Allan Holdsworth Book: Devil Take the Hindmost

Posted on 19 March 2021

If Yoda had played guitar he would have sounded like Allan Holdsworth... like fine wine or poetry, once one acquires the taste, the music of Allan Holdsworth becomes a never-ending obsession -- and even a dependable friend.

I searched around for an Allan Holdsworth biography and found a book called Devil Take the Hindmost: The Otherworldly Music of Allan Holdsworth by Ed Chang. It just arrived today.

I would not be surprised if, in 100 years from now, if people are still even listening to guitar (which I suspect they will be), he'll be singled out as 'the one' alone, so to speak.

-- Steve Vai

Here's the summary:

Originally published as a blog (A Thread of Lunacy: Appreciation and Analysis of the Otherworldly Music of Allan Holdsworth), this book is a biographical musical companion to the career of Allan Holdsworth, a guitarist revered by the greatest names in jazz and rock, such as Steve Vai, John McLaughlin, Eddie Van Halen, Alex Lifeson, Frank Zappa, Joe Satriani, and countless others.

Starting off his career with bands such as The Tony Williams New Lifetime, Bruford, U.K., and Soft Machine, in the early 1980s Holdsworth began releasing music under his own name, with bands comprised of some of the most accomplished and respected players in rock and jazz.

Although this book is a perfect reference for Allan Holdsworth fans (containing detailed notes and interviews related to every single album he ever played on), another aim of this book is to help new listeners enter the frequently misunderstood universe of this “ahead-of-his-time” guitar genius.

Read more about the book here.

If you haven't heard his guitar playing, here's a sample: