Clapton’s Guitar, by Allen St. John, is a book chronicling the making of two acoustic guitars, one for Eric Clapton and one for charity, both being made by master guitar player and guitar-builder Wayne Henderson. It’s clear that St. John admires Wayne, and this book details why.
I’d never heard of Wayne Henderson prior to reading this book, but St. John does a fantastic job of describing him and his talents of playing and building guitars. The book really makes you feel like you’re along for the ride as St. John records the process of making an acoustic guitar. Along the way, St. John takes a few side trips and speaks with other guitar makers to get even further insight into the guitar making process, as well as further insight into what makes Wayne’s guitars so great. St. John’s admiration of vintage Martin guitars is also evident, and he does a very good job of describing these beautiful instruments.
The fact that Wayne is building a guitar for Eric Clapton is really a footnote to the true story, that of the person and the process of Wayne Henderson. This book is really an engaging story about Wayne Henderson.
I found Clapton’s Guitar by Allen St. John to be an interesting look into the shop of a respected guitar builder while building a guitar for one of the most famous guitarists on the planet. If you’re a guitar player, a guitar builder, or someone who’s interested in reading about fine craftmanship, then I’d recommend picking up a copy of Clapton’s Guitar.