1000s of diverse titles published since 1974

The Ultimate: An Illustrated History of Hamer Guitars

Steve Matthes and Joe Moffett. Foreword by Rick Nielsen, Introduction by Paul Hamer, and Afterword by Jol Dantzig

Available Now


Hamer Guitars is often regarded as the first boutique guitar builder. From its humble beginnings in founder Paul Hamer's Northern Prairie Music Shop to its acquisition by the Fender Musical Instrument Corporation in 2008, the Hamer story is traced through nearly 400 images and dozens of interviews with those involved with the company. See how Hamer rose to compete with the giants of American guitar-making. Learn the inspiration for the making of its "ultimate" guitar, the Standard. Containing pieces by two of the company's principal architects – Hamer and Jol Dantzig – and told in lavishly illustrated text with many never before published photos and drawings, this history of Hamer Guitars is a treasured keepsake and resource for every lover of the electric guitar. With a foreword by Hamer's most prominent Standard bearer, Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen.

Size: 8 1/2" x 11" | 324 color & 66 b/w images | 176 pp
ISBN13: 9780764343520

 Back to Results 

Steve Matthes resides in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with his wife, daughter, son, and Boxer, Angus. Steve has been a Hamer devotee since his first glance at the inner sleeve of Cheap Trick’s Heaven Tonight album featuring several custom Hamer creations. Steve has been playing guitar semi-professionally in bands and for fun since 1979 and started the Hamer Guitar Instrument Registry in 1997, one of the oldest instrument registries in existence. Realizing that no accurate history of Hamer Guitars existed in print, he began collecting material and interviews for this book in the late 1990s. Steve keeps busy as an attorney, college professor, and weekend warrior, and brings some of his Hamer guitars to nearly every gig.Joe Moffett lives outside Cincinnati, Ohio, with his wife and son. He is the author of a number of books and articles on his area of specialization, twentieth-century poetry, including The Search for Origins in the Twentieth-Century Long Poem, Understanding Charles Wright, and The Waste Land at 90. He teaches and advises students at Northern Kentucky University. He has been playing, buying, and selling guitars for almost twenty-five years.