Inside stories of the pop-music scenes of the 1960s and 1970s from one of the fathers of the Motown sound. Under Berry Gordy, Motown Records was a place where studio musicians usually stood in the shadows, unlike the solo stars whose names appeared on the albums. Gordy held a tight rein on his musicians, forbidding them from playing for other record companies and denying them credit on his records. In Guitars, Bars, and Motown Superstars , author and guitarist Dennis Coffey describes his escape from Gordy's draconian rules and how he went on to success as both a Motown Records musician and a million-selling solo artist. He offers a fascinating backstage look at the Detroit, L.A., and New York music scenes in the '60s and '70s, with side trips to the smoky clubs and funky studios where the Motown sound was born. Coffey is credited with creating a lot of that sound, including the famous guitar into to the Temptations' classic Cloud Nine . He played on hundreds of Motown albums, and he introduced such invations as the wah-wah pedal in Motown recording studios. Guitars, Bars, and Motown Superstars is an entertaining and amusing memoir of one of the most dynamic and influential periods in contemporary pop culture, and a unique insight into the ups and downs of the studio guitar-for-hire. It's also a look at the dizzying career of a rock musician who went from living in the Hollywood Hills back to his more modest roots in the Detroit area. It's a must for fans of Motown, rock, and you-are-there pop-culture history.
From rock & roll kid to honorary member of Motown's elite rhythm section the Funk Brothers, Dennis Coffey was one of Detroit's most in-demand session guitarists. After leaving Motown, Coffey became a regular at Hitsville USA, playing on records for Marvin Gaye, the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, and Junior Walker. Most recently, he appeared in the documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown.