst pattern shows through in spots, the black custom paint job long since worn away. It’s been pulled apart and refitted with new parts — both for sheer wear and tear and in efforts to get a new sound — countless times. It bears the scars of an ill-fated effort to add an XLR socket and a near-fatal sentence of time served on display at the Hard Rock Café.

But for fans of the guitar wizard’s work, this is THE black Strat that took us all to the Dark Side Of The Moon. And that is why it’s as hard for readers to put down this book as it has been for Gilmour to put down the guitar.

More than 200 photos — many of which were previously unpublished — accompany a timeline that helps to tell the guitar’s story and show why it remains a constant in Gilmour’s career —and what it has inspired in recent years. Guitar fans will especially enjoy tracing the instrument’s musical journey, but you don’t have to be a master musician to get sucked in by this book.