Clapton's Guitar by Allen St. John

Academic Year: 
Clapton's Guitar

In 1994, Eric Clapton came across a Wayne Henderson guitar in a recording studio and decided on the spot that he had to have one. Rarer than Stradivarius violins, these musical works of art are built from near-extinct Brazilian Rosewood, Appalachian spruce, black ebony, and fine mother-of-pearl. With Henderson's keen ear for the vibrations of each piece of wood he uses, each note that comes out of them has the power of a cannon and the sweetness of maple syrup. In "Clapton's Guitar," Allen St. John recounts how a perfect acoustic guitar comes into the world and how an artist gauges perfection. Wayne Henderson, master luthier and genius in blue jeans, will tell you that he simply puts penknife to wood and carves away "everything that isn't a guitar." Normally, there is a ten-year wait for a Henderson guitar, and St. John finds there are no exceptions even for an iconic figure like Clapton. But seeing it as a shortcut to getting his own guitar done, St. John jump-starts the process, and then takes readers with him on a mesmerizing journey into the heart of high-end instrument making.

Clapton's Guitar will be provided to all incoming incoming students at Appalachian, and Wayne Henderson will speak to members of the campus community and others during Convocation in the Holmes Center on campus, September 4, at 10 a.m. Henderson also will participate in other discussions on campus and in the community, on September 4.

About the Author
Allen St. John and Wayne Henderson

About Allen St. John

Allen St. John is a New York Times bestselling author and an award winning journalist. He writes the By the Numbers column for the Wall Street Journal, and has written for a wide variety of publications from the New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, The Village Voice, Salon, Popular Mechanics, Playboy, Menís Journal, and Maxim.

He has won a wide variety of awards including top honors from the North Jersey Press Club, the North American Ski Journalists Association, and the United States Tennis Writers Association. His story 'Fall Classics' earned an honorable mention in The Best American Sports Writing 2002. His other books include the award winning Skiing for Dummies and the hardcover and CD-ROM of The Way Baseball Works.

About Wayne Henderson

"Wayne Henderson’s top-notch finger-picking is a source of great pleasure and pride to his friends, family and neighbors in Grayson County, Virginia. His guitar playing has also been enjoyed at Carnegie Hall, in three national tours of Masters of the Steel-String Guitar, and in seven nations in Asia.

In addition to his reputation as a guitarist, Henderson is a luthier of great renown. He is a recipient of a 1995 National Heritage Award presented by the National Endowment for the Arts. He produces about 20 instruments a year, mostly guitars; he is almost as well-known for the mandolins he has made. Good friend Doc Watson owned a Henderson mandolin."
- Wayne Henderson Festival Web Site

Supplemental Materials

September 4, 2014

  • 10:00 a.m. - Fall Convocation, Holmes Convocation Center, ASU
  • 2:00 p.m. - Q&A Panel Discussion with Faculty, Staff and Students Blue Ridge Ballroom, Plemmons Student Union, ASU
  • 7:30 p.m. - Reading and Book Signing Blue Ridge Ballroom, Plemmons Student Union, ASU Sponsored by Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series

September 5, 2014

  • 10:30 a.m. – Reading, Q&A, and Book Signing Watauga County Library, Boone Sponsored by Watauga Reads!