Miscellaneous Rumbles

Tom Wheeler - RIP


I used to eagerly read Tom Wheeler's "Rare Bird" column in Guitar Player (penned by his alter ego Teisco Del Rey). I also own his books "The Guitar Book" and "American Guitars". Tom later took over as editor of GP. It's sad to hear that he's gone.


This is the saddest news. We go way back, and it’s completely shocking. He loved everything about guitar.

He would definitely want this correction to be made...Teisco Del Rey was, and still is at times, the pen name of another great contributor to modern guitar history, Dan Forte. He and Tom were the best of friends, and this is a very sad day for all of us.


I'm sorry Deed. You're right. Dan Forte was Teisco.


They’d be laughing about it, really!


I'm very sorry to hear this news.

As a youngster, Tom's American Guitars was a source of wonder and I still use it for reference today.

Guitar Player during his tenure, was simply incredible. 200 pages or more of dense text, very in-depth interviews and solid technical content. Like something half way between a guitar magazine and an academic journal. A terrible distraction from my schoolwork but great preparation for my later career.

As a fellow guitar journalist - albeit in a somewhat lesser capacity - all I can say is thanks Tom. You were a giant and an inspiration.


Sad news -- 'American Guitars' has had a prime place on my bookshelf for many years.


I was just a guy who'd bought a guitar and was teaching myself to play it and didn't know jack when I got a copy of American Guitars. "Oh, my," thought I upon delving into it. "These things have their own UNIVERSE. And I want to explore it." The book propelled my interest in guitars from "mild, as apropos of a folkie chord-strummer" to "just short of obsessed." Tom Wheeler, though that book, nudged my life course in a direction that I've been happy to follow ever since.

Guitar Player magazine was such a worthwhile periodical under his hand, and I always looked forward to the coming month's issue.

I have so much gratitude for his work.

Sad to see Mr. Wheeler go. I hope he considered his life to be one of great, satisfying accomplishments.



My first real guitar book...read it like a Bible.

1st Edition...The Guitar Book...1974.


This is very sad. Rest well, sir.


Sad news. The pages in my copy of American Guitar are dog-eared and the spine is quite bent. He stoked my fascination with Gretsches and musical history with his generosity and good writing.


I used to have tons of back issues of Guitar Player before the 1996 tornado. I actually had a copy of Tom's "The Guitar Book" before I knew of the magazine, so on the strength of his writing, I checked GP out. I'd urge any guitar enthusiast to find a copy of this fabulous book. It has a wealth of info on the history of the guitar, different manufacturers, how to choose an instrument, even guitar chords, all written in Tom's wonderful, mildly humorous and good natured style. It was first published in the early '70s and some of the "modern" guitars will seem a little dated, but the wealth of knowledge contained in the book make it a worthwhile read.


I ordered "American Guitars" when it first came out. Great companion to "The Guitar Book".


I had to save up to buy "The Guitar Book." It has stood the test of time. Sad also that we likely won't see a book on the Telecaster to accompany the Strat and Amp books he authored.


“American Guitars” was the catalyst for spawning obsessive desire to learn everything about the subject. Don’t ask me how I know.

R.I.P., mr. Wheeler and thank you.

Register Sign in to join the conversation