Fifty years ago the British beat boom got underway as young men, excited by the rock n roll sound from the USA, began to form beat groups with whatever guitars and equipment they could lay hands on. With an import embargo on luxury goods from the US still in operation the only guitars available in the UK were those from Europe. The largest manufacturer who already had a strong presence in the UK was Hofner, selling through their distributors The Selmer Company.
Taking a look at the now largely forgotten Hofner guitars together with many images from the 50s and 60s this is a trip down memory lane. Not a technical work, though there is some information for the more serious guitar types, it is, rather, an attempt to place the Hofner guitar in its time, the late 50s and the early 60s. There are numerous full page colour images of Hofners often in settings that attempt to give a flavour of those heady days more than 50 years ago. In fact you've probably never seen Hofners this way before!
The text has been kept light hearted and very readable, especially for those who aren't perhaps obsessed by guitars and Hofners in particular. The book is UK centric with a bias on the Hofners sold in the UK though some of the European models are included. Don't expect to see each and every Hofner model ever made though, the book isn't about that. Also included are many images, together with some observations, about things from that period. Sweets that have vanished from the shelves, steam trains that also disappeared, 3D films and a whole lot more.
So if you were once in a beat group and thought you were just around the corner from world wide fame then this book will bring back a lot of memories. On the other hand you might want to take a look at just what your Dad was playing in his youth and be amazed at the stuff we once thought was the in thing.
The book is 126 pages with 170 photographs.
Nick Wass has been a guitar player for nearly 40 years and a collector of old Hofner guitars for nearly 10 years. He lives in Bavaria, Germany. Harry Sibum, who lives in The Netherlands, started playing the guitar nearly 50 years ago and spent most of his working life as a professional musician. Recently he has retired from performing and now runs his own small business - The Hofner House - repairing and restoring vintage guitars. It was at a meeting of Hofner guitar enthusiast in November 2008 that Nick and Harry got together and decided to write a book about Hofner guitars, but a book that would be different. No long technical treatise but instead something that would put the Hofner guitars into their time, the 1950s and 60s. Thanks to the internet the book was put together while they have lived in different countries. It took hundreds of emails to accomplish but was worth it in the end.